I recently blogged about why recertification is important (bottom line: it’s your yearly chance to test yourself against master-coded videos). But what about between recertifications? How do you ensure that you stay reliable throughout the year?
There isn’t much very research on this topic. Research groups, though, do a lot to maintain reliability. Here are some ideas from the research world and thoughts on how you can adapt these ideas for practice:
Calibration, like recertification, gives you a chance to check in with master-coded videos periodically to prevent drift.
Double-coding is when two certified observers code side by side and check their codes at the end of the day.
Debriefing is part of double-coding, but it gets its own bullet point because, done right, it can be a powerful tool for maintaining reliability. (Thank you, Amanda Williford, for a recent reminder of how to do this right!)
The best way to stay reliable is to code a lot and get a lot of input on your coding—either through feedback on master-coded videos, or feedback from your colleagues. Do you have other methods you use? Let me know in the comments.
If you're a CLASS observer, you've probably found yourself in a situation where you have to make inferences or rely on contextual evidence when assigning scores. However, it should always be your goal to minimize subjectivity and assumptions. You have to prevent your emotions, opinions, and ideas that are not a part of the CLASS tool from influencing scoring. Achieving an emotionless state of objectivity while observing can be incredibly challenging. It takes practice to recognize when objectivity is threatened and respond accordingly.
Exciting news, you can now purchase Individual CLASS Calibrations directly from the Teachstone Store! They're available for Certified CLASS observers at all 6 CLASS levels. When you purchase an individual calibration, you’ll receive a video to watch and code on your myTeachstone dashboard. After submitting your codes, you’ll get an automated score report and a prerecorded webinar discussing the master codes.