Copilot Frequently Asked Questions

Conditions that Support Learning

What are learning conditions?

Research shows students’ desire and ability to learn is influenced by the way they experience specific learning conditions. When deciding which learning conditions to measure, PERTS considers several factors:

  • Is there scientific evidence that the learning condition affects learning? The condition must have a well-established relationship to student success.
  • Can educators directly influence the learning condition? Many conditions affect whether students can learn effectively. Some of those conditions, like hunger and sleep deprivation, can be difficult for educators to directly influence. Other learning conditions, meanwhile, are very much within educators’ sphere of influence. For example, educators’ decisions affect whether students get the frequent, specific feedback they need to quickly improve their understanding, whether students feel like they belong in class, or whether students believe they can be successful in class.

How do learning conditions impact student achievement?

In a 2019 study, students who experienced positive learning conditions in a class were 30% more likely to earn an A or B in that class, and those benefits were pronounced for students of color. For example, Black males who experienced positive learning conditions were almost 2x more likely to earn an A or B than those who did not.

Better learning conditions also led to better social and emotional learning outcomes. When learning conditions improved, students were 86% more likely to experience a higher sense of belonging, 24% more likely to develop a growth mindset, and 2x more likely to report they “tried their very best” in class.

Why measure learning conditions?

Even when educators recognize that specific learning conditions are important for student success—and even when educators try their best to create these conditions—doing so can be challenging. One of the main barriers is that, often, the messages educators intend to send are not the messages students receive. In other words, there’s often a big gap between educators’ intentions and students’ experiences. Absent feedback from students, it can be very hard to recognize or close that gap.

Copilot makes it easy for educators to collect student feedback using validated measures. It also provides for confidentiality so that students are comfortable being honest.

How does Copilot measure learning conditions?

Students are asked to complete a survey with carefully designed questions that have been developed and tested by leading researchers. The questions help educators identify how students’ experiences in the classroom could be supporting or getting in the way of learning. This enables educators to take targeted actions to influence these experiences and, thereby, improve learning conditions over time.

What are the learning conditions measured in Copilot?

These brief summaries describe the measures available in each Copilot program.

How can I improve learning conditions?

The first step is to listen to students about what learning conditions they are experiencing. Once you have a sense of what conditions you want to improve, Copilot will point you to relevant practices and strategies.

What if learning conditions improve but learning outcomes don’t?

Fostering student success is less like turning on a light switch, and more like growing a garden. It’s a developmental process that takes time and is influenced by multiple factors:

  1. Time Course: Effective learning is a collection of behaviors that depends on abilities and habits that take time to develop. For example, even if a student decides to study more, it might take her time to realize that she has to start going to the library after school instead of going back to a distracting home environment. Therefore, even if a student is more inclined to be engaged, it might take time for those desires to translate into the habits and study skills that are markers of effective learning. Give it time.
  2. Multiple Determinants: Creating hospitable conditions for learning is like cultivating a garden: water, sunlight, and a variety of nutrients are each necessary but insufficient for all plants to grow optimally. Successful gardeners do not simply focus on providing sufficient water or providing sufficient sunlight; they attend carefully to each of those conditions with respect to the needs of each of their plants. Furthermore, they are especially mindful of the special care certain plants might need, e.g., because of prior neglect. In the same way, we suggest you work systematically over time to establish multiple hospitable learning conditions.

About Copilot

What is Copilot?

Copilot is an advanced professional learning platform that helps educators create supportive and equitable conditions for learning. Copilot enables educators to get rapid feedback from their students about how they are experiencing key learning conditions via a validated survey. Pilot data suggests that Copilot helps educators systematically improve learning conditions and that better learning conditions promote higher and more equitable academic achievement. See perts.net/creating-learning-conditions. You can access Copilot at copilot.perts.net.

What programs are available on Copilot?

For the 2020-2021 school year, the following programs are available on Copilot:

  • Copilot-Elevate: surveys are optimized for students in grades 6-12; helps educators get rapid feedback from their students about how they are experiencing key classroom learning conditions, and it couples that feedback with adaptive strategies for improving those conditions. The Engagement Project was merged with Copilot-Elevate in 2020-2021.
  • Copilot-Ascend: surveys are optimized for college & university students; helps educators understand the student experience so they can create an equitable and excellent learning environment.
  • Message Improvement Tool (Message IT): helps educators understand how messages (e.g., in syllabi, emails, lectures, posters) impact students of different groups.

Where can I find the Engagement Project?

In July 2020, PERTS merged the Engagement Project and Copilot-Elevate into a single program that combines and builds on the best of each. The new program, still centered on elevating student voice to enhance engagement, is called Copilot-Elevate. Learn more about the merge at perts.net/engage and sign up for Copilot-Elevate at perts.net/elevate.

Can I use Copilot remotely?

Absolutely! When teachers can’t see their students’ nonverbal cues, it’s much harder to understand what’s connecting with students and what isn’t. This is one of the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult to help students stay motivated and learn.

PERTS developed Copilot because we know that understanding students’ needs and experiences is essential for meeting students where they are and for supporting them—whether in the classroom or over a call. Though already a web-based platform, we’ve made enhancement to Copilot to ensure educators can seamlessly implement Copilot remotely. We also created an informational flyer that explains how educators can use Copilot-Elevate remotely to understand their students’ evolving needs and adapt their practice accordingly.

Cost and Eligibility

How much does it cost to use Copilot?

Copilot is free thanks to support from the Raikes Foundation, Overdeck Foundation, and Gates Foundation. We also offer paid institutional licenses for schools and colleges that need special customizations or supports, e.g. administrative reporting features and help planning district-wide implementation. For more information, please contact copilot@perts.net.

What grade levels can use Copilot?

Most Copilot surveys are appropriate for students in grades six and up. Reading comprehension of surveys is the main barrier to younger students participating. Copilot-Elevate is optimized for students in grades 6-12 while Copilot-Ascend and the Message Improvement Tool (Message IT) are designed for college students of any age.

What subject areas are the surveys relevant to?

Our surveys are primarily designed for use by academic instructors of math, humanities, foreign languages, and the physical and social sciences. Regardless of subject area, we strongly recommend against surveying students in more than 4 of their classes at the same time because of survey fatigue.

Are Copilot programs available in multiple languages?

In an effort to design more inclusive programs, the Copilot-Elevate survey is available in Spanish for students. In addition, student surveys contain a text-to-speech option so text can be read aloud to students to support their comprehension. We will continue to find ways to support other languages in the future.

Program materials for educators are only available in English at this time.

Registration

How do I create a Copilot account?

  1. Visit the landing page for the program you want to access:
    1. Copilot-Elevate - perts.net/elevate
    2. Copilot-Ascend - perts.net/ascend
    3. Message Experience Tracker (Message IT) - perts.net/messageit
  2. Once on the program landing page, click get started, enter your email address, and click sign up.
  3. An invitation to create a Copilot account will be sent to your email address.
  4. Click the link in your email and follow the prompts to create a password and complete your profile. For security purposes, the link will expire, so please be sure to create your account as soon as you have access to your email.

Why did I receive an invitation to Copilot?

If you got an invitation to Copilot, it’s either because one of your colleagues invited you to their Copilot project team or because an administrator in your organization asked PERTS to invite you to use Copilot as part of a broader organizational effort. To accept the invitation, click the link in your email and follow the prompts to create a password and complete your profile. For security purposes, the link will expire, so please be sure to create your account as soon as you have access to your email.

Projects

What’s a project?

When educators implement a Copilot program, they do so by starting or joining a “project.” A Copilot project guides you through the steps involved in implementing a Copilot program. For example, a project enables you to access learning modules, set survey dates, obtain survey instructions, and see reports.

Most educators work on a project alone or in collaboration with colleagues at the same school or college. Large-scale implementations usually benefit from setting up multiple separate projects. Contact us at copilot@perts.net if you’d like to use Copilot with more than 10 educators so that we can help you decide how to configure your projects given your goals and needs.

Note: Message IT uses the word “artifact” instead of “project.”

How do I create a project?

Unless you are responding to an email invitation to join an existing project, you will be prompted to start a new project when you first sign into a Copilot program.

You can also create a new project any time by following these steps:

  1. Sign into Copilot
  2. Click the home icon in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Click Add next to the “Your Projects” list
  4. Select a name for your project
  5. Click Save New Project

Note: Message IT uses the word “artifact” instead of “project.”

How do I invite colleagues to my project?

If you want to implement a project collaboratively, you can invite colleagues to join your project:

  1. Sign into Copilot
  2. Select the project you want to invite colleagues (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  3. Click Settings on the left navigation bar
  4. Click Project Members
  5. Click Add
  6. Enter each colleague’s email address and name and click Send Invite
  7. When you follow the prompts to send an invitation, your colleague will receive an email with a link to Copilot where they can create their account and join your project

Invited colleagues or “project members” will be able to access tasks, learning modules, and additional resources in your project.

Note: Message IT uses the word “artifact” instead of “project.”

Cycles

What is a cycle?

It takes significant skill and persistence to create a supportive and equitable learning environment that enables all students to reach their potential. To master that complex skill, educators need ongoing feedback and practice. That’s why Copilot programs are organized around multiple cycles of inquiry and action.

In each cycle, educators start by collecting feedback from their students through a student survey. Then educators can reflect and investigate to create an action plan. Educators then apply their action plan and test strategies and practices that can improve student experiences. In the next cycle, educators use the survey to see if the strategies and practices were successful and to continue to make adjustments to their practice. Cycles typically last 2-6 weeks, depending on the preferences of the educators using Copilot.

Note: Message IT does not include cycles.

How do I set survey window dates?

The dates that students will be surveyed in a given cycle is referred to as the “survey window.” The survey window must be set for reports to display correctly. To set and update the survey window, the project lead can:

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project you want to update (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. Click Stages on the left navigation bar
  3. Click on the cycle that you want to update
  4. Find Set Survey Window and select or update the start and end dates

Note: Message IT does not include cycles.

Rosters

What is a roster?

A “roster” is just a list of students that is expected to participate in Copilot surveys. Most educators create a roster for each of their classes, but you can also have a single roster for all of your students.

Once a roster is created in a project it cannot be moved to another project.

Note: Message IT does not include rosters.

What can I use as a Roster ID?

PERTS strongly recommends that you use students’ school email addresses as their Roster IDs. This will make it easier for students to remember their Roster ID, and it will prevent ID collisions (where two students inadvertently use the same ID, resulting in their responses overwriting each other).

If you would like to use anything other than a school email address as the Roster ID, please contact copilot@perts.net to confirm the suitability of the alternate Roster ID. As per our strict privacy policy, PERTS only shares identifiable student information with authorized individuals who have a legitimate need to access them, like the educators who set up the rosters (for details, please see our privacy policy).

Note: Message IT does not include rosters.

How do I set up rosters?

Generally, Copilot will prompt you to create rosters when it is time to do so. You can also create or update your rosters at any time by following these steps:

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project in which you want to set up rosters (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. Click Rosters on the left navigation bar
  3. Click Add next to Project Rosters
  4. Enter a descriptive name for the roster
  5. If you are creating the roster for another project member, you can designate them as the Main Contact so they can access the associated reports
  6. Click Save Changes

Completing the steps above will direct you to Roster Settings where you can add students’ “roster IDs” to the roster. To add student roster IDs:

  1. Click Add next to Roster
  2. Enter one roster ID per line or copy and paste them from a spreadsheet
  3. Click Add IDs to Roster

Note: Message IT does not include rosters.

Student Surveys

What are students asked on the survey?

Copilot programs are designed for distinct audiences and vary slightly in the learning conditions they measure. You can read a brief summary of measures available for each program and sample survey questions:

Copilot surveys periodically ask students a few additional questions. Some of these questions enable us to disaggregate data in different ways (e.g., to show educators whether male and female students experience a learning environment differently). To keep the surveys short, these questions are only asked periodically or only from random subsets of students. These questions may inquire about students’ race, gender, prior grades, learning mindsets, comfort answering questions honestly, level of effort in a given class, perceptions of their teachers’ mindsets, and other similar factors. You can always preview the survey in a project.

How can I preview the student survey?

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project for the survey you want to preview (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. Click Settings in the left navigation bar
  3. Click Survey Settings under Other Settings
  4. Click Preview Survey

Can I edit the survey questions?

You cannot edit the survey questions, but you can choose which sets of questions are asked.

How can I measure a subset of learning conditions?

The project lead can control which learning conditions are measured in the project survey and can turn off (or on) the set of questions associated with specific learning conditions. To do this, the project lead can:

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project you want to update (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. Click Settings in the left navigation bar
  3. Click Survey Settings under Other Settings
  4. You can toggle specific learning conditions on (green) or off (red) by clicking the button to the right of each condition under What do you want to measure?
  5. Click Save Changes

Note: Copilot-Ascend does not include this feature.

Why do some questions start with “this week”?

Copilot surveys are designed to help educators (1) understand how students are experiencing their current practices and (2) assess the impact of recent changes in practice. The “this week” qualifier is intended to focus students’ responses on their recent experiences so that educators can see if recent changes in practice had the desired impact.

For example: imagine you implement a new strategy to provide students with motivating, constructive feedback. Copilot would ask students if they agree or disagree with the statement, “This week in class, I got suggestions about how to improve my skills.” Including “this week” helps students focus their responses on what happened recently so their teacher can understand how students experienced the new practice. Without that qualifier, students’ responses would be more influenced by what happened earlier in the year, and it would be harder to make out how students experienced the new practice being tested.

How do I administer surveys to my students?

For Message IT survey instructions, see How do I administer a Message IT Survey?

Set up in advance.

  • Each student will need access to an internet-enabled device like a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. However, students don’t need to take the survey at the same time, so it’s not necessary for each student to have a device, as long as they can each access a device at some point.
  • Make sure you have students’ roster IDs (in case they forget them).
  • Bring the unique “participation code” for that roster (see immediately below for details).

Introduce students to the survey. It’s important to introduce students to the survey appropriately so that they buy into its purpose. You can find detailed recommendations for administering the survey (including unique roster “participation codes”) by following these steps:

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project with the appropriate roster (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. On the left navigation bar, click Stages, then select the current cycle
  3. Click into the Survey Instructions learning module and follow the instructions

Offer make-ups. Students can complete the survey anytime within the same “survey window.” Students who were absent or unavailable to complete the survey synchronously can complete the survey on a different day.

Debrief the survey results. In order to get authentic feedback from your students consistently, students need to trust that their responses are being taken to heart. Intentionally debriefing your reflections with students can contribute to cultivating that trust—it demonstrates to students that you value their voice and care about their learning experiences.

Here are a few suggestions to engage students in this type of dialogue:

  • Demonstrate to your students that you’re listening by sharing back what you learned. Of course, you don’t have to share the actual reports or even specific figures with students. But you can share with them where you’re doing well and what you’re working to improve based on the feedback you received.
  • Dig deeper with students through class discussions or interviews.

For additional guidance, visit: perts.net/communication.

How do I administer a Message IT survey?

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the artifact you want to ask students about (if you only have one artifact, you’ll be automatically directed to that artifact)
  2. On the left navigation bar, click Setup under Stages.
  3. Look at the Collect Student Feedback task to find your survey URL or participation code.

What about survey fatigue?

Students get fatigued by surveys that are long and repetitive. They also grow tired of answering questions if no one acknowledges their responses or addresses their concerns. Unfortunately, many school surveys are designed without regard to students’ or teachers’ experiences, and we (at PERTS) find that troubling.

We would be frustrated if someone asked our opinion over and over in five different ways and then gave no indication that anything meaningful would change as a result of our answers. We empathize with the students and with the educators who are sometimes required to take, or to administer, less-than-useful surveys.

In sharp contrast, we designed our surveys to be part of an empowering process that elevates student voice and provides educators with rapid insights that they can act on immediately. Unlike many other surveys, Copilot surveys:

  • Are short. Surveys take students less than 10 minutes to complete, or less if certain questions are turned off.
  • Elevate student voice in shaping their classroom experience. Our programs provide guidance to educators concerning how to frame the surveys to their students. When educators follow this guidance, it ensures their students understand that their opinions are valued and that their responses will influence what happens in class.

How can I help an educator build student buy-in for surveys?

Survey reports prominently flag problems with student buy-in. For example, they show if students are not comfortable being honest or if they do not believe an educator will use the feedback to improve. If an educator is struggling to get high student buy-in, we recommend trying some of these strategies to support them:

  • Visit the educator’s classroom to see how they are framing the surveys to students.
  • Work with the educator, as needed, to create a plan for improving student buy-in. You can reference perts.net/communication for tips.

How do I know which students have completed the survey?

Follow the steps below to see which students have not completed the survey in a given cycle. This can be helpful for coordinating make-ups or giving survey completion credit.

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project you want to view (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. On the left navigation bar, click Stages, then select the current cycle.
  3. Scroll to Survey Progress to review overall progress for your rosters and projects and click View Detailed Survey Progress for student completion details
  4. You can sort according to the data in each column

Note: Message IT survey progress includes only the number of students who have completed a survey.

Reports & Survey Results

What will my report include?

See our sample report to get a sense of what your reports will look like. Note that reports look different depending on the specific Copilot program and the learning conditions that were assessed.

How do I access my report?

Each time a student completes a survey, you will receive a new report the following Monday. To access your report:

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project you want to view (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. On the left navigation bar, click Reports
  3. You will find the most recent report(s) at the top of the page

How do I share my report?

Reports can be shared by forwarding the URL that appears in the address bar when viewing your report. Links that you share will expire after 30 days.

Data Disaggregation

Why are survey results disaggregated?

In our school system—and in society more generally—systematic disparities exist between the opportunities afforded to members of different groups. Disparities in opportunity are especially pronounced by race, gender, and socioeconomic status. For example, Black, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander students are less likely to receive the support they need to reach high academic standards. Copilot reports help educators compare the experiences of members of different groups so that, if significant disparities exist, educators can take additional steps to understand and mitigate those disparities.

How does Copilot disaggregate survey results?

By default, Copilot reports disaggregate student experience data by gender and by race-ethnicity group membership. Certain Copilot programs also disaggregate results by financial stress, while others enable educators to create a custom target group.

How are race-ethnicity data collected?

The first time that students complete a Copilot survey, they are asked what racial and ethnic groups they identify with. Our priority in asking students to identify their racial and ethnic background is to (1) help educators understand how students from structurally disadvantaged groups are experiencing the educational environment; and (2) to provide students from all racial, ethnic, and nationality backgrounds the chance to select at least one option that closely matches their self-identification and lived experience. In doing this, we recognize that the experiences of sub-populations within large race and ethnicity categories may be meaningfully different from one another and that it is important to reflect to students an understanding of this diversity, rather than forcing them to identify with broad categories that may not resonate well with their lived experiences. For these reasons, Copilot survey inquires about race and ethnic group members using the following question.

With which group(s) do you identify? Please select the box(es) that apply.

Screenshot of survey question

Why are race data grouped in reports?

When students self-identify their race and ethnicity in Copilot surveys, they can choose from 17 different categories and identify with multiple races (see How are race-ethnicity data collected?). However, results in reports are not broken out by those fine-grained categories because that level of disaggregation would make it impossible to maintain the confidentiality of students’ responses. (To maintain students’ privacy, Copilot reports only show results for a given group when that group has at least five members. That means, for example, that reports could not show results from Native American students if there were fewer than five Native American students on a given roster.)

Even though we cannot break out data by each distinct race and ethnicity for privacy reasons, we believe it is important to give educators insight into whether students’ experiences in their classrooms are reinforcing or interrupting the nationally observed disparities in educational opportunity.

As a compromise between the need to maintain student confidentiality and the desire to provide teachers with disaggregated data about opportunity gaps, Copilot reports group together certain races and ethnicities. Using national statistics on disparities in academic and disciplinary outcomes as a guide, reports group together students who self-identify as Black, Latinx, Native American, and/or Pacific Islander. Reports contrast their experiences to those of White and Asian students (who are comparatively advantaged according to the same national statistics).

This compromise enables educators to get some insight about opportunity gaps in their classrooms while simultaneously protecting student confidentiality. In order to support more fine grained analysis, certain Copilot programs enable educators to create a custom target group that more accurately represents the groups of students in their local context who are situated farthest from opportunity.

How can I learn about the experiences of a specific target group of students?

In many schools and colleges, specific groups of students are situated further from opportunity. Often, these students are members of specific racial, ethnic, or gender groups; English language learners; or students who are members of multiple intersecting demographics (for example, boys of color). If educators are aware that a specific group of students is situated further from opportunity in their context and want to disaggregate their results separately to better attend to their experiences, we encourage them to use the “target group” feature in Copilot to define a custom target group that specifically includes those students. The target group feature is intended to help educators adopt a Targeted Universalist approach towards creating a more supportive and equitable learning environment.

When a target group is set, reports will display results separately for students in the target group and for those who are not. This enables educators to see whether members of the target group experience their classroom differently. In this way, educators can recognize whether and how students’ experiences in their own classes may be reinforcing—or mitigating—the opportunity gaps observed in other data.

Note: the target group feature is only available in Copilot-Elevate.

How do I set up a target group?

The project lead can determine the target group and educators can indicate which students are a part of the group on their rosters. To do this, you can:

  1. Sign into Copilot and select the project you want to create a target group (if you only have one project, you’ll be automatically directed to that project)
  2. Click Settings in the left navigation bar
  3. Under Project Settings click the button next to Use a target group (optional) so that it is toggled on (green)
  4. Enter a Target Group Name just below
  5. Click Save Changes
  6. Then, click Rosters
  7. Click into each roster you want to update
  8. Click the button next to each roster ID you want to include in the target group to toggle it on (green). For students not in the target group, that button will appear off (red).

Note: the target group feature is only available in Copilot-Elevate.

Privacy

We take privacy extremely seriously for both students and educators.

How do you safeguard educator privacy?

To protect educator privacy, each roster entered into Copilot has a main contact who receives survey instructions and reports for that roster. The only person in a Copilot project who can see a roster’s reports is the main contact of that roster. PERTS encourages project members to share and discuss their reports with colleagues in order to get advice and share insights to the extent they feel comfortable doing so.

Note: it is possible for the project lead to change the main contact setting for a roster. This means that project lead Alice could, in theory, change the main contact of Bob’s roster to be Alice herself, which would allow Alice to see Bob’s reports. However, in that event, Bob would get an automated email informing him that Alice changed his roster settings.

How do you safeguard student privacy?

We take student privacy extremely seriously both because it’s the law, and also because it’s the right thing to do! Our technical security measures are described at perts.net/security, and our legally-binding privacy policy can be found at perts.net/privacy.

Our strict privacy policy is specifically designed to meet the requirements spelled out in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and hundreds of schools and colleges around the United States have implemented PERTS programs under the legal coverage provided by our privacy policy. Under the “school official” exemption in FERPA, schools can share identifiable information with an individual or organization that is acting in the capacity of a school official. To qualify as a school official under FERPA, the individual or organization must be acting on behalf of the school, must keep the information confidential, must only use that information for the purposes approved by the school, and must enable the school to control that information. For example, the school must be allowed to review, change, or delete the personal information. Under no circumstance can the information be shared with third parties without the schools’ permission. The PERTS privacy policy meets all of those requirements. Check it out at perts.net/privacy.

Can I see individual students’ responses?

We generally do not share individual students’ responses (with the exception of open ended responses) because doing so could incentivize students to be dishonest and destroy the integrity of the process. Of course, we encourage you to have authentic and transparent face-to-face conversations with your students, but one of the objectives of Copilot surveys is to give you an easy, confidential way to get honest feedback.

Do I need IRB approval?

Schools and colleges have different rules about when an Institutional Review Board (IRB) needs to review and approve an activity. Typically, IRBs only need to review formal research activities that are intended to result in generalizable knowledge. In contrast, IRBs typically do not need to review quality improvement activities—activities that are intended to support an organization in improving its own practices and processes. Copilot programs are intended to help educators collect and use information for quality improvement purposes; therefore, IRB permission should not be required under most circumstances. However, if you intend to use the information you collect for formal research purposes, then you likely do need IRB approval. Also, some schools and colleges may ask IRBs to review quality improvement activities.

Support for Large-Scale Implementation

Can I contact you to support our large-scale implementation?

Absolutely! We’re happy to partner with schools, colleges, education departments, and other organizations to support large-scale implementations. If you would like personalized support, please contact copilot@perts.net.

What advanced features do you offer for large-scale implementation?

Copilot programs are designed to give an individual educator or small team of educators everything they need to improve the quality and equity of students’ learning experiences. However, when a school or college wants to use Copilot on a large scale, certain additional features and services can be quite helpful. For example:

  • Implementation Planning Support: We’ll talk with you about your goals and help you decide what to measure, how often to measure it, and who should be involved.
  • Advanced Reports: We can help you track students’ experiences—and the quality of Copilot implementation—across whole departments, grade levels, schools, or other units that interest you.
  • Demos and Presentations: Let us crash your professional development sessions! We’ll introduce you to the why and how of Copilot, and take your questions.
  • Batch Rostering: We’ll help you automatically set up tens or hundreds of rosters to save time and make sure the right reports go to the right people.

Contact copilot@perts.net if you’d like to learn more.

What’s a Copilot community?

Educators using Copilot typically organize themselves onto “projects.” However, sometimes an instructional lead, coach, or school or district administrator may want to group several projects together into a “community” so that they can monitor and support progress across all of them. For example, say that twenty-four teachers at the same middle school are all using Copilot. They form three separate projects of eight teachers — one corresponding to each grade level. If an instructional lead or coach would like to track progress across all three projects, the best way to do that would be to group those projects into a community.

diagram of three projects grouped into a community
In this example, projects were organized according to course and grouped together by department.

What permissions do community administrators have?

When a project is associated with a community, it gives the community’s administrator(s) the same permission over its settings and reports as are granted to the project lead.

Community administrators are able to:

  • See project-level discussions and reports
  • Change survey settings and project membership (including who is the project lead)
  • Update rosters

Community administrators are not able to:

  • See roster-level reports (unless they make themselves the main contact for that roster, in which case the current main contact would be notified.

Note: Message IT uses the word “collection” instead of “community.”

How do I create a community?

To create a community, the project lead should:

  1. Sign into Copilot
  2. Click the home icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Click Add next to “Your Communities”
  4. Select a name for the community
  5. Click Save New Community

Note: Message IT uses the word “collection” instead of “community.”

How do I associate a project to a community?

  1. Get the “community code” from a community administrator. The community administrator will need to:
    1. Sign into Copilot
    2. Click the home icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
    3. Click into the relevant community from the “Your Communities” list
    4. Click Add
    5. Provide the community code to the lead(s) of the project(s) that will be associated with the community.
  2. Use the community code to associate a project with a community. The project lead will need to:
    1. Sign into Copilot
    2. Click the home icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
    3. Click into the relevant project from the “Your Projects” list
    4. Click the Settings on the left
    5. Click Associated Communities under Other Settings.
    6. Click Add
    7. Enter the community code provided by a community administrator

Note: Message IT uses the word “collection” instead of “community.”

Can a project be associated with multiple communities?

Yes, you can associate a project with up to five communities. For example, you may want your project to be accessible to an instructional coach who supports three projects and also to a district lead who supports twenty projects. The instructional coach and the district lead could each create a community and you could associate your project with both.

Note: Message IT uses the word “collection” instead of “community.”

Troubleshooting

Why can’t I access Copilot?

If you have issues accessing Copilot, a firewall may be blocking access to the site. Check with your IT department to see if they can resolve the issue. You can test your network access at: perts.net/network-test.

Where can I find the Engagement Project?

In July 2020, PERTS merged the Engagement Project and Copilot-Elevate into a single program that combines and builds on the best of each. The new program, still centered on elevating student voice to enhance engagement, is called Copilot-Elevate. Learn more about the merge at perts.net/engage and sign up for Copilot-Elevate at perts.net/elevate.

What if I didn’t find a response to a question I have?

Please let us know! You can email copilot@perts.net or schedule 15-minutes to chat with our team at perts.net/officehours.

Acknowledgements

Copilot was developed by the Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) in partnership with leading researchers and educational advocacy organizations. PERTS is a nonprofit research and development institute that translates insights from psychological science into cutting-edge tools, measures, and recommendations that educators anywhere can use to foster healthy and equitable academic engagement and success.

Key Partners & Advisors

Susan Colby, Founder & CEO, Imagine Worldwide

The College Transition Collaborative

Carol Dweck, Professor, Stanford University

Camille Farrington, Managing Director, UChicago Consortium for School Research

Becky Margiotta, Principal, Billions Institute

The National Equity Project

Jason Okonofua, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

Shift Results

University of Chicago Consortium for School Research

Greg Walton, Associate Professor, Stanford University

Key Funders

The Raikes Foundation

The Overdeck Family Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation