Who is looking at what data?
Designing for your audience
In any school there is a clear need for clarity around who is looking at what data and for what purpose. Instead of starting with what data we should be looking at, we must first consider the audience and the questions they want answered. After establishing our audience, we can better decide what data they are looking at and how it is best visualized.
This resource is designed to provide you with specific audiences needs, however as we design data experiences in schools it is recommended you also interview your stakeholders to learn about what you need in your context. The better you understand your audience's needs by listening to them the better able you are to start devising dashboards and data “looks” to meet their needs.
There are many stakeholders in schools, however 3 key audiences to consider are:
Student Support Services
Leadership may include:
Curriculum and Learning Office Leaders
Most importantly, leadership teams work together to measure progress of year long goals connected to strategic initiatives. The school would meed to figure out what metrics would best identify the measurement of success towards these goals. Common quantitative measurements of year long goals are perception/survey data and aggregate academic data. It is not always necessary to quantify success of year long goals as we can often identify that our efforts are giving us the impact we intend through conversation, check ins, and creative measurements. (For more details about measuring progress towards initiatives have a look here: “coming soon”)
When selecting data Leadership will generally be looking at division/whole school data including benchmark assessments, report card data, teacher/parent/student surveys/feedback, and measures of annual divisional and whole school goals.
Questions for Leadership that certain data looks may answer:
How will we use data to celebrate success and motivate teachers?
What learning conditions support deep learning and design strategies to create improved conditions?
How will we make sure that all students are benefiting and we are becoming more inclusive as we work toward our shared vision?
Where are we in our journey toward our year long goals tied to school wide strategic initiatives and how do we know we are making progress?
Leadership will need to look at aggregate data in order to find ways to support teacher teams, departments, that will help us all do even better for our students.
Example: Aggregate Report Card Data Breakdown
Consider the data look below that answers: How are our students performing against standards across departments, grades, teachers, and gender?
This Standards Based Report Card data look allows leadership to Inquire about:
Areas of the curriculum that students are struggling in and the distribution of success across standards.
Consistency of assessment practices and opportunities for calibration. (*Note the teacher comparison chart is dangerous and can be removed when showing teachers)
How our students are performing in different subjects and how the leadership can different support those subjects.
Student support teacher’s need data systems and structures to help with determining & monitoring students who need extra support. Support teachers often use screeners and speciality testing with some students, however they also need access to all student data in effort to support all students.
Data that they may look at range from languages/demographics, outside of school activities, SEL & student survey data, benchmark assessments, report card data, and input from various stakeholders (teachers, parents, students).
Example: List of Students and Multiple Data Points
You will notice that the data look below has multiple metrics with every row representing 1 student. Setting up the data like this allows us to sort students and better identify strengths and needs.
This Standards Based Report Card data look allows Student Support Teams inform conversations about:
What students are not on our radar that might need more support?
What students are on our case load that may not need as much support going forward?
How might we correlate these different metrics, including what we know about them beyond this data?
Example: Student Data Profiles
One of the most powerful ways we can use data in schools is to allow it to inform mentor conversations with students.
When looking at the data profile before we can:
Identify areas of strength and growth as discussion points with our students.
Learn more about our students that we might not have known otherwise.
Value all data and see the whole child including SEL and wellness data next to academic data.