As educators, we are regularly assessing and measuring student growth. We use this information to communicate progress, inform instruction, evaluate programs, and monitor our own achievement. Our responsibility as educators is to monitor and nurture the continued growth for our students, but as we look at multiple measures to see the most accurate profile of student learning, the various types of data collected can be overwhelming to analyze.
As we seek to refine and improve education, meaningful conversation surrounding student data and growth presents unique opportunities for adapting instructional delivery.
Examining learner engagement
A key dimension of understanding student performance is the examination of learner engagement data. This information helps to build a holistic perspective of student achievement rather than merely their interaction with content.2 We can evaluate discussion forums, behavior recognition, assessments, and other online learning resources related to a given class in order to give us an actionable perspective of student strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, educators can approach learner engagement during instructional delivery by sharing materials to actively engage students in class discussions. This allows them to track student growth in both physical and virtual learning spaces.
Using data to differentiate
Meaningful data analysis enables teachers to differentiate instruction and assign content to students of mixed ability levels. This practice provides educators with opportunities to demonstrate how instructional decisions impact student growth and conceptualize the learning process.1,2
Educators that use this data to differentiate instruction expand their knowledge of building assessments to measure student growth. As they draw upon web-based tests and measurements, students are allowed to conveniently access quizzes and assessment materials while monitoring both progress and understanding of goal-driven standards.1 Both teachers and students can use real-time data for informational purposes to inform mastery of learning targets and standards that require additional attention.1 It is important for students to be able to share their progress towards the learning targets in a given unit. This data allows students to take ownership of their learning by monitoring their success.
Talking about student growth
Discussions surrounding the measurement of student growth can provide a collaborative learning opportunity for all stakeholders and offer a similar opportunity for peer coaching. These meaningful conversations of student growth can lead to a more successful learning culture. The ability to reinforce student understanding of curricular content and supplement regular instruction can serve as another outlet for the type of peer community building that educational institutions and experts have adopted.1
Using modern educational instructional and curriculum tools with student growth in mind, educators can now maximize teacher and student learning. As a result, students are likely to have a rewarding, high-quality learning experience that harnesses the efficiency of technology as a learning medium.1
Dalziel, James (2003) Implementing Learning Design : The Learning Activity Management System (LAMS). Interact, integrate, impact: proceedings of the 20th annual conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
Papa, Rosemary (2010). Technology Leadership for School Improvement. SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.