6b. Interpret Data to Inform Decisions

Support educators to interpret qualitative and quantitative data to inform their decisions and support individual student learning.

ISTE Standards for coaches 2019

So every time I read this indicator I immediately think about formative assessment. In my mind formative assessment is all about analyzing and interpreting data. Formative assessment can also take various forms which means I could be looking at either quantitative or qualitative data. The important part with all of this is how someone uses the data to inform their instruction. In thinking back to how I’ve shown evidence of growth in this, I was drawn to my blog post, Thinking About Formative Assessment Differently. In this post I talk about the various resources that educators can use to formatively assess students. However I also talk about how that information can be used to assess someone’s learning journey. The information gathered should help tell a story that educators can then use to inform instruction from the beginning to the end. This process should also allow space for students to analyze their own data in order to make decisions for themselves around what next steps might need to happen. As a coach it is important to collaborate with educators around how to look at and interpret formative data.

Something that I would like to do more of as a coach is to work with professional learning communities (PLCs) in my school. My vision would be to meet with them in order to have a formal process for analyzing student data. A few years ago my district had started a pilot program around a particular formative assessment tool. Through that pilot I met with a math PLC a few times during the school year. The purpose of our meetings was to look at the student data from the common formative assessment that they had given and then make specific plans for next steps in instruction based on the results. Since this was a pilot program it has since ended and the resource was not purchased as the district did not have the budget at the time. However I think the process of looking at student data together as a group in order to calibrate and make informed decisions as a group is important. I would like to think about ways to start this process up again with educators especially as we return to in-person learning and start to make plans for the fall. Below is an example of the agenda used with the math PLC during the pilot. This would be similar to how I would envision working with teachers.

Next Steps

Continuing to think about how I might work with and support educators in using student data to make informed instructional decisions is something I would like to focus on moving forward. I plan on continuing to think about what teachers or PLCs I might reach out to in order to start this work. I also plan to revise the example agenda above in order to make it work with all content areas. I plan on potentially starting at one particular school and then hopefully bringing in other schools as the year progresses. It would also be nice to have cross-district educators look at data to analyze trends and make possible decisions around instruction for the district.

References

ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

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