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Tripod Survey FAQ

Why the TRIPOD Survey?

The TRIPOD survey is generally viewed as the preeminent survey that measures student perceptions of teacher practice. Developed by Ron Ferguson at Harvard University, and included in the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Study, TRIPOD has over ten years of empirical evidence that shows it to be a valid and reliable measure of student classroom experiences.

What does the TRIPOD measure?

TRIPOD measures the seven C’s of education: Caring, Captivating, Conferring, Controlling, Clarifying, Challenging, and Consolidating. The survey asks several questions within each area in order to obtain an accurate measurement of student experiences across all seven C’s

Why are some questions worded negatively?

When surveys only ask positively worded questions, there is a message that is conveyed to the students that you expect them to answer positively. There exists a strong body of empirical evidence that the inclusion of negatively worded questions makes the respondent feel that it is OK to answer negatively.  We want to obtain as accurate a measure of student perceptions of teacher practice as we can, and the inclusion of negatively worded questions promotes this.

How many students in a class need to take the survey?

At least 70% of a class and at least eight students need to participate in the survey. So a class of ten students would need at least seven to complete the survey. The results will not be a reliable measure of student experiences in a classroom when fewer students participate.

How will the results be shared with teachers?

Each teacher will receive an individualized report that summarizes the results, across all seven areas, for the students in his/her classroom. A district may request an aggregate report with districtwide results. 

How long should the survey take to finish?

The TRIPOD survey should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete.

Do students have to participate in the survey?

No. Students should be given the opportunity to opt out of taking the survey.

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