Data is a crucial component to developing a strong, evidence based teaching strategy in schools. However, identifying what data is the most useful to be collected as well as understanding the different methodologies in data collection can become a significant challenge to educators.
As schools increasingly move towards a more evidence based practice and data informed teaching, educators and school leaders need to be supported by good practice and research when delving into the world of data.
Here are three key tips for collecting and managing high quality student data set out by the NSW Government Department of Education.
1. Keep data consistent
Consistency is an important control when collecting data over a time period on students. The reliability of data is dependent on the consistency of data collection. It’s important to use the same methods in surveying, testing and assessing students to create a reliable data story.
2. Store and manage data digitally
The wealth of data that is available in schools means it can get quite tricky to navigate. The most effective way to use data is to be able to analyse and compare data sets to pull reports, create graphs and track student progress over time. Whether in an excel spreadsheet or using advanced software solutions, storing and managing data digitally is a crucial component to a successful evidence based teaching strategy
3. Use sustainable data collection methods
Keep data collection and records brief. Collecting extra information for the sake of having more data can complicate the collection and recording processes. This can in turn discourage students from participating in data exercises and teachers from collecting data and conducting research. By keeping methodology concise, response rates will stay more consistent to get a better representation of cohorts and individuals
For these tips and more, head to the NSW Department of Education website for the School Excellence Framework Guide.
Find out more about how you can maximise data to support differentiated learning and teaching at the upcoming Data Driven Evidence Based Teaching in Schools Conference, 28th & 29th May 2019, Melbourne.