Beginning this year the Dearborn Public Schools will be using Moodle to power it’s non-instructional employee evaluations with staff. This innovative approach was initiated by District’s Technology Director, Troy Patterson. After much testing and review we launched the evaluation with all 32 buildings in the district. What made this job especially challenging was giving the right people the proper roles and access in order to make sure that they could only see certain information within the course. For this we utilized “role overrides” and “restrict access” functionality which is built in to Moodle.
The administration of the courses is handled by the Principals in each of our 32 buildings. Each building has it’s own evaluation course. The principal is given the traditional teacher role in a moodle course. They can see and evaluate any of the items. But we had an issue. We have a food services director who only needs to evaluate cooks and other kitchen staff. We also have a head engineer who only needs to see and evaluate custodians. We did not want them to see another employee’s evaluation. So we utilized “role overrides” to bump permissions for these individuals to be able to evaluate and only evaluate their proper staff. We will explain this in more detail below. This course uses some impressive Moodle functionality to pull off our staff evaluations. Let’s take a look at how this evaluation course is put together.
This course uses the following extra modules for Moodle which must be installed if you would like to use this course:
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of this course. Please contact Troy Patterson to discuss the ins-and-outs of creating this course. email@example.com
Welcome and Enroll in Group (Job Classification)
We chose to use the Group Choice plugin to help facilitate users being able to pick a group. The Group Choice Activity can be added to a course and allows the user to pick which Moodle User Group they wish to be a part of. The groups in this course consist of all non-instructional job descriptions in our district. The very first step is to pick a proper group. Without doing so the staff member will not see any other evaluation materials. Upon selecting the proper group the staff member will be shown the proper evaluation tools when they return to the main course page.
Information – Job Descriptions and Goal Examples
The second area of the evaluation links directly to all of our job descriptions as an informational piece in case the staff member was unsure. We also utilize the Book Module to provide example goals. It is not recommended to copy and paste the goal examples! The goal examples are broken down into several job types to give specific ideas for each job type. We think this is very beneficial especially if the employee has never done this type of self reflection and evaluation.
The evaluation materials consist of the following: Self-Assessment, Goal Setting, and Final Evaluation by Administrator. To pull this off we used the Questionnaire Module for self assessment, three standard Assignments with Online Text for goal setting, and the Final Evaluation done by an administrator using a rubric in assignment. The final evaluation by the administrator is hidden from view of the employee. In the photo above you can see that this entire topic is only available for the groups listed. Currently we have separate evaluation materials for Food Services and Custodians. This allows us to have their supervisors evaluate them and not see other employee evaluations. This type of access restrictions is very, very simple with Moodle.
As you can see above, only custodians and engineers can see these course materials. We take this a step further by using “Assign Roles” to boost the permissions of the engineer for each of these items. With the enhanced permissions the engineer can evaluate the custodians but cannot see submissions from any other employee. We actually change the permission for the engineer to that of “teacher” level for these items and only these items. It works really well so far!
After the employee fills out the self-assessment and sets three goals an administrator or supervisor can review the submissions. The supervisor can schedule a meeting and upon completion fill out the special assignment which uses a rubric to evaluate the employee on a wide range of performance markers. The rubric makes it easy for the supervisor to simply click off and print as a PDF for filing in our employee human resource system. There is a special barcode at the top of the page which helps facilitate automation on the backend. The evaluation eventually makes it’s way to the employee file system.