Formal Recognition for Informal Learning

BDG0114 Data-Scripting

DESCRIPTION: Principals, directors, or instructional coaches who earn the Data-Scripting Micro-Credential can collect data on carefully selected classroom interactions using a Formative Scripting Tool and sort the data in ways that lay the foundation for providing effective feedback to teachers.

EARNING THE MICRO-CREDENTIAL: To earn the Data-Scripting Micro-Credential, instructional supervisors and observers demonstrate their ability to strategically collect data around student learning. Earners script carefully selected classroom interactions focused on student learning using the WELS Formative Supervision Scripting Tool to collect observation evidence. Earners also know how to reflectively sort the evidence. Finally, earners describe how the recorded evidence supports meaningful feedback.

RESEARCH BASE: Studies of highly effective teachers found that regular, quality feedback was a factor in increasing teacher performance and determining how long teachers planned to stay at their schools (Allen, Pianta, Gregory, Mikami, & Lun, 2011). These results, in turn, improve student achievement by an effect size of over 0.21 on student achievement in math and reading (Archer, Cantrell, Holtzman, Joe, Tocci, & Wood, 2016; Steinberg & Sartain, 2015).

Researchers agree that when scripting observation evidence it is important to focus on the facts and then to later match them to the right indicators of performance. Many popular and robust observation tools exist for this type of observation analysis (Danielson, 2007; Marzano, 2007; McRell, 2011; Pearson, 2010).  The WELS Commission on Lutheran School’s (CLS) Ministerial Growth and Evaluation Program (MGEP) also has a framework and observation tools that focus on the seven most impactful elements common to student learning and teacher performance. It is recommended that observers first master using the MGEP framework for scripting data before moving into more complex tools and frameworks.

BACKGROUND: Evidence supports each step of the observation, so it is essential to understand the characteristics of evidence (Marzano & Simms, 2013). Evidence is objective, non-judgmental, and specific. Scripted types of evidence frequently include direct quotes from teachers and students, brief objective summaries of what was seen or heard, and descriptions of what happened in order (Archer et al., 2016; Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2011).

Lasagabaster, D. & Sierra, J. M. (2011). Classroom observation: desirable conditions established by teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 34(4), 449-463.

Archer, J., Cantrell, S., Holtzman, S. L., Joe, J. N., Tocci, C. M., & Wood, J. (2016). Chapters on collecting evidence, understanding bias, and recognizing evidence. Better feedback for better teaching: A practical guide to improving classroom observations (pp. 127-151, 159-161). John Wiley & Sons.

WELS MGEP Description of Evidence: Observational Evidence Review

WELS MGEP Observation Tools: The Formative Supervision Scripting Tool, MGEP Observation Tools and an example of Formative Supervision Scripting Tool with evidence.

MICRO-CREDENTIAL CRITERIA: The data-scripting micro-credential earner can do the following:

  1. Collect focused evidence using the MGEP Formative Scripting Tool.
  2. Sort collected evidence.
  3. Articulate how observational evidence supports meaningful feedback.


  1. Submit a response
    Create a 2-minute video that explains

    1. The importance of evidence.
    2. What evidence is.
    3. How evidence supports meaningful feedback.

    Submit two completed observation tools
    Provide documentation of two different observations where evidence was scripted. This documentation will include:

    1. Two separate WELS Formative Supervision Scripting Tools with observation evidence.
    2. Each tool should also contain sorted evidence


Archer, J., Cantrell, S., Holtzman, S. L., Joe, J. N., Tocci, C. M., & Wood, J. (2016). Better feedback for better teaching: a practical guide to improving classroom observations. John Wiley & Sons.

Marzano, R., & Simms, T. (2013). Coaching classroom instruction. Solution Tree Press.

Wood, J., Joe, J. N., Cantrell, S., Tocci, C. M., Holtzman, S. L., & Archer, J. (2014). Building trust in observations: a blueprint for improving systems to support great teaching. Seattle, WA: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Allen, J. P., Pianta, R. C., Gregory, A., Mikami, A. Y., & Lun, J. (2011). An interaction-based approach to enhancing secondary school instruction and student achievement. Science, 333(6045), 1034-1037. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387786/

Lasagabaster, D. & Sierra, J. M. (2011). Classroom observation: desirable conditions established by teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 34(4), 449-463.

Steinberg, M. P. & Sartain, L. (2015). Does better observation make better teachers: new evidence from a teacher evaluation pilot in Chicago. Education Next, 15(1), 71-77. Retrieved from https://www.educationnext.org/better-observation-make-better-teachers/

Peer Review of Teaching: The classroom observation (2017).


Classroom Observation Strategies: Instructional Coaching (2015).


Web Links
WELS Teaching Standards

Martin Luther College Courses
EDU5302 Supervision of Instruction

EDU5903 Observation & Conferencing