Friday, 6 February 2015

Looking at data

Learning analytics was a focus of the core education 2014 trends. Though this has been a focus for me for quite a while.

This is from the Core Education Trends page 
We need to ask what data we’re gathering about our students and their progress through learning. If we’re completing tasks in a range of different online spaces, how do we bring all of that disparate data about a learner and make it whole again — make a complete picture of this child. 
Another implication for us is the challenge to use that data once it’s gathered. There’s a great saying about data: it needs to be useful and used. It must be relevant, reliable and meaningful, but it’s pointless to gather data if we’re going to use it. What are your teaching as inquiry processes like in your school? How well is data used when making decisions about what needs to be learnt next and how students might best learn it? Are you drawing on the rich data you have about your students? 
Some of the ethical implications for us centre around data sovereignty and privacy, the real power of learning analytics is unlocked when you’re able to work with large data sets — which means sharing data across schools. How are you going to ensure you deal fairly with students and other schools when sharing data? If you’re contributing to national-level data collection, have you thought through the implication around who has access to it, how student rights are managed? 
If we can start to make use of learning analytics to get the right learning activity into those student's hands, and maximise the engagement and motivation they have for that learning activity, we’ve got a really powerful model for personalising learning for every student.
ChallengesWhat data are we gathering in our schools?
How is it being stored and managed?
Who has access to it?
How is it being used to inform what is happening at school level?
How is it contributing to national-level data collection to inform strategic decisions around resourcing etc.?

To many times data is collected and never looked at again. At HPSS we are just about to go through our data collection process, from e-asttle tests to IKAN testing (I had to look that one up). 

One thing I think about is my own subject area, what data is it that I am collecting on the students? And how am I using it to inform my teaching.

Be it a single page to see if students have developed a concept? A webpage showing information and how they have put it together? Or is it a portfolio of work that shows a learning journey?

I have been through some ideas in how the school wants me to report back on a students learning. I have been used to having to do curriculum level, with a Basic, Proficient and Advanced. However the focus at HPSS is just the level, however, we are looking at SOLO taxonomy as part of our report back.

It is however somewhat different to the normal Parent Teacher Evenings that I have been used to. A five minute conversation, normally one way to the parent in how they are going. Normally I hope that the students has come along and they can explain what they are doing in class. It is a good way to see if concepts that you are teaching and making there way through. Sometimes I have had to go back and think about the learning objectives and success criteria that I have on the board. Have I made the learning explicit?

I plan on running a technology literacy test with the students to see what their understanding at Year 9 is around concepts of Nature of Technology. This will be carried out through a google form, just to get some base data. It is unsure if I can get the entire Year 9 to do this, as it would be good to see what is coming in from our contributing schools.

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