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I help to build ReVIEW Talent Feedback System

The ReVIEW Team

Working on our Course Builder Plug-in In Partnership with the Known Open Collective

3 min read

Anyone who has followed my meandering path into the knows much of what I do gets driven by teaching.

Our company ReVIEW Talent Feedback System brings this vision to teacher coaching, evaluation and feedback. Reflection and learning should drive classroom improvement.

To that end, we partnered with the Known Open Collective to add learning and reflection to our our platform. We want to help open source learning tools. As part of a start up grant we got from Southern Connecticut State University and University of Connecticut we had three goals

  • Add Single Sign On through OAuth
  • Create a blogging platform to drive coaching and growth through reflection
  • Create an online course builder

OAuth Plugin

The first goal involves a bunch of plumbing. I won't get into this as much to say is what let's you sign into websites with your school email or a social media button. We did do and release all of the development open source. People are already using the OAuth pluging to connect Known to Moodle. That's cool. Open source helps knowledge spread.

Blogging Platform

The second goal derives from ten years of experience in teacher quality and evaluation. We learned important lessons. Mainly we want to measure teacher quality but don't really have the tools yet. Rubric driven observation and coaching does improve efficacy of teaching...jury still out on achievement.

We wanted to give educators a chance to reflect on their growth outside of, but connected to their talent management platform. So we have added the ability to host a school wide network using the software of the Known Open Collective. In fact we donate 50% of any revenue from the reflection blog tools back to the Collective

Course Builder Plugin

I am most excited about the course builder plugin. I have always wanted an IndieWeb course builder and this open source tool is now closer to reaility. We have a few kinks to iron out before we release to the wild for beta testing but I thought I would provide an early view.

You start by clicking on a new course.

You can then design the front page of the course and add course objectives and a code of conduct

adding objectivesThis allows you to include course goals on the front page

add modules and tasksYou can then click on a button to add a schedule or events or add a module.

add a readingOn each module page you get the option to add description, a featured image, a video, and readings.

This is a screenshot of the live module page. We will change the way the reading displays.

My favorite feature, every task is its own page. That means educators or learners can send in artifacts of learning as a webmenton. Meaning they do the learning on their own websites and just link to the task.

The instructor will then be able to see all submissions in one place, while the learner mantains control over their work!

Next Steps

Even cooler we will use this feature for an upcoming webmention badges plugin.

We also need to develop the APIs for the rubrics built into REVIEW Talent Feedback System so we can display scales inside of Known or pull posts into ReVIEW. This goal is more long term.

The ReVIEW Team

North Branford Public Schools Joins the ReVIEW Team

1 min read


Currently setting up North Branford Public Schools in So proud to have a thought leader district taking advantage of our powerful coaching platform to improve student outcomes by utilizing the new collegial calibration module we added.

When districts use our collegial calibration module they work with Patrick W. Flynn and Amy Tepper of ReVISION Learning to unpack an evaluation rubric, observe for key levers of growth, and then get repeated coaching sessions. Using ReVIEW North Branford Public Schools gets a report on how well their adminsitrators provide teachers with feedback to drive growth.

District Leaders can check agreement and look for issues across the curriculum. Excited to launch the new module in such an important district in Connecticut.

The ReVIEW Team

Peeling Back the Layers of the RVL Supervisory Continuum

2 min read

Onions get a bad wrap. We use the layers of this wonderful root as a symbol of our complexities and their numerous causes.

Teacher evaluation is complex. You have to think about the task, the setting, the learners, the content. So much.

Onion flickr photo by feesta shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Yet we persist becuase we know focusing on the quality of teaching improves student achievement. It's one of the few variables of learning leaders can affect.

Thus tracking the type of feedback our administrators provide their teachers is critical. It could be a Department chair at a university supervising online instruction, a vice principal evaluating teachers, or a program director checking on fidelity of lessons.

Everyone can get better at delivering feedback. That is our mission at ReVIEW Talent Feedback System. We want to help you monitor, observe and coach your leaders on providing actionable feedback.

To this end we created and use the ReVISION Learning Supervisory Continuum and built it right into our system.


You coach your leaders on:

  • tying evidence to performance indicators
  • using both qualitative and quantitative evidence
  • collecting evidence of meaningful learning
  • connecting evidence to key levers of growth
  • reducing bias
  • using feedback as a comprehensive learning tool

Let's celebrate and plan for the complexitites of teaching. Much like the onion throwing just a little bit of feedback work into the frying pan can greatly improve a recipe, and we can get there without any tears.


The ReVIEW Team

Getting Rich Data from Instructional Reviews

2 min read

We do not control all the factors that influence learning. Yet we know many of the key levers teachers can to pull to drive student achievement.

Tardis levers flickr photo by westy48 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

As teachers we must encourage and coach each other to use specific strategies and instructional techniques much like we would simple machine.

Let’s pry some learning loose.

wedge flickr photo by burnthatsucker shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

First schools need to identify key areas where they want to increase instructional capacity. After some training on using key learning levers teachers can then begin to bring these tools to the classroom.

As school leaders and coaches we can then observe for these practices using instructional rounds.

Effective Instructional Reviews

Hone in on specific practice, not people. Instructional rounds are about the learning ecosystem as a whole not the individual teacher.

Choose a few indicators or instructional practice. You can not act on data when overwhelmed with results. Go into the classroom, note if a practice is or is not evident. Capture some evidence to explain your decisions.

Use your staff. While scheduling, staffing, and shrinking budgets make it difficult, empower instructional coaches, department chairs or mentors to observe their peers. The conversation around the table can lead to important insight.

Using ReVIEW Talent Feedback System for Instructional Reviews

Pay careful to your instrumentation. Instructional rounds reveal patterns. As busy school leaders we need our technology to simplify, not complicate the process of instructional rounds.

At ReVIEW Talent Feedback System we make instructional rounds easier and more efficient. We begin by examining your mission and goals. As a team we then develop a list of instructional practices that coaches and faculty can quickly identify. We then capture a small piece of evidence for each indicator.

Your district then gets a snapshot of how the frequencies of these practices in your school. This helps plan your professional development and individual coaching needs.

If you want to learn more about bringing ReVIEW Talent Feedback System to your school or district contact [email protected]

The ReVIEW Team

How Does Video Based Calibration Work

2 min read

Many of you have stopped by the booth or sent a question on Twitter asking about how our video based calibration modules work.

Step One: Collecting Evidence

Evaluators in your district receive access to a video from our library. These videos have been normed against numerous frameworks across the country. We have video transcriptions available for training and to meet the abilities of all educators.

Step Two: Analyze the Evidence

Your district evaluators then score this video against your chosen framework.Using the user friendly interface they can score at the indicator and domain level but also select a rating at the attribute level. We can customize and add any legally available framework for effective teaching to our platform. If you use a proprietary framework we capture scores and written feedback.

Step Three Coaches Provide Feedback

Then a coach from ReVIEW Talent Feedback System will score the evaluator’s submitted report. We use ReVISION Learnings Supervisory continuum which scores written feedback on six qualities of effective observations. Our coaches provide your evaluators with a model of high quality written feedback teachers deserve.

Step Four: Create a Professional Development Plan

As a district leader you will have access to facilitator reports that give a snapshot at how well your evaluators support the instructional capacity of your teachers. You can also download all evaluator and facilitator reports and data.

The ReVIEW Team

Coaching with Video Based Calibrations

2 min read

School leaders use classroom observations to make important decisions. What professional development to engage, if teachers should earn tenure, and even if teachers need counseling out of the profession.

The Power of Leaders in Early Learning flickr photo by New America shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

We owe it to the educators we serve to ensure a baseline of agreement and validity. Our faculty and staff deserve to know important decisions about their lives are being made by highly trained professionals. How many districts run agreement tests? How many school systems have the foresight to provide coaching to their evaluators on how to write effective feedback?

Don't Lose Your Vision

Yet in teacher evaluation we too often focus on the consequences and lose sight of the coaching. If the last decade, and all the experiments of measuring effectiveness, taught us anything we now know feedback matters.

We can not stop at simple agreement tests when training our faculty. More importantly teacher deserves a school leader who can coach them towards growth.

AT ReVIEW Talent Feedback System we place the emphasis on capacity and not simply compliance.

Our Video Based Calibrations not only provide schools with inter-rater agreement but our coaches score written feedback against six domains of effective observation reports. Our team then writes feedback to help evaluators improve their observation reports and the corresponding feedback they provide to teachers.

Culture of Feedback

At ReVIEW we know feedback drives growth. It is more than inter-rater agreement. A culture of feedback must exist from the superintendent to the youngest student.

We model the type of high quality feedback that teachers deserve.

The ReVIEW Team

7 Steps to More Effective Evaluation

4 min read

You can not rely on any teacher development platform without first investing in the coaching skills of your evaluators. Yet too many of the tools on the marketplace assume your staff have the skills to deliver high quality feedback that helps teachers grow. It as if we could have students learn by simply building classrooms without teachers

Classroom flickr photo by Patrick Q shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Regardless of your platform any district or school can follow our seven step plan to training evaluators on effective growth.

Designing Effective Evaluators

Determine Goals

keys-to-smart-goal-setting-mind-map flickr photo by jean-louis zimmermann shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Use last year’s data. Pay close attention to the written feedback evaluators provided teachers. What instructional practices should your faculty focus on in order to drive student growth?How do the identified instructional practices align with your district's framework for effective teaching? Choose your indicators and attributes of focus.

At ReVIEW Talent Feedback system we make determining, following and reflection on goals easy. We have built in goal setting question types in our form builder.

Create Groups

LEEHS 1 flickr photo by US Department of Education shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Do tenure teachers get fewer observations? Are you going to organize evaluators across the district? In each school? By grade or subject band? All of these factors influence how we deploy our teacher evaluation plans.

We believe talent growth stands on a platform of differentiation and personalization. Our group features allow you to customize the experience for each teacher in your school.

Coach Teams

Evaluators need coaching. Model the process and feedback that they should use with teachers. Meet each group to really unpack what effective learning looks like when using the instructional practices outlined in the district’s goals. Have evaluators describe the evidence they would see in effective classrooms.

You can use our customized forms to create trainings or take advantage of the many partnerships we have established with professional development providers.

Conduct Observations

blank dossier flickr photo by theilr shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Evaluators need practice. Next take each group into the classroom and observe specifically for the instructional practices your districts believes will drive student growth. Use the relevant sections of your framework for effective teaching.

Our tools for classroom observation define industry standards by stripping away the features and putting the focus squarely on feedback delivered to the teacher.

Discuss Observed Evidence

Discussion flickr photo by NordForsk shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Evaluators need collaboration. After each observation gather together as a group and discuss the evidence collected. Describe how the evaluators would coach the teacher. Use the language of the chosen indicator and attribute in your discussion.

We make the exporting or reports and data easy you can instantly sort and download any submitted response.

Administer Formative Assessment

Formative assessment and design thinking notes flickr photo by Ewan McIntosh shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Evaluators need feedback. After a series of training have the team observe a teacher and score it against your entire framework. Then analyze the score and responses of evaluators and provide a report. Give evaluators the type of feedback their teachers deserve.

At ReVIEW Talent Feedback System we put the emphasis on evaluator growth. You can use our platform for live trainings or use our video based calibration modules.

Coach for Growth

Time.. flickr photo by David Vega Fotografia shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Evaluators need time. Calibration isn’t a one time assessment of checking off observed evidence. True validity and reliability in our measures takes focus. The growth required takes time. Provide opportunities to improve evaluation skills to your staff throughout the year.

Learn More

When you partner with ReVIEW Talent Feedback System you get a platform that allows you track, train, and teach your staff on how to utilize classroom observations in their coaching.
To learn more about how we can help you design for better evaluators reach out to [email protected] or find us at booth 222.

The ReVIEW Team

Making Student Learning Objectives More Visible in Version 5.1

2 min read

At ReVIEW Talent Feedback System we have learned to listen to our users. The educators who partner with us know the power feedback has in driving  teacher and student growth.

Feedback flickr photo by Skley shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

Our customers commonly requested a feature to make student learning objectives more accessible in our system.

SLO's, or yearly goals for learners, play an important role in state maandated teacher evaluation systems. In ReVIEW we have empowered educators by creating easy to use forms to develop SLO's.

Evaluators and teachers noted they needed to easily navigate back to their SLO's throughout the school year.

We listened.

Adding SLO's to your Profile

Today we release version 5.1 of ReVIEW Talent Feedback System. We added the ability to customize a user's profile. Districts can now use this to add to SLO's to their profile.

Evaluators and district administrators can now click on a user's profile to open up the page in a new tab or window

District admininstrators and teacher evaluators will have read privledges. We hope giving districts quick and easy access to their SLO's will help educators navigate our system.

Rich Text Editor

We also added a rich text editor (a What You See is What You Get--WYSIWYG tool) to the profile pages and to any text area in a form component. Previously users needed to know a bit of html to format their forms or responses. Now anyone can add a little flare to their entires.

Improvements to Group Management

We also made a few minor but important changes to our group management tools. Specifically users can now be in unlimited groups. This means schools, consultants, and non-profits using our system can create unlimited learning experiences for their users. 

Goal Setting Components

We also added a new goal setting form component. We now have one goal setting feature that pre-populates. Meaning once teachers fill it out once it their editable responses will be added any time that component is used.

In version 5.1 we included a goal setting form component that dies not pre populate. You still choose a goal and add action steps with deliverable dates but now you can use this feature across many different forms.

The ReVIEW Team

Five Ways to Use our Group Management Tools

3 min read

004_small flickr photo by breity shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Enrique Martinez didn't know what to do. As a new assistant superindent the district relied on him to handle talent development. Yet in Enrique's mind he was a servant to the state and not to students. The talent development platform deployed by the district was designed to meet a checklist of unfunded federal and state mandates.

Teachers hated the system. Enrique needed tools that allowed him to differntiate the instructional support each teacher recieved. 

At ReVIEW Talent Feedback System we strive to  build better teachers through high quality feedback. To accomplish this goal we created our platform to provide flexiility and customizations to meet the needs of people like Dr. Martinez.

Our group management tools provided Enrique with everything he needed so teachers could see talent development as a valuable process rather than a product of bad politics. Dr. Martinez quickly  discovered five ways to use our group management tools.

Video Based Calibration

Our professional development library became an immediate asset to Enrique. He was able to train all new administrators and had inter-rater agreement using our built in video based calibration.

When a group of administrators needed addtional support he created a new group, assigned videos and created tutorials about using frameworks for effective teaching.

Rubric Understanding

Dr Martinez knows the importance of teachers knowing the district's framework for effective teaching. He created a goal setting form teachers to identify indicators where they needed growth. Then Enrique created groups of teachers for training.

Online Classes

The way districts have done professional development needs to change. After reviewing last year's assessment data Enrique noted that many teachers needed to brush up questoning techniques in the classroom. Dr. Martinez used our group feature to create optional online classes. Now teacher could complete the activites online or attend the full day professional development sessions. Many teachers chose to work online so they could use district release time for team planning.

Mandatory Trainings

Food safety classes, coach recertification, dyslexia modules...The number of trainings the district was required to deliver keeps increasing. Dr. Martinez found our group management feature to be an invaluable tool to meeting these requirements.

Professional Learning Communities

Enrique feels blessed to have such a committed staff. In fact many teachers seek out professional development well beyond the minimum the district is required to devliver based on the union contract. Dr. Martinez worked with these teachers to set up a professional learning community using ReVIEW's group management features.

Want to know how easy it is to get started in your school or district? Check out the tutorials below:

Make a New Group

Add People to a Group

Add Events to a Group

Set Form Frequencies to a Group

The ReVIEW Team

Using ReVIEW As Grant Management Tool

3 min read

Globe 6 flickr photo by Guru Sno Studios shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

In part of of our efforts to give back we give access to ReVIEW Talent Feedback System to any non-profit research project for free.

At Southern Connecticut State University we were awarded a grant to focus on bringing Geographic Information Systems.

Using ReVIEW Talent Feedback System to Manage Grants

After demonstrating the functionality to my colleagues and comparing the features to other CMS options such as Blackboard and Google Classroom the Principal Investigators (PI's) on our Geographic Information Systems Grant (I abstained from the vote and then checked with our Dean to make sure there was no conflict of interest) chose to use ReVIEW Talent Feedback System as our tool to organize the institute.

What Can You Do with ReVIEW Talent Feedback System?

Our PIs chose ReVIEW Talent Feedback for numerous reasons:

  • Allowed for differentiated participation between 100% face to face, hybrid, and fully online participants.
  • Created a repository for all of our learning activities.
  • Allowed participants to upload artifacts from the institute.
  • Provided an observation tool for coaching when teachers deliver lessons in the school year.
  • Provided an assessment tool for evaluating submitted lesson plans.
  • Collected demographic data
  • Created robust reporting tools for publication.

How did it Work?

During our two week institute participants had access to all of the learning materials. If they were on the ground the activities were completed in our sessions. Online or hybrid participants completed activities in a self paced approach.

Participants could navigate through the activities

We could then download all responses for any type of qualitative analysis

How will it work?

As we move from the institute into the classroom ReVIEW will work as our coaching and feedback platform. We will begin by scoring their lesson plans against Domain 2 of the Connecticut Framework for Effective Teaching.

The CT SEED model uses four domains to evaluate teachers. The second domain is the planning domain. We then provide written feedback on how to improive the lesson.

Then when the school year begins we will go in and score the lessons on Domains 1 and 3 of the framework. These domains focus on teaching and assessment.

When we finish our coaching and observation we will be able to use our robust reporting features to help prepare data for publication.

Want to Use ReVIEW in Your Grant?

As we have said we make ReVIEW free to any grant that utilizes internal reviews or needs a data collection and analysis tool. If you are a third party or outside reviewer on a grant we have very affordable prices and tools that will make your evaluations more cost effective for your partners.

Simply email Greg at [email protected] for more information.