To appraise or not to appraise…?

We have implemented a new appraisal system for the eTeachers here at Cantatech, but I must say I am not totally sold on the idea. I have never been a big fan of appraisal. My experience has been that there is little buy in from teachers – something the literature seems to support as well, but I do think we need a programme of professional learning which requires the teachers to set goals, plan for PD and take actions to improve their teaching. Teaching in a distance environment is quite different to teaching face to face and I don’t feel teachers will make a great deal of progress relying on experiential learning. Support from, and dialogue with peers is even more important than usual. The students may be isolated, but so are the teachers. The question is how to make this manageable and not too much additional work for the eTeachers themselves. They are already appraised by their school, so why create an additional burden.

What if we just leave it to their school to appraise them? My main concern would be where would the expertise come from? Who is appraising them? Do they have any knowledge or experience of teaching online?

What is the way forward here? What do you think?

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