SEL Survey vs Assessment

Measuring Your SEL Curriculum to Ensure Its Value

Emphasize the value of your educators’ time and make the most of your district’s investment by measuring and enhancing the effectiveness of your SEL curriculum. With a trusted way to measure the impact of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs, school administrators can easily identify what is working and what is not. Two of the most common ways to look at SEL program’s effectiveness are through surveys and assessments. Let’s take a deeper look at surveys vs assessments and how each tool is specifically designed so you can make the best decision for your district’s goals. 

SEL assessment 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments measure and monitor student skill acquisition over time. SEL assessments like the DESSA in the Aperture System are researched, reliable, and support SEL standards. These teacher-completed assessments amplify the data collection they are already completing in math and reading to give educators a better understanding of the whole child.  

Strength-based SEL assessment identifies student strengths and how to leverage these talents to further develop areas needing more support. Asset-focussed SEL strengthens school community and student engagement by focusing on student assets, rather than the typically deficit-based system. Standardized results promote data-driven SEL programming and give district leaders an understanding of what interventions and curricula make a difference.  

Feedback surveys 

Feedback surveys may be a good first step in a district’s larger SEL plan because they allow school leaders to collect students’ perceptions and beliefs of themselves. The benefit of this type of SEL tool is that it is inexpensive and offers pulse checks on school climate. However, while surveys can measure perceptions, they don’t provide measurable skill acquisition outcomes based on curriculum implementation. Combining feedback surveys with, or exclusively implementing SEL assessment tools, ensures reliable data collection and access to strategies and interventions.  The educator’s observational insights collected from SEL assessments are an important additional advantage of this integration or SEL assessment implementation. This provides a fuller picture of students’ skills, promoting school-wide and district-wide benefits of SEL curriculum.  

Why SEL assessment is important 

The only way we can gather students’ growth academically is by assessing their progress. Assessing progress shows growth areas and how to adjust teaching methods to support areas needing more attention. We believe in applying the same thinking to social and emotional skill measurement. Measuring SEL alongside academic assessments offers a comprehensive picture of student growth and tailored instructions to meet student needs. 

Are you looking to measure your SEL curriculum’s effectiveness? We’re here to help! 

You may already have an SEL curriculum in place that focuses on fostering these skills, but are you measuring its impact? If you’re thinking through surveys vs assessments, fill out the form below to get in contact with a member of our Partnership team, who can serve as your SEL assessment guide and show the crucial role SEL assessments play in the larger success of your SEL program. 

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