Focused Instruction: Why Data Matters

No matter what stage of life you’re in, feedback is important. Whether you’re a toddler that needs reassurance about “good behavior” or an adult that needs approval on a presentation at work, feedback shapes the way humans think and determines our ability to succeed. As we move to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, developing instruction and assessments aligned to these standards is going to be a crucial component in thinking about the importance of feedback.

To put it simply: Technological advancements in assessment solutions give educators the tools to analyze the effectiveness of their instruction, and the data to formulate a plan for continued progress. With many reporting systems and solutions, educators are able to get a complete picture of student performance.  Educators can aggregate data, (in some cases, immediately), to identify specific subject areas or learning objectives that they need to target for future instruction. Analysis available from online assessment can accelerate learning because teachers are able to employ data-driven action plans based on specific findings.

Essentially, data informs instruction and instruction informs data. The result: Overall student achievement. 

• Fewer dropouts

• More college-bound graduates

• Greater success at jobs and in life

• Greater self esteem

• Less dependence on social services/more economic independence

• A tradition of achievement for generations to come

So how do you take data and turn it into improved performance? Planning and practice. An effective data management process can really be broken down into five essential steps:

1.  Set Goals

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • A reduction in the drop-out rate?
  • More students headed to college?
  • Improved teacher effectiveness?
  • A 20% improvement in math scores?
  • System-wide Common Core readiness?

2.  Choose Measures

  • Would your students benefit from Interim/Benchmark assessments such as CTB’s Acuity?
  • Would you like a Summative Assessment, such as TerraNova, Third Edition, to measure student achievement over an entire year?
  • Is a Formative Assessment, like Acuity or Yearly ProgressPro right for you?
  • Would you prefer continuous feedback such as Through-course assessments?

3.  Analyze Results

  • Determine where each student stands in relation to your goal

4.  Identify Opportunities

  • Determine needed changes (to instruction), design additional class work and homework, assign targeted work to groups and retest as needed

5.  Re-Measure for Progress

  • Determine how frequently you wish to test and collect data.

We realize that most educators do not have training or backgrounds in interpreting this data… Nor do they have the experience in formulating a plan to respond to the needs identified from test results. CTB/McGraw-Hill has developed a thorough step-by-step eGuide for data-based performance improvement that can take you from blueprint to action and action into… results!

For more information on creating an effective assessment plan and why data matters, download our eGuide. () Let us be your guide!

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3 Responses to Focused Instruction: Why Data Matters

  1. Pingback: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About CTB | CTB/McGraw-Hill

  2. Pingback: CTB: Who We Are… In a Nutshell | CTB/McGraw-Hill

  3. Pingback: If Practice Makes Perfect, Then Writing Roadmap Makes for a Perfect Practice! | CTB/McGraw-Hill

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