Data Alone


Data alone does not lead to improved learning outcomes for students. While data can be helpful in determining what direction to take with a certain student, the data must be meaningful and used properly.

Keep in mind that specific data points should be treated as snapshots in the complete album of a student. A data point captures a moment in time, and when combined with deeper knowledge of a student, as well as improved instruction and intervention, can lead to improved learning outcomes for that student.

Utilize data points to inform a complete portrait of a student, and combine that information with more personal knowledge of a student… strengths, needs, likes, dislikes, everything that makes that student tick. After gathering and analyzing data points and knowledge of the student, make decisions to change your instruction and provide intervention when necessary.

Utilize data to inform your instruction. Use data to change your instruction. Use data to impact learning.

For data alone will not lead to improved learning outcomes.


Rich (@RACzyz)

1 thought on “Data Alone

  1. That makes sense, but i think that the conversation about data misses the point. There are so many thinks going on in education that often when you talk about one thing educators getting worried that you are forgetting about their favorite thing. I see lots of in the weeds discussion about course design and deep thinking about how material should be strung together and how data is not paramount to that process. That quality instruction springs from people doing the work of educating not from collecting data in computers. That data scientists are just getting in the way and don’t know what is really necessary for education.

    I get frustrated by that because I think of data and course design as two separate but interrelated things. And I often think that educators need to accept that they need to be content creators that create content that supplies data. We just need to give them a way to do that effectively.

    I think the conversation about data needs to refocus on students using data to find learning opportunities. Rather than being concerned about learning outcomes. Educators need to create content that they believe has a positive outcome, but we need to get them out of the business or being prescriptive about students pathways through education. The data needs to not only allow for personalization of a students education, but person ownership of their education. I think this is what frightens the establishment most, because the only way we can truly move forward is to accept a non-institutional view of education. Where students can pick ala-carte the experiences that they have. This is inevitably the future and it is highly disruptive of the role of teachers.

    It is really a different job, and not one that I think teachers want, because their love for the old model is why they went into teaching in the first place.

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