Based on research and the best practices of ALL In Learning schools that achieved profound gains, we've boiled down 3 Steps to a Data-Driven Campus for schools that want to turn around or strive to go from good to great. It's easier than you think!
It starts in the classroom.
Daily, daily, daily!
Most teachers already ask questions during lessons by calling on students, asking for a show of hands, etc. Unfortunately, these methods are subjective, data-weak, and dreaded by many students.
Instead, ask 3-5 on-the-fly questions during each lesson using clickers. It doesn't require extra preparation or grading, provides powerful data, and gets every kid's participation!
Check out this video for some easy ways to do it:
Daily data with Clickers combines the power of Formative Assessment and Student Engagement and gives teachers great benefits, like:
- Knowing, as they teach, if students are “getting it.”
- Spotting misconceptions and re-teaching in the moment.
- Avoiding wasted time on a concept the class already understands.
- Getting every student participating without embarrassment.
- Reducing discipline problems.
- Adding daily data to an ongoing standards-based progress monitor.
Admins report that this has been the most impactful practice they've put in place because of the immediate instructional feedback and student engagement. Additionally, teachers that daily engage and assess students the most lead the campus and district in student growth.
Reality Check: Getting "Buy-In"
We know many teachers already feel too busy and overwhelmed. To them, this may just look like another one of those initiatives from on high that doesn't support or help them and just drains teaching time. And some are nervous about data from past experiences when data was too late or vague to impact student growth and just laid blame on teachers.
They haven't experienced using easy-to-gather, helpful data to address class and individual misconceptions immediately, while concepts are fresh, and the sense of control and peace of mind it gives. They haven't seen how it will actually make life better.
So, who can blame some of them for waiting to see how serious their admins are about it before they honestly try it? And we know many admins are hesitant to come across like they are "forcing" them to do it.
The schools that get the fastest growth and outstanding gains are the ones where leaders get excited and lead teachers in a data-driven culture, making sure these practices are supported, and using the frequent data continually. Some admins start small with one team for a few weeks to get the hang of it and others dive right in with the whole school. Once teachers see the ease and the time they save, they love working smarter not harder. They have more time and control and they see students succeeding. They never want to go back to how it was before.
Need more confidence this will really work? We'd be delighted to connect you to teachers and admins who are doing it -- let us know! For now, here's a little testimonial video with some educators' experiences:
Want more ideas on being data-driven daily? Check out this article:7 Ways to Use ALL In Learning for DDI
After you teachers get comfortable with this step, take it to the next level and get teams working together.
Weekly, weekly, weekly!
Data-driven teams do a short, shared assessment each week by selecting a couple (1-2) of standards and asking 3-4 questions on each standard to measure mastery. They can grade with clickers, bubble sheets, or student devices and the data is automatically collated into colorized PLC reports. No grading at night or over the weekend. No data crunching. This allows them to:
- Take turns creating and sharing the assessments.
- Produce common assessment data to look at weekly with their team.
- Get consistent team summative data at regular, short intervals for progress tracking.
- Provide feedback to students as the assessment is graded instantly.
- Focus on shorter, chunked assessments and "bite-sized" goals.
When teams establish this weekly rhythm around shorter assessments, they are proactive and responsive in their interventions. They are equipped to address students’ needs as soon as problems arise.
Once your teams are producing data together, move on to the next step, and unleash the data guru within all of your teachers.
Analyze and Act on the Data
With Steps 1 and 2, teachers fix problems on the spot with quick checks during class and teams collaborate on quick data cycles. Whether the data was collected for formative or summative purposes, the end result is that teachers and teams will:
- See fresh, bite-sized, actionable data.
- Isolate student strengths and weaknesses by standard.
- Recognize which instructional strategies work best.
- Correct misconceptions while they are fresh and way easier to fix.
- Move students into and out of intervention faster.
- Track each student's trajectory and mastery over time.
- Save lots of time and feel more empowered and in control!
We think you're going to see the attitude toward data become positive. Collaborative instead of evaluative. Helpful (even necessary) rather than a burden.
So, discover your inner data guru with some short videos!
Teachers: This video shows teachers simple, quick ways to interpret and apply the data:
Teams: This video shows how PLCs and data teams can look at the data together:
Admins: This video shows how admins can see useful campus data:
Everyone! Seeing trajectory and mastery over time with the progress tracker:
By simply dragging and dropping sessions into the Progress Tracker, you can isolate class and student performance by standard over time!