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Educators and Their Role in Data

The information collected in day-to-day teaching activities, student progress and learning outcomes make up data that educators can use to improve instruction for both individual students and entire learning communities. But having data and professionals who can use it is not enough. The best leaders know that data integrity, security and forecasting are all key to making it work for the entire school.

Here are some best practices for data-driven decision-making in education today:

  1. Know what data to collect

There is no such thing as "bad data." However, collecting the wrong data can leave educators overwhelmed. Knowing which data to prioritize and the best way to consistently capture and catalog it across the student population is vital to efficient data use. In addition, educators who gather and archive data by anticipating the needs of future administrators and teachers can help them benefit from historic trends and solutions.

  1. Determine who should use what data

Data overwhelm is real and can bog down educators who have no time to sift through non-essential information. Teachers should have ready access to the tools, facts, figures and results required to drill down on the metrics they need for their classrooms. Data that is not helpful should be deleted or blocked out.

  1. Put insights to work right away

So, you collected the information and created relevant reports to guide future learning. What will you do with it now? Some leaders put off implementing changes until the data has grown stale, and all of that collection and analysis goes to waste.

While busy leaders may find it difficult to move ahead with new programs based on data, fresh insight makes the introduction of change more convincing and logical to those most affected — teachers and students. Bring in stakeholders who can see the need for adjustments in your learning programs and use the data reporting to back up your call for resources.

The Future of Individualized Learning

By looking at the data, educators can see which students are lagging behind and which ones are excelling. They can also pinpoint areas in which students need more support or additional challenges.

Teachers can use data insights to determine how to best instruct their students. Data can also help them keep an eye on students who may be struggling, or, as is the case during the dramatic shifts induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, how communities at large are dealing with learning loss.

School and district leaders can use data to make decisions around curriculum changes and technology enhancements to ensure positive learning outcomes for students.

Learn more about TAMIU's Master of Science in Educational Administration online program.


Sources:

Mathematica: How to Approach Data-Driven Decisions in Education


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