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Student Data: How Using Data Can Help Your Students Succeed

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May 13th, 2021

Data are key to making instruction and intervention decisions that enable all students to succeed in learning.

But as vital as data are, organizing data and understanding how to analyze them to support students and schools can prove to be an overwhelming task. 

Are you looking for a streamlined solution to student data that can give a clear picture of how you can best help your students succeed in learning? 

This guide can help.

Table of Contents

  • What is Student Data?
  • Why Do Teachers Collect Data on Students?
  • 3 Categories of Student Data Analysis
  • #1 Academic Data
  • #2 Social-Emotional Behavior (SEB) Data
  • #3 School Climate and Culture Data
  • How Do You Analyze Student Data?
  • How to Use Student Data to Drive Instruction: the Illuminate Solution

What is Student Data?

Student data is information gathered about individual students to form a full picture of student learning and needs.

There are multiple facets to student data tracking, including:

  • Academic
  • Social-emotional behavior (SEB)
  • School climate and culture

Why Do Teachers Collect Data on Students?

Teachers collect student data to be able to:

  • Ensure students are meeting learning objectives
  • Design effective instructional methods 
  • Respond appropriately to students’ whole child needs

Why are student data important? 

Student data tracking empowers students, parents, and teachers to enhance student achievement by using data to improve instruction and create optimal learning experiences for each student.

Educators are using data to improve instruction for students in multiple areas, including those who may be those who may be experiencing dyslexia, mental health concerns, ADHD, trauma, or navigating remote learning.

Studies have shown that data-driven education has a high success rate because of its ability to:

  • Allow the students to place their focus on the areas of instruction where they need it the most 
  • Give teachers, administrators, schools, and districts the tools they need to adapt their instructional techniques to best meet their students’ needs.

3 Categories for Student Data Analysis

Holistic student data are a necessary component for educators who truly desire to understand the “whole student.

Take a look at the following example: 

Cheyenne is in the 8th grade and until the last semester, she had always been a straight-A student. 

But recently she has started to earn Cs and Ds. 

Although her schoolwork is suffering, the problem’s cause may have absolutely nothing to do with academics. 

Ultimately, the root of Cheyenne’s struggle may be found in:

  • Family or home issues, such as divorce or a parent’s job loss
  • Bullying
  • Illness or the death of someone close to her
  • Not feeling comfortable or safe at school
  • Food insecurity 
  • Problems with her eyesight

Having access to Cheyenne’s holistic student data can help pinpoint the cause of such a dramatic change and give her the individualized help she needs to get back on track in both her daily life and academically. 

Student data incorporates many different types of data, including:

  • Academic data
  • Social-emotional behavior (SEB) data
  • School climate and culture

Without visibility into each of these components, it can be easy to overlook the data needed to know exactly how to help an individual student properly.

Illuminate Education’s comprehensive assessment, MTSS collaboration and management, real-time dashboard tools equip educators to understand each student’s academic and SEB needs to ensure all students are growing.

The Illuminate Solution is able to support educators in:

#1 Academic Data

Academic data is a collection of information that reflects how students are doing in their academic studies, such as math and reading.

It is composed of student assessment data from assessment tools such as:

Academic data also includes:

  • Courses the student has completed
  • Grades the student has earned
  • Completion of academic requirements

How To Collect Student Data for Academics

Academic student data is gathered from:  

  • Assessments
  • Class grades
  • Performance tasks

#2 Social-Emotional Behavior (SEB) Data

The field of social emotional learning and mental health has shifted towards a dual factor model in which practitioners and educators are encouraged to look at both social emotional problems and social emotional competencies.

SEB competence is defined by the presence of social-emotional and academic enabling skills that help students learn and relate to others (e.g., self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, motivation, and academic achievement) as well as the absence of problem behaviors that prohibit learning and healthy relationships (e.g, aggression, noncompliance, disruption, worry/fear, and withdrawal/avoidance).

SEB data includes things such as:

  • Student attendance:
    • Tardies
    • Full and partial absences
  • Behavior incident data:
    • Classroom-managed issues: These are the smaller problems that a teacher handles in-class, without assistance from the school office, such as:
        • Disruptive behavior
        • In-class phone usage
        • Late or incomplete assignments
        • Excessive talking
        • Cheating
    • Office-managed issues, such as:
        • Bullying or physically injuring another student
        • Bringing a weapon to school
        • Possession of illegal substances
  • Social-emotional competencies:
    • Can wait his or her turn 
    • Has a positive attitude 
    • Gets along with others
    • Can work independently

To properly evaluate a student’s social-emotional behavior, educators need to take into account two types of data:

  • Quantitative data: This includes anything that can be numerically quantified, such as SEB screening results, attendance data, classroom grades, or assessment scores.
  • Qualitative data: This incorporates data that describes qualities or observations and includes things such as gut feelings, journal entries, personal interviews, hallway conversations, and teacher intuition. 

Without high-quality SEB data, it will be difficult to identify and act upon any relational problems a student may be exhibiting.

How to Collect SEB Student Data

Without access to the proper tools, student data tracking for SEB can be an overwhelming task.

That’s why Illuminate Education provides SEB assessments for universal screening and progress monitoring through the FastBridge assessment solution, as well as a whole child data management through eduCLIMBER. Attendance and behavior incident data can sync into eduCLIMBER from your SIS to live alongside the rest of the holistic student data picture.

student-assessment-data

#3 School Climate and Culture Data

The whole student data picture also includes data relating to both the climate and culture of the school the child attends. 

School climate and culture data take into account factors such as: 

  • How does the student feel while they are at school? 
  • Do they feel safe?
  • Do they have friends?
  • What is their level of confidence in academic and social situations?
  • What is the overriding atmosphere of the school? 
  • Is there racial or gender division? 

A deficit in any of these areas can have a huge impact on the child’s life in general and their ability to learn.

How to Collect Student Data for School Climate and Culture

A great way to gather student data for school climate and culture is by providing each of the students with a survey.

If given the option to submit the survey anonymously, most students are willing to openly and honestly share their feelings about their time at school. For this reason, survey data often exist at the “summary” level, instead of the individual student level. These data can be housed at the summary level in a real-time dashboard solution such as Achievement Dashboard.

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How Do You Analyze Student Data?

To effectively analyze student assessment data, you must:

  • Compile all student data in a single platform
  • Start by analyzing data at the universal tier (by district, by school, by grade, or by class)
  • Then, analyze data by different groups of students
  • Then, analyze data for individual students 

Our Assessing to Accelerate Learning Toolkit can walk your team through this process in more detail.

As a teacher, you are well aware that the right data used in the right way at the right time can empower teams with the information they need to make the very best decisions for enhancing student success. But in some cases, the details of understanding and implementing student data can be a barrier in the process. How does a busy educator find the time to compile, organize and analyze data? 

In these cases, Illuminate Education can simplify your life as an educator.

Our comprehensive assessment solution provides a complete set of assessment tools to understand each students’ academic and social-emotional behavioral (SEB) learning and needs in terms of both standards and skills—whether in an onsite, remote, or hybrid environment.

  • DnA Highest-quality, standards-based assessments with instant scoring, formative feedback, interactive reporting, and targeted activities 
  • FastBridgeResearch-based universal screening and progress monitoring tool for academics and social-emotional behavior (SEB) with intervention recommendations 

Data from these assessments—along with all other whole child data—are then integrated for easy data analysis in eduCLIMBER

eduCLIMBER provides whole child data visualizations and tools for essential MTSS processes, including need identification, intervention tracking, effectiveness reporting, and collaboration.

eduCLIMBER is a single hub for all student data sources such as:

  • Academic data
  • SEB data
  • Intervention data
  • Behavior incident data
  • Attendance
  • Qualitative data, such as student observations

Finally, Achievement Dashboard provides data visualizations that enable administrators to view key data, monitor initiatives via an equity lens, and share information with all stakeholders.

With Achievement Dashboard, district and school leaders can:

  • Customize visualizations of real-time student data
  • Visualize any data set from Google Sheets
  • Create shareable insights and school improvement plans

a-data-set-includes-data-from-student-evaluations-of-courses

How To Use Student Data to Drive Instruction: The Illuminate Solution

Having access to Illuminate Educations’s comprehensive assessment, MTSS collaboration and management, and real-time dashboard tools is an educational game-changer for educators and students alike.

As educator Patti Wilson put it: 

“It’s one thing to look at grades and see a student is struggling across most content areas. But when you’re able to piece together additional pieces of that data story—that they lack readiness skills or have difficulty with sustained attention and initial engagement— that informs the type of intervention needed.

Illuminate Education has created practical solutions that provide teachers with a holistic view of each student by combining:

  • Academic data
  • SEB data
  • Intervention data
  • Qualitative data (observations, notes, and comments)
  • Other whole child data

The Illuminate Solution will help teachers like you understand each student’s individual, unique learning needs so you can easily align the appropriate instructional and intervention supports.

Illuminate equips your team to discover patterns and insights through data visualizations designed to answer key questions at the student, class, school, or district level. Our tools are designed to bring clarity to data and confidence to your educational decisions and actions. 

And you will never have to wonder about the right next steps to take because the Illuminate Education team will be there to support you every step of the way. 

Schedule your demo today and discover the Illuminate Solution.

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Illuminate Education equips educators to take a data-driven approach to serving the whole child. Our solution combines comprehensive assessment, MTSS management and collaboration, and real-time dashboard tools, and puts them in the hands of educators. As a result, educators can monitor learning and growth, identify academic and social-emotional behavioral needs, and align targeted supports in order to accelerate learning for each student. 

Ready to discover your one-stop shop for your district’s educational needs? Let’s talk.

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