If You Want Data to Transform Learning, Present It as “Over-the-Counter”
K-12 Online Conference
October 28, 2013 – November 1, 2013
Recording with Slides: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=1980
Description: Educational leaders understand the importance of data as a tool to inform decisions. However, despite proactive steps educators already take to improve data use (such as professional development and staff supports), research suggests many educators are still analyzing data incorrectly. A largely-overlooked culprit is the manner in which data is communicated to educators. Data systems and reports most educators use to analyze data usually display figures without supporting guidance concerning the data’s proper use. This is akin to providing over-the-counter medication without any labeling or supporting documentation to guide people in the medicine’s proper use. In this presentation, the education data-equivalent to over-the-counter medicine is termed over-the-counter data: essentially, enlisting medical labeling conventions to pair education data reports with straightforward verbiage on the proper interpretation of report contents. The researcher in this quantitative study explored the inclusion of such supports in data systems and their reports. Respondents’ data analyses were found to be 307% more accurate when a report footer was present, 205% more accurate when an abstract was present, and 273% more accurate when an interpretation guide was present. These analysis supports followed specific guidelines to improve their success. Attendees will learn how to add these supports to their own data systems and reports so that educators using the data can do so with significantly increased accuracy.