Analytics for classroom

What is student data?

You may not think of empowerment when you think of data but when used effectively data can give you the full picture needed to support the incredibly important education goals of parents, students, educators and policymakers. That said, there’s a lot that must happen before data can be meaningful and useful to everyone. Student data are collected from many sources and in many formats although the type of data, and who can access them, is different at each point.

But what do we mean by student data?

First there’s academic information: student growth, courses, grades, enrollment, completion and graduation.

Then demographics: students’ age, race, gender, economic status and special education needs. There’s testing: results of teacher designed tests and quizzes and annual and benchmark assessments as well as student actions: attendance, behavior,extracurricular activities, and program participation. Plus data generated by teachers: observation and engagement of students in the classroom. And finally data generated by students: homework and learning data from apps and online tools.To get that full, clear picture important requirements must be met for information to be truly useful & to empower people. Data must be there when you need it to provide a whole picture of student learning and be relevant to your needs.

Data has to be safeguarded, trustworthy and kept private. Educators and policymakers need to have the knowledge and skills to use data effectively. Data should be used to communicate with families and communities about how students and schools are doing and data must also be used to help leaders and educators support and improve learning. The right data, in the right format, used the right way, empowers students, supportive parents dedicated educators and visionary policymakers with the information they need to make decisions and take actions that lead to student achievement. It boils down to this: student success depends on empowered policymakers to allocate resources and craft important laws. Student success depends on empowered teachers to design effective instruction and individualized lessons. Student success depends on empowered parents who support their kids academic growth at home. And student success depends on students themselves empowered with information to manage their own progress.

Every student success depends on all of this coming together and that’s the real power of data. When students, parents, educators and policymakers have the right information to guide their decisions students achieve their best, which empowers everyone, and that is student data.
Chandan Kumar
New Delhi