MyLearningPlan: Director of PD Andrew Szczepaniak
Position: Director of Professional Development
District: Gilbert Public Schools, AZ
Number of Students in District: 38,785
Products: MyLearningPlan (Professional Development Management System)
OASYS (Observation and Appraisal Management System)
We were looking for an online system that would enable us to manage professional development for all staff to empower our employees to move their professional practice forward through effective job-specific learning experiences. We were hoping to find a web-based PD management system that was user-friendly to not only eliminate paper associated with tracking salary movement, certification hours, and compliance requirements, but to align our strategic goals to PD and to encourage our staff to think deeply about why they are engaged in professional learning. We chose MyLearningPlan, and it has fulfilled all of these goals and much more.
It was important to us to involve all employees, including support staff, in our roll-out of MyLearningPlan, and our formative efforts to gain the commitment of all stakeholders really paid off. Across the system, personnel appreciate the visual layout of the system, and they value the easy end user access to viewing, sorting, and printing records of their professional development endeavors, including all internal and external learning opportunities. I’ve heard many comments that adopting MyLearningPlan is one of the best decisions the district has made.
MyLearningPlan reports allow me and other district leaders to see the big picture, while our building administrators have the data they need to facilitate relevant instructional leadership conversations with their teams. Through evaluations and surveys, instructors have ready feedback to help them tailor their facilitation to meet participants’ needs, and teachers have a way to demonstrate how their learning is changing their practice and influencing student achievement.
When we first deployed MyLearningPlan, my team conducted training sessions and provided support to all buildings. The system is very intuitive, so after people got over the hurdle of switching from paper to a web-based approach, we were off and running. The ease of use and customer support provided by MyLearningPlan has been phenomenal from the beginning.
How We Use It:
We list all of the district, school, and team-based PD offerings in the online catalog where employees view and enroll in activities. The system workflow routes the forms to the appropriate people for approval, financial tracking, and certification management. The calendar feature helps avoid no-shows, and each activity is aligned to one or more district goals to ensure coherence and focus. We utilize the Team Rooms to engage groups in online discussion and collaboration about what they are learning, and we use specific MLP forms to gather impact data, in order to gauge the effectiveness of what we’re providing.
We have been expanding our use of the Application/Impact forms, which allow us to collect data about how teachers are applying what they are learning through PD into their classrooms, and to record evidence of changes in student outcomes. It’s become more and more important for us to show how our expenditures are impacting student learning, and MyLearningPlan allows us to do easily do that.
This year, we adopted OASYS, the new Observation & Appraisal Management System, which is fully integrated with MyLearningPlan. Administrators have been able to complete classroom walk-throughs, formal observations, and the final teacher evaluation summary smoothly and efficiently. The incorporation of the professional development portfolio through MyLearningPlan allows administrators and teachers to have conversations about the correlation between professional learning and evaluation.
In addition to overseeing MyLearningPlan, as the District Administrator of OASYS, I have found it easy to manage the necessary forms, rubrics and processes. Certified personnel have commented on the ease of acknowledging and viewing their completed evaluations. The ability to see their electronic evaluation portfolio, integrated with their complete professional development portfolio, has been fully embraced as we transitioned into this online environment to manage educator evaluation.