Documentation Log Options and Managing Artifacts

The flow through of artifacts for the documentation log can occur in one of two ways.  Listed below are the documentation log options. 

Annual Documentation Log – The documentation log is included in every user’s evaluation process.  This allows evaluators to review the growth of the evaluatee over the evaluation cycle.  At the end of every year the form is archived (locked down).  Users will not be able add/edit the documentation log once the evaluation process has been rolled over. During non-summary years the artifacts are displayed in the documentation log only for both the current year and any previous years of the evaluation cycle.  In the summary year the evaluatee will see all artifacts uploaded during the evaluation cycle (i.e. 3 years) but will only be able to edit/delete for the current year.  The reflections in the non-summary year(s) will not populate on the documentation log.  The artifacts and reflections from each year of the evaluation cycle will be populated into the summative report.

Open Documentation Log – In non-summary years the evaluatee uploads documents into the artifact file (See article “Uploading Artifacts to the Artifact File” for the step-by-step process.)  Evaluatees could add the reflection in the “description” category. Artifacts uploaded to the artifact file can be edited or deleted at any time up to the point that the evaluatee submits the documentation log in the summative year.

In the summary year the documentation log will need to be added into the educator’s evaluation process.  The artifacts will automatically upload to the documentation log.

If an educator uploads an artifact to any other form (i.e., Professional Goal Setting Plan, etc.) it will be archived as part of that evaluation year and cannot be deleted.

When artifacts are uploaded to the Artifact File, they show in the documentation log, but not under the top section of the artifact listing (under Add Artifact button) - they show ONLY under the standard(s) they are aligned to.

Applies to Both Options:

Note: Web-based artifacts can be edited at ANY time by the user either by removing the link or making updates to the web-based artifact over the # of years in the evaluation cycle.  

Note:  You can only edit/delete artifacts from the source you added them.

The Value of the Documentation Log

Artifacts of a teacher or leader’s performance can serve as valuable and insightful evidence for documenting their practice.  These artifacts can be organized in documentation logs as a formal aspect of the data collection system or they can be collected on an as-needed basis.  Documentation logs are designed to complement other data sources in order to provide a fuller, fairer, more comprehensive view of teacher/ leader performance.  In addition, artifacts can enrich the dialogue between educators and evaluators as they reflect on how the artifact creates a representative picture of educator practice.

Documentation logs are an important part of a comprehensive approach for collecting data and documenting teacher/leader performance. Specifically, the documentation log contains pertinent data that confirm the teacher/leader meets the established performance standards.  They should consist of naturally occurring, rather than artificially fabricated, artifacts from the teacher/leader’s work.  Written analysis and reflection about artifacts can provide insight into the rationale for the submission of the artifact as well as how they embody performance.


  • Artifacts included in the documentation log can provide evaluators with information they likely would not observe in an observation or site visit.
  • A documentation log provides the teacher/leader with an opportunity for self-reflection and demonstration of quality work.
  • A document log can serve as a basis for two-way collaborative interaction between the evaluatee and evaluator.
  • Artifacts represent the teacher/leader’s voice in the evaluation process.  They can provide insight into what they feel is important to teaching/leading.  The artifacts can also provide evidence that was not gathered during observations or perhaps provide additional evidence regarding the level of performance.


  • When goals and standards are not determined, the results can be unfocused and haphazard.  The materials included could be idiosyncratic and biased.
  • A documentation log can be time consuming for both the teacher or leader and the evaluator.  A documentation log allows teachers/leaders to represent the intricacies and individuality of their teaching/leading.  This is problematic, although, for the same reason.  Each documentation log then is unique, thus making evaluation a complex task for the evaluator as well as potential laborious task for the teacher/leader to select the artifacts.


  • The artifact should be aligned to the standards and indicators of the teacher or leader performance evaluation systems.  The documentation log should focus on teaching and leading and not be a scrapbook filled with pictures and catchy captions.
  • The artifact should be high quality.  High quality evidence tells a rich story about educator practice.  Teachers/leaders should consider multiple pieces of evidence that illustrate important aspects of their practice and that provide evidence for several standards.
  • An artifact should be authentic, a natural extension of a teacher/leader’s work; it should not be created for the sole purpose of inclusion in the documentation log.   Artifacts should reflect tangible representative samples of the quality work performed by a teacher/leader.
  • The decision to include an artifact in the documentation log may result from conference or conversation with an evaluator.  During a conference after an observation, for example, the evaluator may recommend that a specific artifact be included to provide further documentation for what was observed or for statements made by the teacher/leader.

Excerpt Taken from: Stronge & Associates, May/June 2015, Teacher & Leader Effectiveness, U.S. & Canada newsletter.


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