Data Needs to be Actionable
Software programs generate a great deal of data. It is important to be able to examine the data and quickly identify learner success, opportunities for growth, and how we can change practices for the betterment of learners. The amount of data is overwhelming, so it is essential to stay focused on the data most important in programming. More often than not, we decide on the data most easily accessed, the data that helps us best understand what the learners know, and the data that reveals the steps toward improvement.
Tips for Action Planning with Data
- Articulate the reasons why the data is important to use
- Identify data that informs what educators are already doing in class and that they can act on.
- Learner data can show the positive side of blended learning to educators who may not yet be on board with the importance of blended learning.
The more time and focus educators spend using the learner data, the better their ability to manage a blended learning classroom, and engage learners in their own achievement on the programs.
Using Learner Data
Set up regular meetings with educator teams to discuss learner success and educator effectiveness, based on the data collected. During these “data talks” teams explore data to address 6 specific academic goals:
- Setting Class Goals: Educators can use data to identify trends. When setting class goals, data must be used to set goals that are attainable for every learner in the learning community. To magnify these goals, data trends should be shared directly with learners to create shared interest and language for the learning goals. These goals are useful for building a culture of blended learning at the classroom level.
- Setting Individual Goals: Learner Heterogeneity (multi-level classrooms) is a major concern in Adult Basic Education programs. As learners have individual skill sets and learning needs, data provides a platform from which to set goals for individual learners. Sharing individual data and progress with learners directly motivates them to stay persistent through challenging, yet attainable, benchmarks.
- Informing Instruction: If a majority of a class struggles with a standard, the educator can include additional practice in a whole class environment or in small groups.
- Observing One-on-One: If the data indicates something that does not make sense in regards to a learner’s record or the program, the educator may decide to sit next to the learner to observe their activity on the computer.
- Checking for Fidelity of Implementation: Look at data to determine how effectively the program is being implemented across the whole organization. Look for trends across classrooms, grade levels and proficiency levels to identify ways to improve the actual running of the programs.
- As a Rapid Screener: Use the data to identify learners for specific interventions or groupings around a specific skill or other focus.