Having a data-collection plan from the beginning of the project (i.e., planning with the ‘end in mind’) builds accountability and maximizes opportunities for gathering, reflecting on, and sharing results, within and beyond the community.
The expectation that all participants will be gathering evidence and sharing success stories needs to be made clear from the very beginning of the project. This may be a new experience for many participants so they will need opportunities to discuss data-gathering strategies and review examples of meaningful data.
Participants also will need to understand the logistics of collecting and sharing student work samples and photos and what kind of permissions will be necessary.
Successful communities of practice use a number of effective strategies for gathering and sharing results, including:
Creating the most comprehensive picture of results requires clearly articulated goals from the beginning, and then gathering multiple types of data from multiple sources over time. For others to benefit from the learning opportunity, results need to be organized and shared in meaningful ways.