Would there be any real advantages in me abandoning my paper-based/excel observation procedure?
Paper Based Observation Forms
- Completed Observation Forms are filed away, they are not readily available, nor easily shared, they are easily lost and not always to hand to be reviewed at next observation.
- If more than one printed copy is produced they can get out of ‘sync’.
- Quality auditing takes longer as Observation Forms are in a file.
- If Ofsted criteria changes forms need to be reprinted.
- Cost of paper, ink cartridges staff time etc due to the need to supply paper forms to staff involved.
Advantages of using a web based electronic Observation Form – e-observations
- Saved electronically, readily available 24/7.
- Shared controlled resource, different access levels for different staff members.
- Available for viewing at next observation, updating action plans, appraisals, performance management .
- Save time when quality auditing as not searching through files.
- Criteria fully customisable by you for every section of the Observation form.
- E-observations reduce staff time and save money.
2.Excel Spreadsheet for collecting data and analysing results
- Time consuming – criteria grades from each observation need to be manually entered into spreadsheet.
- Human error in entering grades.
- Difficulty in producing timely management reports.
Advantages of using a electronic system whereby grades entered on the Observation
- Form by observers automatically update tutors’ records and feed into reports
- Saves time – reduces the need for double entry
- Eliminates human error
- Timely management reports are available at the click of a button.
3. Separate database for maintaining and tracking action points
- Time consuming – have to be copied from Observation Form and to keep in ‘sync’ with updates of completion dates the Observation Form and the database need to updated.
- Not always easy to see what action points are overdue therefore not an effective method of ensuring timely compliance.
- Cannot see at a glance the support and training given to individual staff to increase their capacity to improve their teaching practices further.
Advantages of using an electronic Observation System
- Action points with dates can be automatically logged and coloured icons used to indicate action points completed and overdue.
- Monitoring of timely completions is made easy.
- An effective logging method makes it very easy to demonstrate to Ofsted and other external agencies what actions are being taken to improve standards.