Ms D is a data-driven teacher and her results are consistent, year upon year. That is mostly because she keeps a detailed record of her assessment data. Some of this data is qualitative. She keeps a record in the form of observational notes and journal entries for group tasks or project-based assessments. She also makes use of rubrics to help her remain objective for subjective assessments. For objective tests, surveys, quizzes and questionnaires, she maintains sheets with learner scores/grades/marks. Then, she turns it into information that can give her valuable insights. For example, student M scoring 4 marks out of 15 doesn’t make much sense because it is just data. But when Ms D compares it with his previous result, which was 10 out of 15 on the same topic, this data becomes information that can give insights into how M's performance has deteriorated. Finally, she uses those insights to improve learning and to achieve the desired learning outcomes.
How? Let’s see.
We can measure and monitor the change in our learners’ performance within an academic year or over the course of their education. We can, then, use this information to create individualised learning trajectories for our learners to ensure that they achieve their learning goals.
We can compare a student’s data with his or her own previous performance results. We can compare a student’s data with the other students of his or her class. We can also compare the data of our class with other classes.
We can study the assessment information to understand the kind of instruction our learners receive well and the kind that they don’t understand. We can use the data to understand the teaching strategies that work well and the ones that don’t. We can also learn a great deal about the adjustments we must make to our assessments in order to give a fair chance to all the learners to demonstrate their learning.
We can use assessment information to solve any kind of learning problems. Why a learner is not performing, where he or she needs additional support, how he or she can learn better, how I can close learning gaps, how I can help improve proficiency, how can the learners gain mastery over a topic and so on.
Over the years, Ms D has understood how to use assessment data to improve outcome achievement, with regular practice, you can do it too.
If you want to dive deeper into this area of teaching and learning, please feel free to check out our course on Assessment and Evaluation Techniques.
Technology is a very powerful tool that enables effective teaching and learning. If not used safely, it can prove to be highly destructive.
We hear all the time, be accountable towards your learners, ‘go the extra mile’, ‘bend over backwards’ for them, ‘go above and beyond’. Accountability towards learners may sometimes seem like going the extra mile, but it is not.
Think about everything you need to be, do and know as a teacher. If you are committed to being, doing and knowing the things that you should, you are an accountable teacher.