Become a Tripod District or State

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The benefits

Gather and use high quality feedback about teaching practices and student engagement to improve learning outcomes across your district or state. Use insights from survey results to organize targeted professional development and school improvement initiatives. Ensure that improvement activities are focused and on track by using Tripod’s research-based framework for data analysis and reporting. Trusted by policy makers across the country, the Tripod survey can also serve as one of multiple measures to enhance teacher evaluation systems. 


What We Offer Districts and States

Student and Teacher
Surveys

Created with educators and validated by independent research, student surveys provide feedback on teaching practices, student engagement, and a range of other issues including success mindsets, youth culture, and school safety. Tripod teacher surveys provide an honest, efficient, and effective method for conveying teacher feedback to administrators.

Tripod Scoring
Engine

Millions of students have completed Tripod surveys in a wide range of settings. Survey data from over 125,000 classrooms are used to calibrate results using Tripod’s scoring engine. Scoring can be provided using various comparison groups, and adjustments by classroom type are available.

Analysis and
Reporting

Survey results are analyzed and presented in user-friendly, online reports designed for teachers as well as for school and district leaders. Reports highlight areas of strength and opportunities for growth. When the use of surveys is sponsored by the district, district leaders work with teachers to determine if results will be private or shared with supervisors.

Customized Support
Services

Tripod offers a range of consulting services. This includes phone-based support and custom data analysis. We can also facilitate professional development sessions for audiences including teachers and school leaders as well as state and district administrators. The purpose of support is always to enable effective use of Tripod results.

FAQS

How did Tripod start?

Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson of Harvard University created the first Tripod surveys with teachers in Ohio in 2001. Tripod began as a bridge from research to practice for teachers working to raise achievement levels and narrow gaps. Tripod has evolved since 2001 into the most trusted product of its kind and is widely used around the nation.

How many people have used Tripod surveys?

Over 100,000 teachers have received valuable feedback from millions of students who have completed Tripod surveys. Surveys have been administered in every region of the United States, ranging from rural districts with as few as 300 students to urban districts with over a million students.

How have Tripod surveys been refined and validated?

We continually refine our surveys in response to research findings, field experiences, and feedback from educators and students. Now in their 18th generation, the Tripod survey instruments were the only classroom level surveys studied and validated by the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. The MET project found that Tripod surveys were the most reliable of the measures studied, and that they also predicted year-to-year gains in test scores.

Is the Tripod survey a professional development tool or a diagnostic tool?

Both. We consider diagnostic and professional development uses to be linked—part of the same process. Student perceptions of instructional practices help identify a teacher’s strengths and areas for growth, providing detailed feedback about what students experience every day. Tripod survey results provide information that teachers can use to set specific priorities for differentiated professional development and coaching support.

Because Tripod was the only survey validated by the Measures of Effective Teaching project, some states and districts have moved to incorporate Tripod surveys as one of multiple measures in new teacher evaluation systems. While this use is helpful in avoiding an over-emphasis on test scores or observations alone, Tripod has encouraged the use of surveys to promote professional learning. Tripod can enhance teacher evaluation systems by providing an additional perspective, but we always want the major focus to remain instructional improvement.

How do you ensure the Tripod survey is not a popularity contest?

The items on the student surveys do not ask students to identify a teacher as effective or ineffective. Instead, the survey items seek levels of agreement with statements like, “Our class stays busy and does not waste time,” and “If you don’t understand something, my teacher explains it another way.” Items such as these are observational (allowing students to record what they experience), rather than judgmental (asking students what they like and dislike).

Can I see results for the teachers in my schools?

There are two different ways teachers participate in Tripod. We provide a direct-to-teacher offering that allows teachers to administer an annual survey. We require these teachers to get permission from their school leader, but results in the direct-to-teacher model are private for the teacher. Of course they can share results with others if they choose, but this is their choice.

We also work with district and state leaders to administer Tripod as a district-sponsored survey program. When the use of surveys is sponsored by the district or state, policy makers work with teachers to determine if results will be private or shared with supervisors.

How do students take the survey?

Students complete Tripod as a structured activity, as a part of a specified class period/time. There are surveys of different lengths, with shorter versions taking 15 minutes, on average. Students may take longer to complete other versions, depending on how many survey modules are included. With the direct-to-teacher offering, students will complete surveys online, and it should take about 15 minutes. As with any assessment, there will be some students who finish early and others who need more time.

Surveys can be administered in an online or paper-based format. At this time, the K-2 version of surveys is only available in a paper-based format. The online survey needs to be administered on devices with Internet access. This might be in a computer lab or using tablets or laptops in a classroom setting. Internet access is required, but no additional software or downloads are needed.

Can all teachers participate?

Tripod is available to teachers of all subjects. Tripod’s direct-to-teacher offering is currently available for grades 3 through 12, but district- and state-led survey programs are available at all grades.

Start using surveys to promote professional learning and school improvement. Sign up to learn more.

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