The Student Side of Data

Sharing Data with Students
It is common for school districts to compile and analyze student test scores in an effort to understand what is happening in the schools and to identify areas which need attention to improve performance. One practice, which I strongly support, is the reporting of student performance to students in a manner which assists them individually in understanding their strengths and weaknesses, so they can understand the relationship between what they do and the results. Additionally, it is worthwhile to let each student know specifically what skills he/she need to work on to improve.

This practice of sharing student performance is essential for engaging the student in the education process. By engaging the student in this way educators can address the other side of the learning coin: the affective component. It has gained attention now as Social-Emotional Learning. Aspects of Social-Emotional Learning include but are limited to: creating a growth mindset, developing learning self-efficacy, fostering a sense of belonging in school.

Interaction Effects
When teaching pre-service teachers, I presented a list of education strategies, based on lists similar to what is presented in Marzano’s “What Works” and Hattie’s “Visible Learning”.  The key feature of the message was the interaction effect of using some of these strategies. For example if strategy 1 resulted in 2 units of improved student performance, and strategy 2 resulted in 2 units of improved student performance, then it is quite possible that through the use of BOTH the interactive effect could yield 6 units of improved performance. This is the same concept of interaction effects found in statistics.

Therefore, the question at hand is “What are we waiting for”? There is evidence that tapping into the Social-Emotional aspects of learning is powerful. We have the tools to support and measure these student characteristics. If these data points could be collected and viewed within the context of student performance, we could have evidence that teaching “both sides of the coin” works and more importantly, we could intervene by understanding which students need attention to optimize their performance.

A Resource
A significant resource to build capacity in this area is the information and surveys from the Panorama Education website
. On this site you will find information and tools needed to get started with the affective side of your student population. Use this information to formulate a plan for addressing the powerful component which will serve as a catalyst for improved student growth and performance.