Skip to main content

Return on Instruction (ROI) Revisited

The pursuit to improve never ends and nor should it. With all of the disruption we see as a result of the 4th Industrial Revolution, changes to how we educate kids have to be considered. The result has been districts, schools, and educators making a great deal of investment in an array of ideas, strategies, and solutions with the goal of improving learning for all kids. Obviously, this makes sense, and I am all for it. However, caution must be exerted when there is an urge to purchase the next “silver bullet” or embrace ideas that sound great on the surface but have little to show in terms of evidence of improvement at scale. Results, both qualitative and quantitative, matter, and this is something that everyone should be mindful of.

Over the years, I have not shied away from discussing the need to align ideas and strategies to research as well as evidence that shows in some way that there is an improvement in student outcomes. Seems fair and reasonable, right? You would think so as the teacher and principal in me know full well that results matter, especially when dealing with increased mandates, initiative overload, limited time, and lack of money. Herein lies why the allure of the “next best thing” is so compelling, and everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon. Just because something sounds or looks good doesn’t mean that it is, plain and simple. This applies to what is seen on social media, in marketing assets, and at conferences. Being a critical consumer is more important than ever. I’d even go as far as to say that it is our duty, something I elaborate greatly on in Digital Leadership

However, it is essential to go beyond just the consumption aspect as outlined above and be just as critical during the implementation phase. A sound strategic plan, not online focus, on where you want to go and how you will get there, but also a set of measures for success and a determination of how things went. A few years back I tackled this through strictly a technology lens and brought forward the concept of a Return on Instruction (ROI); borrowing from the term “return on investment” synonymous with virtually every profession.  In retrospect, this was shortsighted and not encompassing of all the many competing and complementing elements that are pursued simultaneously. Below is my evolved take:
 "When investing in technology, programs, professional development, and innovative ideas, there needs to be a Return on Instruction (ROI) that results in evidence of improved student learning outcomes." 
If you take a look at my original post, you will see that evidence comes in many forms, not just data. The bottom line is why make an investment to improve teaching, learning, and leadership but have nothing to show for it? That would prove to be quite frustrating, to say the least. To be clear, I am not talking about fluffy ideas or opinions, but actually substantive changes to practice that lead to real change. So how can you determine an ROI? Some guiding questions that might help are below:

  • How have instructional design and pedagogy changed?
  • How has the scaffolding of both questions and tasks changed?
  • How have student work and products changed?
  • How has assessment changed?
  • How has feedback changed?
  • How has the use of data changed?
  • How has the learning culture changed?
  • How has leadership changed?
  • How has meeting the needs of students who need specialized supports changed?
  • How has professional learning changed? 

The questions above will be answered differently as each district, school, and educator is unique as well as the respective culture. The key is to think broadly about financial and time investments to determine if in fact, they are paying off. Both are important. Another aspect to consider is realism. In the end, results matter.


Popular posts from this blog

Which Photographer Are You?

To apply Plato's recommendation: If you know where you fit, in the immense range of the universe of photography, you'll have simple sledding with regards to promoting your photos.

Why? Above all else, there's nobody very like you. You have a fortune of encounters: information, know-how, and interests. In addition, you are a gifted picture taker. At the point when you know your own qualities and select your business sectors as needs be, you'll see that photobuyers like to work with picture takers whose documents of stock photographs coordinate their format needs. As it were, you communicate in their language.

Know thyself. You are a significant asset to photograph editors, in the event that you get your work done and discover the photobuyers whose photograph needs coordinate the photographs you like to take.

'Administration' PHOTOGRAPHY:

Numerous newcomers to the field of stock photography at first set their objectives toward publicizing, PR, modern, design, an…

The Impact of Single Parent Families

There is a rising pattern in families the country over. The quantity of separation procedures started is mounting and it is auspicious to discuss the effect of families on the youngsters and the organization of the family itself. As a matter of course, the nonappearance of one parent in the family structure negatively affects the connection between the parent and the kid just as their individual associations with society in general. They need to manage partiality busy working or in the network. The lower financial persona that is credited to them to make them an objective of misuse and hardships which ought not be available at all in any case.

The image doesn't become more clear concerning the youngsters. A few investigations have called attention to both present moment and long haul impacts of child rearing. Kids who come up short on the supervision of a male parent for the most part are inclined to wrongdoing, illicit drug use and resistance. A little girl in the family is boun…

What Could Be

With the beginning of each new year, it seems like everyone on the planet is either talking about or embarking on some type of resolution. I will be the first one to say that this used to be me each and every year. In almost every case, I tried to commit to something health-related like getting to the gym more or eating better. However, as time has passed, I have reflected on this annual tradition and deemed it to be quite silly in the greater scheme of things. Why should it take the passing of each new year to commit to change on both a professional and personal level? As such, I have not made nor pursued any resolution in many years.

An article by Mary Ellen Tribby in the Huffington Post sums up quite nicely why New Year’s resolutions don’t work:
As a matter of fact according to a study by The University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 39% of people in their twenties achieve their resolution goals each year.
And the number keeps decreasing with age. By the time you a…