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Use of Data in Education


Data is increasingly gaining relevance in the education sector. The application of data analysis in education can reap tremendous benefits in terms of improving learning outcomes of students, debunking conventional methods of education and engineering student-specific learning solutions to bridge the achievement gaps.

Types of Data

Data enables educators to set learning goals for individuals, educators and schools. Analysis of data helps in determining where students are positioned vis-à-vis expected curriculum standards and also in identifying the areas of improvement for teachers.

1. Student Data- Students’ data include data from formal and informal classroom assessments, daily classroom work, standardized test scores, attendance, participation in extracurricular activities and classroom engagement. This data primarily helps in determining learning needs of students.

2. Educator Data-Educator data comprise of data from various assessments, classroom performance of students, students’ results and performance goals of educators. Evaluation of educator data allows in-depth understanding of learning needs of the students and in laying out professional development strategies.

3. System Data-System data may include data on inputs (personnel, time, and finances), outputs (frequency of students’ participation, the level of their engagement and type of communication) and outcomes (achievement of students and changes in educator practice).

What Use does Data have in Classrooms?

1. Data from formative assessments (quizzes, exit slips) allows teachers to understand where students are and where should they head next. It enables them to evaluate the outcome of lessons taught, growth of individuals and the performance of the classroom as a whole.

2. Data from standardized test scores can be used to make instructional decisions. Educators can use this data to create seating plans and student groups for projects. For instance, if a student is underperforming consistently and scoring well below average, she can be seated in the front rows so that teacher can pay special attention to her.

3. Analysis of system data enables schools to introduce changes in policies and procedures and plan out financial, human and technological resources required to supplement learning. Including teachers in discussions about standardised test questions, school goals and policies can help them build leadership qualities and teaching capacity.

To milk the advantages of data in education, it is crucial that schools know the kind of data that has to be collected, analysed and used. It is also essential for learning institutions to recognise that perceptions and relationships are as important as curriculum and practice in achieving intended learning outcomes.

By Deeksha Shivhare
Sr. Executive DigiCom - Content
Redefine Marcom Pvt. Ltd.