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Behind the Scenes with Product Management

28 Nov 2014 by Hannah Templeton

Surveys Matter!

Do you ever receive emails from Teachstone, asking you to “fill out a quick survey?” Are you aware that Teachstone sends out a survey after each training? Do you ever wonder who looks at the surveys that Teachstone sends out?

Well, wonder no more! These surveys are collected and analyzed by the Teachstone Product Team. Teachstone uses surveys (along with other tools) to inform market needs and assess ways in which we can better support the teachers, coaches, and administrators that use our products.

We analyze the results and identify trends throughout the data. We read through comments written by survey takers to make sure that we aren’t missing any big trends that weren’t addressed by the questions we chose. Sometimes the survey results are surprising and sometimes they highlight the exact hypothesis that the Teachstone team set out to prove.

What We Know from Surveys

Most recently the Teachstone Product Team sent out a survey titled “Tell Us About Your Observations.” The goal of this survey was to collect general information about the tools and communication process that certified observers use to schedule, plan and follow up after an observation. The survey was sent to all certified Pre-K observers.

Here are some of the details that we learned from the survey. (Can you guess which ones were surprising?)


37% of observers that responded say that they use their skills as an observer to do an informal observation* at least once a month.


56% of observers that participated in the survey indicated that they use email as the main avenue for scheduling observations, while 39% indicated paper forms to be their main way of scheduling observations.


58% of observers said that they create some sort of “Observation Report” that includes elements of the observation score sheet but not the entire score sheet. Over half of the observers that create these reports told us that these reports include both dimension scores and notes for each dimension.


When asked to indicate who they submit their observations to after they are completed, the most commons answers were “School Administrator/Official” and “Teacher(s) you observed.”

What We Do with Survey Data

So what have we done with this information? Currently Teachstone is working to understand the average experience of an observer. Through the results of this survey we know that there are many ways an observer schedules an observation and communicates after the observation. This tells us that our observers are not quite “one size fits all.”

Now we are off to the drawing board with our newly procured details around observers—stay tuned to find out what we come up with!


**Characteristics of informal observations can mean cycles may be shorter than 20 minutes, all dimensions are not scored, or the observer may be looking for a few specified CLASS behaviors.

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