data teacher turnover

4 best practices for education data

Interpreting education data can be tricky--these industry best practices can help.

Mesecar shared four best practices as they pertain to blended learning and learning as a whole.

1. Regular conversations. Do administrators and teachers meet on a regular basis and do they have data team meetings? Those meetings should involve multiple grade-levels or multiple staff, and might pull in special education teachers or specialists, or anyone specializing in behavioral aspects. Though there isn’t a magic number when it comes to meeting frequency, once a month probably isn’t enough, Mesecar said. Part of the meetings likely will focus on what the data implies and what educators need to change.

2. Data availability and visibility. How easy is it for administrators, teachers and students to access data? Students need to see their own data and understand how they are performing in class so they can draw their own conclusions and connect the dots. Do classrooms have data up and posted (while protecting student privacy)? Many schools and classrooms put up data walls so they can track the most important points. Parents also need to be communicated with so they understand what’s going on.

3. Is everyone looking at the same data? Are decision-makers and administrators, principals, and district staff examining the same sets of data? Does everyone have access to the same data and can everyone view it at their level?

4. Analyze feedback loops. Data isn’t a one-way conversation, Mesecar said. Setting up feedback loops at every level–between students and teachers, teachers and principals, and parents and teachers–ensures that information will be analyzed and interpreted, that changes will be made in real time, and that any results from those changes will be analyzed. “If you don’t set up feedback loops, you lose a lot of the data’s power,” he added.

Laura Ascione

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