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TIES: Toolkit for Investigating eMaturity in Schools
Peer learning between triad of schools as it was organized in the P2V project consisted of several peer learning activities before, during and after the visits. The visits were thus very structured and included filling in self and peer review questionnaires (either the eMaturity assessment framework developed by BECTA or the P2V Inspection strand’s framework).
To support schools in these tasks, help structure the peer learning visits, keep track of various documents submitted and reviewed, and most importantly help cut travel cost by offering an online tool for peer learning, TIES the Toolkit for Investigating eMaturity in Schools was developed by European Schoolnet.

The idea stemmed from a similar web application (Schools Learning from Schools) developed by the Dutch inspectorate. This tool was created during the P2P project and included peer learning activities between two schools. Several pairs of schools in the Netherlands used this online platform to conduct activities including:

  • Schools self assessment questionnaires
  • School Peer review questionnaires
  • School peer review reports

School triads
The TIES application developed as part of the P2V project, adapted the concept of scholenlerenvanscholen for three schools peer reviewing each other in triads. A triad master registers two other schools, having discussed previously the specifics of who will be peer reviewing each other.

If ‘School A’ is the triad master, the other two schools are School B and School C and the triad will functions as follows:

  • School A (triad master) peer reviews School B
  • School B peer reviews School C
  • School C peer reviews School A

Once the registration of the school triad is complete, confirmation emails are sent to the schools to activate the triad and proceed with the self assessment and peer reviewing activities.

To help visualizing the school triad, a graphical structure of the workflow is suggested:

Peer reviewing and self assessing
Once the structure of the triad has been set up, and all schools have approved the triad and logged in for the first time, peer learning and self assessing activities can begin.

School profile:
This is a short questionnaire which schools have to fill in as they log in for the first time on TIES. It contains useful information such as address, telephone number, email and contact details of the main users of the tool (teacher, ICT coordinator, school head).

Quick scan questionnaire:
This questionnaire is to be filled in by the person responsible for ICT in the school. The questionnaire will help evaluator of the school to get a picture of the nature of ICT use before the visit. Its aim is to help focus the visit and provide quantitative information beforehand. The questionnaire takes about 30 minutes to fill in.

Self evaluation framework:
The Self and Peer evaluation documents are based on the Transnational Framework for the evaluation of ICT developed as part of the Inspection strand of P2P and improved during the P2V project. The framework is divided among three themes (mirroring the way the most comprehensive existing frameworks are built up). For each theme a number of quality areas (Quality Indicators) are formulated.

C1. Leadership,
C2. Infrastructure and access,
C3. Curriculum planning,
C4. Quality assurance and improvement
U1. Pupil use,
U2. The teaching process,
U3. Administrative use
O1. Impact on learning and standards

As the title of the document suggests, the Self Evaluation framework is to be filled by the school itself with the view of been compared with the peer evaluation framework on the same themes and quality indicators written by the peer school.

Peer evaluation framework:
The Peer evaluation framework is completed by the peer school and the TIES application ensure that schools cannot see each others’ self and peer evaluation until they have been finalized. The framework is accompanied by a set of supporting document including lesson observations, guidance for meetings, user guide etc.. (downloadable in the TIES application ‘desktop’). When using the framework, evaluators can indicate which evidence they found for each quality indicator and assign a score. Evaluator can also specify the source used to evaluate quality indicators (interviews with management, pupils, teachers, lesson observations etc…).

Peer evaluation report:
Based on the peer evaluation framework, the evaluator writes an evaluation report in which he/she elaborates on the findings of the visit and on the scores.

Reports appear little by little in the TIES Desktop as they are completed. Ultimately schools can have a side-by-side view of self and peer evaluation frameworks. Through peer learning, schools can then track similarities and discrepancies between their perception of how innovative/emature their school is, and the same evaluation by peers.

TIES is in a prototype phase send an email to if you wish to be kept informed about TIES development.

Web Editor: Paul Gerhard
Last changed: Monday, 16 March 2009
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