CPD Tracker v0.4

So, I’m looking at qualifying for RSci/CSciTeach. Which means I had to look at the CPD I’ve done over the past few years. Which is lots:

  • stuff in school
  • two teachmeets
  • 2012 ASE Conference
  • #SciTeachJC (often)
  • #asechat (sometimes)
  • #ukedchat (occasionally)
  • AQA stakeholder meeting
  • watching/listening to science stuff (Thank you, iPlayer)
  • reading science books
  • reading teaching books
  • and, you know, writing this blog.

The problem is, I’m not particular organised about it. I mean, I do it. I take notes on it, usually on Evernote. But I don’t keep track of it very well. So I started to think, why not use a spreadsheet?

  1. It’s boring.
  2. It’s slow.
  3. Running it out of the cloud is a pain at work.
  4. It’s not easily mobile.

Which is where Google Forms come in. This links quick questions to an automatically updated spreadsheet. Answer the questions in a tea break, and like magic, the CPD is listed. You can then edit the entry to add details, notes, or links to further information.

So here’s a draft version, tweaked after some suggestions from work colleagues and @ViciaScience (thanks, Richard!). I’ve put in a couple of sample lines, to show how it works. You can see the form here, and the spreadsheet here. I’m quite pleased with the standards section; simply tick the standards this CPD is relevant to and they’ll show up, colourcoded in the spreadsheet. (There’s a second sheet with a list of the standards.)

If you want to copy it, feel free – obviously you’ll need to have a Google account. It would be easy to produce a similar spreadsheet in Excel or whatever, but it wouldn’t have the form option.

To do:

  • it would be nice if the timestamp date was automatically added to the ‘date’ column’ if the question isn’t answered.
  • the comments don’t show when you print – should I have the data copied to another sheet for more detailed evidence?
  • It’s not properly formatted to print on A4.
  • A communal version, with a column for identifier (email address? staff code?) could be used to collate and share CPD ideas, with relevant links and reflection, between any chosen group of teachers, locally or virtually.
  • I’m playing with an NQT version, to show how they are collecting evidence to meet the standards – this will be blogged sooner rather than later. If there’s interest.

What else have I missed?

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6 thoughts on “CPD Tracker v0.4”

  1. Great stuff Ian, I’ll take a copy and see how I get on with it. It’s a nice idea, and I’m already thinking abouht ow I can use google forms in doing other regular data tasks in school. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything fruitful.

  2. Hi Ian,
    It’s a really good idea! I’d like to suggest a few tweaks to make this even more powerful. Firstly, it would be great if people start filling in this form while they are deciding their next piece of CPD. At that point you could also ask “Which pupils do I hope will benefit from this piece of CPD?”, “What previous understanding and experience do I have in this area?”.

    After the CPD you can then add to your excellent action-planning question: “Where can I go to get further information on this area, and who can support me?”, and “After three months, how much impact are these new ideas having on my pupils’ learning?”

    1. David, thanks for the comment. When I was building the form I was trying to limit it to a few minutes. Maybe I should consider a detailed sheet and a summary?

      Some good thoughts – thanks!

  3. Thanks for this. I have been using this for tracking my CPD this year. I like the fact that it quickly keeps a record of what I have done, all in one place. It makes it very easy for my supervisors to get a quick overview for performance management meetings. I added a “links to whole school issues” (to make it even clearer to the boss during performance management) and a “links to previous” (showing links to prior training and experience). I keep more detailed reflections elsewhere.

  4. Reblogged this on lunatikscience and commented:
    As someone who has taught in multiple countries, and had colleagues from all over the world, how different countries train their teachers fascinates me. Across the globe there is much talk about teachers being “reflective practitioners”. But it seems to me that not many countries have well developed and systematic processes built into their teacher training to enable teachers to do that. Few have strong expectations for teachers to continually demonstrate their reflections even after getting that coveted teaching qualification or license.

    However, regardless of your route into teaching, encouraging you to be a reflective practitioner, and expecting you to continually demonstrate it, is something that UK teacher training is very good at. Although not perfect, it is the only country I have worked in that has had very clear criteria defined to assist teachers in this task, regardless of stage in your career. And that is why I still fall back on UK teaching criteria when I am reflecting on my own practice, regardless of the country I am currently in. Not only that, but I seem to document it a lot more than my non-UK trained colleagues. I expect it of myself as a natural part of my teaching. I think that is partly due to my own personality but also because it has been expected of me since I was 16.

    However I am far from perfect at recording what I do. As I put together my own application for CSciTeach, I am amazed by the amount of “stuff” I have done over the years and equally amazed at how haphazard I have been at recording it. With that in mind I want to introduce you to one of this (school) year’s “top learning moments” for me, in the hope that it will help you. One of the requirements for CSciTeach is to demonstrate your own learning and reflective practice but to do that you need to keep track of it. That is where @teachingofscience and the CPD Tracker comes in. Easy to modify to suit your own needs, it quickly keeps a record of what you have done, all in one place. It makes it very easy for supervisors to get a quick overview of what you have done for performance management meetings.

    Personally, I added a “links to whole school issues” (to make it even clearer to the boss during performance management) and a “links to previous” (showing links to prior training and experience). I keep more detailed reflections elsewhere because I feel those are more for me than for other people.

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