Data is one of those things that is talked about and looked at often but is not something I have really ever spent time collecting and analyzing myself. However through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University, I have had the opportunity to learn more about what it means to collect data and how to effectively analyze it. One way that I have been able to do this was through a program evaluation that I did on the math support course that my district offers. In doing the program evaluation I spent time collecting both quantitative and qualitative data and used the data to make recommendations for the math support course. I learned that as a coach it is important to think about the purpose of the evaluation so that I can determine the best approach for collecting data and how to use the information effectively. I spent time reading the book Small-Scale Evaluation, by Colin Robson. This book was extremely helpful in helping me think deeper around the different methods for collecting data. Robson suggests that the questions you are trying to answer with your data, dictates the method for collecting the data. This was helpful to realize because as I started my program evaluation I knew I had two questions that I was trying to answer, was the program meeting the needs of students and how could the district improve the program. Therefore I knew that the data I needed to look at had to help me answer these two questions and thus needed to be both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Continuing this evaluation I have been able to partner with leadership at one of the district’s middle schools to look specifically at how they are implementing the math support course. We are working to develop a plan for how students are recommended for the class, communication for families and students, guiding documents for teachers and counselors and continued professional learning for teachers of the class. We are using the data collected during the program evaluation to guide our work and make recommendations for the middle school and then hopefully the other middle schools in the district. You can read more about my program evaluation, including specifics regarding how data was collected in the Math TIER II Program Evaluation report.
I am continuing my work on the math support course in collaboration with building leadership. We are planning on continuing to evaluate and look at data especially next year as we make revisions to the course. I am also in the process of working with leadership, other facilitators, and educators to evaluate two supplemental digital math resources. We are in the process of collecting data around the use of both programs and will use this data in conjunction with other information to make recommendations on whether to continue use of one of the programs. I also plan to work with facilitators and our Honors Science teachers to evaluate our new honors science course and make recommendations for areas of improvement. This will require that we work together to collect student data and analyze data and feedback in order to make informed decisions.
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches
Robson, C. (2017). Small-scale evaluation: principles and practice. SAGE Publications.