Skip to content

interpreting data

June 8, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CC Image Source: http://mrg.bz/tCJdg4

With exam marking and moderation saturating our week at school, data leaked from both students and teachers:

  • Anxiety rose/ stress levels increased
  • Meeting rooms were in high demand from lone markers/ sushi and lolly-consuming students
  • Similar habits were apparent in both the exam room and staff collegiate area (sighs, stretching, glassy stares into the distance, muttered outbursts, frenzied pencil sharpening)
  • Chatter levels swelled during breaks.

Interesting.

Also interesting are the results from both my study-floor-paper-midden, and the insights threading discussions:

  • Highly creative expression among Year 8s thanks to focus on poetic language
  • Year 10s oblivious to the requirements of analytical thinking (need to revisit in Semester Two)
  • Year 12s under-prepared for an exam demanding more than personalised summary or faux argument construction.

How best to share this feedback?

Jigsaw

CC Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adam_t4/3121511810/

For me, recognition is emerging from what was once a puzzle.

Here’s our exam marking guide:

Students’ pre-exam fears are explained by where  X failed to hit/ met/ exceeded their personal mark.

Attending a mid-week WACE English network meeting where teachers from different schools reaffirmed ties, evaluated exemplars, and discussed marking expectations proved an invaluable filter and measure of relative worth. Viewing section? Yes, we agreed the selected images were likely to yield superficial interpretations. The two questions, though, afforded scope for able readers.

Students’ journal reflections assessed last week along with a Teacher Report rubric evaluating my approach in our English class this semester revealed a hairline disconnect between goals/ expectations and students’ assumptions/experience.

Crack

CC Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/29774796/

This is why assessment is the central process in instruction. Students do not learn what we teach. If they did, we would not need to keep gradebooks. We would, instead, simply record what we have taught (Wiliam, 2011, p. 47-8).

While means, grades and standard deviations are recorded on the  – open in tab browser – page where I’m currently finalising data entry for Reporting to Parents, individual students are becoming known, complex quantities to me.  In order to assess, and only if we know

…the whole child in order to put a FACE to the learning data- [can] we humanize him or her fully and be reminded that we [are] talking about real kids with real hopes and dreams.
Good teachers spend time getting to know their learners academically and socially-emotionally… (Sharrat & Fullan, 2012, p. 65).

Our collegiate discussions around marking papers this week revealed

The process of using data to identify the learner-centred problem is an iterative, inquiry-based process. The questions raised by your data overview should lead to further investigation of the data, which inevitably leads to new questions and investigations. Recognizing both the messiness and the richness of this process… shows how to use data wisely… (Mintz, Fiarman & Buffett, 2006, p. 83).

Iterate

CC Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/exper/1488367543/

Curves ahead?

  • Ongoing review of our students’ Humanities exam performance in light of other evidence
  • Discussion with colleagues in Maths/ Science to cross-check findings/ compare results
  • Evaluate our approach to inform refinements (3 subject tests allocated in one day became a bellwether of concern for Year 8s)
  • Modify curriculum plans for Semester Two based on what we now know
  • Consider feedback from students (Noteworthy – my Year 10s claim exams are boring, like coming to school on a wet Monday morning)
  • Keep in mind that “we cannot predict what students will learn, no matter how we design our teaching” (Wiliams, 2011, p. 46).

Selected references

Mintz, E., Fiarman, S.E. & Buffett, T. (2006). Digging into data. In Boudett, K.P., City, E.A. & Murnane, R.J. (Eds.) Data wise: A step-by-step guide to using assessment results to improve teaching and learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Sharratt, L. & Fullan, M. (2012). Putting faces on the data: What great leaders do! Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Wiliams, D. (2011). Embedded formative assessment. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Recommended reading: Transforming through Student Engagement

Recommended context to learning: EduTech conference and HistEd Chat.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/adam_t4/3121511810/”>Adam_T4</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/29774796/”>Orin Zebest</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

code acts in education

learning through code/learning to code

Dodgy Perth

Sordid tales from Western Australia

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

IOE LONDON BLOG

Expert opinion from the UK's leading centre for education research

the édu flâneuse

"For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate observer, it's an immense pleasure to take up residence in multiplicity, in whatever is seething, moving, evanescent and infinite: you're not at home, but you feel at home everywhere, you're at the centre of everything yet you remain hidden from everybody." Baudelaire

Reflecting English

In search of classroom answers

catherinecronin

open educator | open researcher

On an e-Journey with Generation Y

Immersing technology in the classroom and beyond into the globe!

creating multimodal texts

resources for literacy teachers

Lightning Droplets

Little flecks of inspiration and creativity

History Tech

History, technology, and probably some other stuff

Not Banjaxed...Yet

give it time

ELA in the middle

Middle School English, Language Arts

News @ CSIRO

CSIRO's news blog

Pragmatic Education

*Ideas are the currency of the 21st century*

Dennis Sparks on re·sil·ience

re·sil·ience\ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\ noun: the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful after misfortune or disruptive change

TILT

Techniques in Learning & Teaching: Where Transformative learning & scholarly teaching meet.

Combatting Schooling Injustice: Comenius Dreaming

About schools: especially social justice, human rights and equity in education, peace building, gender, environment and food politics, and good education policy and process

Moments, Snippets, Spirals

Education theories and research. Mostly.

%d bloggers like this: