How to Measure Effective Coaching?

ISTE-C Standard 2: Connected Learner 

Coaches model the ISTE Standards for Students and the ISTE Standards for Educators and identify ways to improve their coaching practice. Coaches: 

b. Actively participate in professional learning networks to enhance coaching practice and keep current with emerging technology and innovations in pedagogy and the learning sciences.  

c. Establish shared goals with educators, reflect on successes and continually improve coaching and teaching practice. 

Coaching is a job-embedded, individualized, data-driven, and sustained practice. Although approaches to coaching vary in different schools and districts, many assert coaching models share a focus on prioritizing instructional needs, established goal-driven plans of support, modeling, facilitating teacher practice, and providing ongoing regular feedback to promote high-fidelity instructional practices. (Reddy, Glover, Kurz, & Elliott, 2019) As both coach and teacher continually reflect on successes and improvement, how to measure the success and effectiveness of coaching? How do we assess teacher growth as a part of measuring the impact of coaching because sometime impact might be demonstrated after coaching sessions?  

In many districts, coaches reside within the district or school with supervision from an administrative leader. An ongoing evaluation of key coaching competencies assessments and survey is essential to enhancing effective practices. 

The Instructional Coaching Assessment  

The Instructional Coaching Assessment (Reddy, Glover, Kurz, & Elliott, 2019) is an online, multirater assessment system that provides feedback reports to support the evaluation and development of instructional coaching talent. According to Reddy (2019), the assessment approach involves conducting a 360° assessment, completed by the coach, teachers served by the coach, and/or the coach’s supervisor. A 360° assessment offers a comprehensive assessment of coaching effectiveness and interactions by capturing feedback from key stakeholders involved in the coaching process. Each stakeholder provides unique and complimentary perspectives on the coaching process that is valuable for informing the effectiveness of the coaching process.  

The Instructional Coaching Assessment is an evidence-centered assessment, the measures are designed to generate data-specific performance feedback by using score that assesses coaching skill-focused actions to promote positive coaching outcomes/competencies. The assessment provides a comprehensive evaluation of a coach’s effectiveness at implementing problem-solving actions with teachers. This involves the collection of sources of evidence that support performance feedback from multiple informants. The evidence-centered, action–outcome framework provides a systematic approach to measure and drive continuous improvement for coaching talent and schools. (Reddy, Glover, Kurz, & Elliott, 2019) 

Assessments include four online assessments and feedback reports to inform continuous improvement for coaching for teachers.  

Figures 3 and 4 are the feedback reports which provide valuable information for creating targeted PD for coaches and monitoring coaching improvements over time. In addition, aggregate reporting and graphic performance feedback are available for three descriptive groups/levels: school district, school, and individual coaches. Several utility analyses have been conducted with the Feedback Reports to ensure they communicate efficiently and effectively with users. (Reddy, Glover, Kurz, & Elliott, 2019) 

However, coaches often find themselves in high-stakes, critically important roles expected to lead school reform efforts with little or no professional preparation for successfully performing such tasks. Effectiveness of coaching often depends on many other factors, such as teacher motivation and system support. Kelly and Knight (2019) have identified seven factors that must be in place for coaches to be successful and effective.  

  • Partnership  
  • A Coaching Process. While every coaching situation presents unique challenges, an established process for guiding the coaching experience ensures that instructional coaches have all the tools they need to help teachers set and achieve their goals. 
  • Teaching Strategies. Coach partnering with teachers to modify their instruction to meet student-focused goals. 
  • Gathering Data. Data is important within coaching because it provides a way to identify goals and monitor progress. Goals need to be measured frequently 
  • Communication Beliefs & Habits. Coaches need to be effective communicators and employ effective coaching skills that reflect healthy beliefs about communication. 
  • Leadership. Leadership can be divided into two parts: leading yourself and leading others. To lead yourself, you must know your purpose and principles, how to use your time effectively, and how to take care of yourself. To lead others, a combination of ambition and humility is needed – to be reliable and ambitious for change but at the same time responsive to teachers. 
  • System support. Coaches work in settings where leaders are intentional and disciplined about providing the support that is required for coaching success to occur. Two of the most important are administrative support and time management. 

In conclusion, coaches are leaders in delivering effective coaching practice to meet the complex needs of educators and students. Becoming an effective coach requires problem, data use and interpretation, modeling, facilitative practice, performance feedback, and overall interaction style that, in combination, effectively and efficiently can result in professional growth for educators and school improvement. Thus, an effective coach not only requires specialized training but also ongoing support and accurate feedback that is useful, specific, and immediate (Reddy, Glover, Kurz, & Elliott, 2019).  

References  

Reddy, L., Glover, T., Kurz, A., and Elliott, S., (2019) Assessing the Effectiveness and Interactions of Instructional Coaches: Initial Psychometric Evidence for the Instructional Coaching Assessments–Teacher Forms. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1534508418771739 

Kelly, M., and Knight, J.(2019). Seven Success Factors for Great Instructional Coaching. Instructional Coaching Group. https://www.instructionalcoaching.com/seven-success-factors-for-great-instructional-coaching/