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3 Ways Teachers Can Use Data to Drive Improvement

Data is a growing trend in higher education. As classrooms become more digitized, students leave behind a trail of information as they work with various online systems. New technology tools allow educators to drill down into that data and identify trends that can impact teaching and learning outcomes. In this post, we look at ways teachers can use data gathered in the classroom to drive improvement.

1- Improve Student Achievement: Teachers can use data to evaluate how well their students are learning and what areas require improvement. In order to monitor improvement, data collection needs to be an ongoing part of the learning process. There are multiple methods of collecting and analyzing data inside the classroom including:

               - Daily feedback: Using exit cards, lesson forums, or a social feedback tool, teachers can gather information on how well students are understanding each lesson. By examining this data they can make class-by-class changes to help improve student learning outcomes.

              - Mid-term evaluations: At this point students have experienced enough of the course to provide helpful feedback. Mid-term evaluations give instructors enough time to make instructional changes that will impact the overall learning experience.

             - End-of-term evaluations: Instructors can use data gathered from end-of-term course evaluations to inform decisions for the next semester. By asking questions that focus on student learning, they can develop their curriculum content to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to succeed.

2- Enhance Teaching Effectiveness: Student success or failure is dependent on the quality of instruction they receive. It is therefore crucial that instructors identify and tackle teaching blind spots and address these issues head on. While student evaluations are the most widely used source of information on instruction, teachers can also collect data from their colleagues, advisors, other institutional staff, as well as perform self-assessments. By looking at this feedback and identifying patterns, they can make adjustments to their teaching style that will impact their overall effectiveness.

3- Tailor Instruction: Every student is unique in their abilities and interests. Therefore, it is the instructor’s responsibility to provide support in a way that is meaningful to their learning. By assessing student learning levels using electronic quizzes, online learning modules, and other methods, teachers can collect data at every step of the learning process. With appropriate analysis of that data they can then tailor their instructions in a way that will address student needs.

What are ways in which you collect student data and how has this benefited learning in your classroom? Comment below and let us know.

Chanel M. Sutherland
Marketing Content Specialist, Explorance

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