A fidelity tool helps you figure out your starting point (needs assessment) and track your progress by having you periodically assess where you are performing compared to the best practice.
The Transition-Focused Education Framework (TFEF) Fidelity Tool was the assessment tool we used with cohort schools to help them determine their relative transition strengths, weaknesses, and priorities. Teams developed action plans to address priorities, and Next Steps NH provided the training and coaching to implement identified transition practices.
The TFEF Fidelity Tool is a big Excel file with several worksheets to complete. Your data is automatically also shown in chart form for easier understanding. At the end is a summary chart that shows your progress in all five practice areas.
TFEF Fidelity Tool template (Excel)
The Transition-Focused Education Framework (TFEF) was one of the organizing documents of the Next Steps project. The five practice areas formed the basis of our work with cohort schools. The lists in the ovals are examples of activities in that practice area.
The TFEF is based on:
- Paula Kohler’s Taxonomy for Transition Programming. (Kohler, P.D. (1996). A taxonomy for transition programming: Linking research and practice. Champaign: Transition Research Institute, University of Illinois.) Note there is a new version of the Taxonomy, 2.0, published in 2016.
- NH Transition Community of Practice Template for Secondary Transition
- PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships
This is an example of a completed data entry worksheet for Student Development practices. To use the TFEF Fidelity Tool, your team would rate your school’s degree of implementation for each of the critical components listed under each practice. You would:
- Determine if the critical component is in place (3), partially in place (2), or not in place (1).
- Set a priority for working on each critical component that is not already in place, using a 1 – 3 rating, where 3 is the highest priority.
- Make notes on each critical component, as well as list the evidence you used to determine the degree of implementation.
This chart shows the above implementation data in bar graph form. The Fidelity Tool creates this chart for you automatically:
Once you have entered your ratings for all five practices, the last worksheet, Summary Data, displays your degree of implementation across the five practices. Example after three data collections: