Collecting Evidence

As promised – and much faster than usual – here’s a modified version of my own CPD tracker. The idea of this is for teachers to keep track of evidence towards the Core Standards during their training or NQT year. I think it might be useful for those doing GTP as well as the PGCE route I took, and presumably for other approaches such as TeachFirst. Obviously, this isn’t official or endorsed by anyone, but it seems to me that it would make filling in paperwork much easier even if you can’t submit it as primary evidence.

How To Set It Up

  1. You’ll need a Google account. You may wish to set yourself up a ‘professional’ account ( or whatever), especially if your current address is, shall we say, informal.
  2. ‘Save a Copy’ of the spreadsheet I’ve done to your new Google Drive and consider renaming it. Make sure it’s set to Private, not Shared, to start with.
  3. Have a look at the data entry (‘Form’, then ‘Go to Live Form’) to see how the prompts match the columns.
  4. Edit the column headers (and linked GoogleForm) if necessary.
  5. Save a link to the form on your mobile devices and desktop.

All of this should only take you a few minutes. You can add data to your spreadsheet directly, which may be useful for catching up with previous pieces of evidence. I think it’s easiest to edit them on a desktop, but this can be done less often. My main aim was to produce something which can be easily updated ‘on the go’, potentially by a variety of people, and then demonstrate a continuing record of progress towards the Standards.

How To Use

After any event – a seminar, discussion, observation, taught lesson etc – which shows your progress against the Standards (listed on a separate sheet), fill in the GoogleForm from whatever device is easiest. The prompt questions are to help you organise your responses to the event, consider how they match up to the Standards and plan further actions. In theory, all assignments should contribute to something; don’t neglect less formal situations like staff room discussions, reading a teaching magazine or catching up with professional blogs.

When you review your spreadsheet, choose a couple of areas to develop further. These might be those where you have less evidence (as shown by the highlighted Standards), or those where you have identified problems or weaknesses. Advice from mentors or colleagues will help you decide what to do, whether it’s about planning observations of particular staff members, talking about practicals with the lab techs or reading a recommended text or article.

Try to ensure that at least some of the rows include a link or reference to further evidence. This could be to the full lesson observation form, or to the university assignment, for example. A couple of ring binders, ideally different colours, will let you match up paper with electronic records quickly and easily. In addition, you may choose to record details in a linked blog or in EverNote, which allows you to access longer notes from anywhere if you paste a note URL into the GoogleForm.

I suppose there’s no reason why you have to be the one to fill in the form. If you email the link (to the form, not the spreadsheet itself) to your mentor they could fill it in after lesson observations or joint planning sessions. You might also choose to share the spreadsheet (I would recommend read only access) with your mentor, ITT Coordinator or University tutor. Try to stay in the habit of spending a bit of time every few days adding your thoughts. It’s a habit that is easy to forget once teaching a full timetable!

I’d value any comments from early-career colleagues, ITT Coordinators, NQT mentors and anyone else with particular interests in this area. My aim was to streamline the record keeping; we all want to spend more time on gaining skills and less on paperwork, after all! Hopefully this will help make life easier for all of us.



7 thoughts on “Collecting Evidence”

  1. Thanks Ian
    Starting to use this for recording my CSciTeach cpd record.
    All works well and does exactly what is required.
    How to get more experienced colleagues to keep a cpd record is something I am starting to consider. Any thoughts?

    1. Assuming they’re up for sharing, sell it as a way to trade links, references etc? I don’t really know, but it seems to me that could be a very useful department improvement tool – or perhaps for more distant colleagues to do some subject specific cpd tracking even if nobody is interested locally?

      I wish government would formalize master level standards, as then could have a standard format for many of us to show progress in the same way. We’ll see how it goes, glad you think it looks useful.

  2. Looking great, and a very useful way of keeping updated. My problem so far has been recording the little details of ‘non-standard’ CPD – the ones where you’ve got a few notes and ideas but happen informally. This is ideal and the fact that I can update it from my phone is even better. Thanks!

    1. Glad you like it – this was exactly my aim. Capturing reflections on evernote is easy enough, but i wanted something easier to search, with specific prompts. Glad you think it’s useful, for responses to tv, articles, arguments and so on… Let me know how it works in practice!

  3. Thanks for this Ian. I’ve adapted it to track my own CPD. I kept in the standards as I think it’s useful to track what I’m doing (after 10 years of teaching) against something that relates to the different parts of the job. It will probably help me to see how much of the whole picture I’m developing and if it is balanced, or if I end up – as I suspect – working too much in certain areas and neglecting others. It will be useful for my PPD to show all that I have done in this area, as I just can’t remember all the different bits when it comes around.

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