2/25/2013 By: Bob Sprankle
www.observe4success.com • Retail Price: $1,200 per year, per school (volume discounts available)
Observe4success is a Web-based
observation and evaluation
software tool that is primarily
geared for school administrators
to assess teachers and staff. It is
customizable to meet the user’s needs, making it
possible to build a personalized assessment system.
Quality and Effectiveness: Observe4success is all about
simplicity and allows those who have little or no familiarity
with data collection software to start using it immediately.
Ease of Use: Users can simply choose the templates that
observe4success has already created by offering content that
they’ve put together. (These templates are based on educational
research from more than 14 researchers who developed a complete
and comprehensive look at what is happening in all aspects of the
classroom.) These categories themselves can be further refined just by
clicking or un-clicking categories or subcategories that the user would
like included in their own reports.
Creative Use of Technology: Users have a number of choices for
collecting their data. Their forms can be short for “Three-Minute
Walkthroughs” or much “beefier” for longer observations. Data
can be collected in a variety of ways, such as checkboxes, 3-7 point
scales, dropdowns that are filled in with your own criteria), and even
a timer. Users can have a variety of different forms and a variety of
“observers.” Observe4success even supplied a “Peer Visitation Form”
for colleagues to give feedback as well.
The real benefit from observe4success
takes place when all the data has been
collected as there are a myriad of ways
to aggregate and make meaning from the
data. For instance, as an administrator,
one could look at growth from an
individual teacher over time or look at
an entire grade level’s growth for a specific
teacher. These data can also extend out to
subject areas, complete schools, and even the entire
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Clients of
observe4success are given a wonderful live demo with a customer
support representative who is available to help set up your system.
However, it would be nice to support this offering with video tutorials
on each feature for when users need reteaching.
The greatest feature that observe4success offers is that you, the user,
have complete control over editing, modifying, or creating as many
different types of forms as you’d like with no additional fee. You
will have complete access to the creation of the forms. Many other
companies would charge for your own individualized needs; but
observe4success doesn’t because they put you in charge of its creation.
Reports from all data collection can be exported and viewed in many
different forms (e.g., graphs, .cvs files, scales).
One feature that I’d love to see included is a way for those being
observed to also be able to have input into the observation report.
In other words, providing an area where the teacher could explain in
writing exactly what was happening during a part of the lesson that
perhaps the administrator might have misinterpreted. That would
surely advance the goal of conversation for this product.
• Works on any device that can connect to a browser on the Internet.
• All data is safely backed up at observe4success.
• Completely customizable for each district, school, or administrator’s needs—
this is especially important as we start to embrace Common Core and STEM
OVERALL RATING: Even
though you’re given plenty of
support and a live demo from
observe4success, its power is
in its simplicity and intuitive
setup for anyone to quickly
create a new observation