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The USEP Academic Progress Scorecard (USEP)

Introduction to the Academic Progress Scorecard

The Academic Progress Scorecard (APS) highlights the tools that schools require to improve academic performance, the persons responsible for each academic role, indicators of success or failure in fulfilling a given role and how the success of schools’ process can be determined. The APS seeks to answer three significant questions, “How good is the teaching?”, “How do we know that good teaching is taking place?” and “How can we improve our teaching in order to boost the learning?”

The Scorecard’s major role is to improve learner outcomes through a series of learner development processes from each individual player’s activity in the learning process. It is for use in the secondary schools to evaluate and monitor the learning process in a bid to improve performance in science subjects.  It will do this by enabling academic managers to collect information periodically and generate feedback against which appropriate action can be taken to ensure good academic performance.

The Academic Progress Scorecard describes attempts to define the criteria used to rate the academic quality of the secondary schools in Uganda.  The basic academic evaluation criteria focus on five academic process players and the scoring metric associated with executing their individual roles to enable schools to produce high quality academic services.

The APS was developed by studying published information on the process through which educational institutions achieve national academic goals and by consulting with experts and practitioners in a variety of educational evaluation methods.

The Scorecard is designed to balance the need for change with the need to provide a consistent signal to the school for improvement.  Accordingly, this edition of the Academic Progress Scorecard Methodology Report will be used for evaluation the academic process in each interested individual Ugandan secondary school.

Components of the Academic Progress Scorecard

The kit consists of evaluative tools to be filled by learners, teachers and academic managers. Each tool/questionnaire contains aspects that are covered in the activities of each player in the teaching/learning process. The tools fall into two groups:

  1. Data collection tools to be filled by learners and teachers.
  2. Reports generation tools to be filled by the Heads of Departments (HOD), Director of Studies (DOS) /Deputy Head teacher in charge of academics, and the Head teacher (HM).

The information gathered using data collection tools is to be used in filling the subsequent evaluative feedback for distribution and processing by providers.

Use of the Academic Progress Scorecard (APS)

a) Graphical model below guides the operation of this scorecard.

The above model shows the relationships through which this scorecard can be administered in the school system. The Students inform their teachers, Heads of Departments and Directors of studies of their progress in the teaching and learning process. The teachers and HODs give and receive feedback about the teaching and learning process to each other. This same kind of relationship is enjoyed by the HODs and DOS. This Scorecard through the above model gives an overview of how the different administrative units contribute to the teaching and learning processes. It should be noted that these are roles highlighted above are complementary and equally important.

b) When and how to use each tool.

Details of Suggestions on when and how to use each tool in the kit are described here below. Further guidance on use of each tool is provided at the introduction of each tool.

The structure and needs of each individual schools may differ. Each school should decide how best to adapt the scorecard to suit its own needs. Adaptability and flexibility are key ingredients in resourcefulness.

The users of these tools may present their reports in table form or;

Learner’s tool / questionnaire.

The learner’s tool is to be administered termly by the Head of department to gather information about the quality of the teaching/learning (T/L) process and for feedback. The teacher may also adapt it any time to evaluate self. The DOS may administer it whenever he/she deems it necessary to obtain information for purposes of teacher appraisal.

Teacher’s tool / questionnaire.

The Head of Department (HOD) administers it termly to teachers in his/her department to gather information which he uses to monitor and evaluate the Teaching/Learning (T/L) process. He/she then uses the information to take any necessary action and to generate an a performance dossier for scrutiny and action to the Director of Studies (DOS). The DOS may also administer it to get information directly from the teacher.

Head of department’s tool.

This is to be filled termly by the HOD using information in the tools filled by teachers in the department as well as by some learners. The HOD should look at the quality of the indicators when handling teachers’ tools. The HOD also uses information gathered for self-appraisal. The information in this tool is used by the HOD to manage the T/L process while some is used to generate a report to the DOS / Deputy Head Master in charge of academics.

DOS / Deputy Head Master in charge of academics tool.

This tool is filled termly by the DOS or Deputy Head Master. It summarizes and analyses information in the different Heads of departments’ tools. It also contains his/her own observations. Some of the information in this tool is used by the DOS or Deputy Head Master in charge of academics to take necessary action to manage academic progress. Some of it is used to generate an academic feedback that is forwarded to the Head teacher.

Head teacher’s tool.

The Head Master writes an academic analysis report based on the feedback submitted by the DOS or Deputy Head Master – academics and on observations made by the Head teacher himself/herself. The feedback is used by the academic managers of the school to take necessary action. Some aspects of the report are used to generate appropriate academic reports to the Ministry of Education, Board of Governors, PTA, Old Students, any other stake holders.

It should be noted that the termly reports of the HOD, DOS or Deputy Head Master and head teacher may be complied cumulatively in order to write the school annual report.

Who else can use this kit

Many aspects in the content of this Scorecard are applicable to all subjects in the curriculum. Although the kit was specifically designed for monitoring science subjects its structure is flexible enough to allow adoption to other subjects.