Ipsative…be the best that you can be

Over the years Evolve has earned a reputation for consistently delivering high quality programmes using excellent members of staff who are great ambassadors for themselves and the organisation.  Evolve invests a lot of time, money and resource into recruiting, training and monitoring the performance of all staff, in particular, its Health Mentors who are the key ingredient of the multi award winning Project HE:RO.

With Project HE:RO covering an increasing number of education authorities, the challenge of continuing to raise standards is something that the Evolve board have been working on for a number of months.  Performance management of staff and being able to respond to individual training needs is a key challenge for any school or organisation.  However, this task is slightly more complex for Evolve because their Health Mentors all work “remotely” and do not have daily or weekly contact time with their Evolve colleagues or line managers.
Evolve have worked closely with Google and Smart Assess to create an innovative and multi faceted IT platform to address some of these challenges and it is called Ipsative.

Ipsative has a vast number of features that are all linked to personal development and Evolve’s strong commitment to continuous improvement as well as having high expectations for all team members.
Here is a brief summary of some of these features:

  • Action planning tool for personal and professional development
  • Staff blogs to share best practice
  • Mentoring logbook – for staff and pupils
  • Performance monitoring capabilities
  • Online portfolio for accredited qualifications
  • Remote delivery of training courses
  •  “Ask the expert” forums for informal support and guidance

Ipsative is being trialled this half term with a number of Health Mentors and full national roll out will take place in Spring 2013.  The introduction of Ipsative will not create any additional work for schools within the Project HE:RO community but it is hoped that they will start seeing some of the benefits once Health Mentors have started using the system.  Headteachers are in the process of being asked to confirm the outcomes that they would like Project HE:RO to deliver for their school and how these outcomes will be measured so that all Health Mentors are clearly focussed on the intended impact they should be having.
You will be kept updated with ongoing Ipsative developments but feel free to share any feedback or observations you may have regarding this exciting and progressive enhancement to Project HE:RO.
In case you were wondering, the system is called Ipsative because the concept of improving your personal best is something that Evolve has always believed in and has strong links with their personal development and self improvement ethos.  There is also the obvious connection to their PE and sporting background which is referenced in this full definition of the term, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ipsative assessment can be contrasted with criterion-referenced assessment and norm-referenced assessment. Ipsative assessment is used in everyday life, and features heavily in physical education and also in computer games. Encouraging pupils to beat their previous scores can take peer pressure out of situations and eliminates the competitive element associated with norm-based referencing. It can be particularly useful for children with learning disabilities and can improve motivation.