A safe space for teachers to experiment with new teaching techniques
Peer-to-peer sharing of ideas and best practices
A personalised, long-term approach to learning and embedding new techniques
Demonstrably improved student outcomes
Easy to measure, evaluate and evidence impact
Support for distributed, diverse learning environments
Easy to understand visual, step-by-step guides
Considerable cost and efficiency savings
Middlesbrough is the largest college in Teeside offering a range of full and part-time courses, apprenticeships and university level courses. Providing high-quality CPD for its large and diverse body of teaching staff has always been a top priority for the college. Responsible for this is Director of Teaching and Learning, Gordon Duffy-McGhie. Gordon firmly believes that whether you have lots of qualifications or you have none, you are capable of doing great things.
Up until recently, the college relied on training courses and one-off events to train, support and develop its staff. Coaching workshops dealt with specific teaching topics with one trainer delivering set content to multiple teachers.
Concern regarding the effectiveness of one-off events and courses.
Like many senior leaders, Gordon was concerned that over time, these one-off events and courses would not be enough to deliver the outstanding and sustained improvements in the college’s teaching practises he was looking for. He was also concerned that whilst he could provide evidence of attendance at training events, it was difficult to evaluate and evidence the impact that the training was having on his staff’s professional development and student outcomes.
In addition, Gordon was aware that courses weren’t always aligned with his staff’s immediate teaching and learning concerns. Equally problematic was the fact that teachers and trainers found having to go to a set place at a set time both disruptive and time-intensive and inconvenient for the staff that worked non-traditional hours.
An evolutionary, democratic solution
Gordon was searching for an alternative approach to CPD that would deliver results — not just to get through an inspection and get a good grade — but that could be sustained and improved upon year after year. At the same time, he needed an approach that would cater for the individual professional development needs of his entire body of staff.
With 24⁄7 instant access to over 160 step-by-step visual guides to evidence-based teaching techniques and a range of social learning tools to promote and facilitate shared, community-driven learning, the HOW2 interactive coaching platform offered the evolutionary, democratic solution that Gordon was looking for.
Guaranteeing parity of access to support
The HOW2 platform allows Middlesbrough College to maintain a coherent approach to professional development which is implemented at an organisational level and led by the college and can guarantee parity of access and support, regardless of whether staff are full or part-time, working close by or remotely.
The precise, easy-to-navigate infographics make learning and adapting the HOW2 techniques quick and easy for the college’s large and diverse body of staff that spans a wide range of subject disciplines and varying levels of experience. Gordon explains;
Embedding HOW2s into professional learning activities
Student outcomes and evidencing impact
For the Middlesbrough quality management team, being able to provide a plethora of practical guides and show staff — step-by-step — how to implement strategies that make significant improvements to teaching and learning has resulted in powerful student outcomes.
From learning walks and performance management to lesson observations, the teaching staff at Middlesbrough have embedded the HOW2 techniques into the college’s core professional teaching and learning activities — something that according to Gordon has been key to the college’s move from the third to the top quartile in the UK Department of Education’s apprenticeships provision measures.
Since incorporating the HOW2s into its lesson observation process, for example, areas identified for improvement result in teachers selecting a HOW2 solution and teaching and learning coaches following up with individuals on the precise steps they want to take to improve their practice. Support is democratised throughout the organisation and coaches can use the HOW2 dashboard to monitor and track progress.
Student outcomes and evidencing impact
For the Middlesbrough quality management team, being able to provide a plethora of practical guides and show staff — step-by-step — how to implement strategies that make significant improvements to teaching and learning has resulted in powerful student outcomes — something that according to Gordon, has been key to the college’s move from the third to the top quartile in the UK’s Department for Education measures for apprenticeship provision.
Since incorporating HOW2s into its lesson observation process, areas identified for improvement result in teachers selecting a HOW2 solution and teaching and learning coaches following up with individuals on the precise steps they want to take to improve their practice. Support is democratised throughout the organisation and coaches can use the HOW2 dashboard to monitor and track progress.
Evidencing how teachers are achieving favourable student learning outcomes
In addition to improved outcomes, the HOW2 app has also given managers the ability to evidence where and how the improved outcomes have come from. The HOW2 skills exchange feature allows staff to quickly see who is considering or working on, or has already embedded a particular technique, not only providing a useful framework for the exchange of ideas across the organisation but a useful tool for measuring and monitoring individual usage.
According to Gordon, the HOW2 platform has helped the college with Ofsted compliance, not just in the short term but sustainably. Since 2019, CIF scores are based less on what outcomes are produced by students and more on how the students achieve those outcomes. He says:
A comprehensive menu of support and shared community learning opportunities
Since subscribing to the platform, the staff at Middlesbrough feel that they have a much more comprehensive menu of support. With instant access to HOW2s to deal with a wide range of classroom concerns, there’s no delay and professional development is less onerous and stressful. The skills exchange makes it really easy to ‘buddy up’ with experienced teachers for support.
Support from the HOW2 team
Commenting on the post-implementation support delivered by the HOW2 team, Gordon said;