What is IPI?
In the pursuit of school improvement, student learning must be examined. Part of that examination includes understanding how engaged students are in the learning. The graduate assistants,
assistant director, and director of the Middle Level Leadership Center located at the University of Missouri developed an outcome measure that represents
observational data about student engagement.
Graduate Assistant Bryan Painter conducted an extensive, yet unproductive,
search for an observational tool or process that would codify and document
student engagement data. They concluded that a process that would
accomplish their desired goal did not exist. So Bryan Painter and the Center
director began the design of the Instructional Practices Inventory
(IPI). During the early stages of use, they realized that the IPI
met the need for an outcome measure and served as a valuable process for
collaborative problem-solving. Serendipitously, it was a tool that
created profiles for measuring instructional change and a process for using the
profiles to promote professional community and organizational
The creation of a set of observational categories complex enough to provide
substantive data grounded in the knowledge of best practice (valid) yet easily
understood and interpreted was a design goal. In addition to the
importance of developing the right set of categories, a process for collecting
the data had to be designed so to produce reliable data from observation to
observation and observer to observer. Eventually a coder-training
process was developed to ensure that the data collectors would produce valid
and reliable data.
The IPI process engages teachers in the analysis and redesign of instruction and is vital
for change. The IPI process, when used properly, provides valid,
reliable data for profiling student engaged learning and serves as the basis for
the collaborative problem-solving faculty conversations necessary in a
professional learning community.