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Community of Practice Meeting Protocols

Instructors who are provided with the opportunity to collaborate and learn with their colleagues tend to:

  • implement Ascend more consistently over time, 

  • experience greater improvements in learning conditions, and 

  • report lasting impact on their teaching practice. 

Therefore, we recommend that Community Leads convene instructors in Communities of Practice (CoP) where they can make sense of their reports together, identify areas of improvement, and celebrate progress. Instructors using Ascend typically administer the survey three or more times each semester and we recommend that Communities of Practice convene for ~60 minutes at least four times during the semester: before they get started and after each survey.

Below you will find protocols designed to support Community Leads to facilitate CoP Meetings. Community Leads should preview the protocols and modify them to fit the needs & availability of the instructors in the CoP. While all of the protocols are designed for use in 60-minute meetings, we recommend allocating 90 minutes when possible.


If you'd like to modify any of the protocols below, make a copy by opening the file then click File > Make a copy.

A. Launch Meeting Protocol

Protocol: Getting Started with Ascend Protocol

When to Use: After instructors have been introduced to Ascend and recruited to join a Community of Practice, but before or during their first survey window.

Objective: To introduce instructors to the format of a CoP, prepare or check-in on Survey 1, and co-create CoP community commitments.
B. Cycle 1 Increase Participation Protocol (optional if participation is low)

Protocol:  Cycle 1 Increase Participation Protocol

When to Use: If  65% of students completed the survey.

Alternatively, you can extend the survey window and postpone the CoP meeting to give more time for students to respond to the survey. Then, when the CoP convenes, you can instead use the Cycle 1 (Baseline) Results Protocol to review students’ survey responses.

Objective: To review participation rates & survey fidelity responses and make a plan to increase participation if  65% of students completed the survey.
C. Cycle 1 (Baseline) Results Protocol

Protocol: Cycle 1 (Baseline) Results Protocol

When to Use: After the first survey window has closed, instructors have received their reports, and > 65% of students completed the survey.

Objective: To review baseline survey results on learning conditions and make a plan for improvement if > 65% of students completed the survey.
D. Cycle 2+ Results Protocol

Protocol: Cycle 2+ Results Protocol

When to Use:  After two or more survey windows have closed and teachers have had the opportunity to review their report independently. 

Objective: To review progress on learning conditions after implementing Elevate each cycle and make a plan for improvement.
E. Final Reflection Protocol

Protocol: Final Reflection Meeting Protocol

When to Use: After instructors have completed their final cycle of Ascend and have had the opportunity to review their report independently.

Objective: To celebrate progress, identify key learnings & takeaways, and make a plan to share with your school community after the final Ascend cycle.

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