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Whitney Bowers
Professor Lopez
Data Issues
Gathering and utilizing student data are two of the most important tasks that an
educator has to take on, no matter what grade level he or she teaches. Understanding and
accessing this data is necessary for gaging students progress and ultimately helps
teachers assess their own progress and the quality of their instruction. Teachers have to do
their best to align their instruction and assessment styles with the learning goals for the
class, try alternative methods for collecting data like using data notebooks. They can also
use classroom response systems such as clickers and polls, and should keep in mind the
potential challenges that accompany collecting and managing student data.
First and foremost, I believe it is definitely necessary to align instruction and
assessment with the teachers set of learning goals. These learning goals may be decided
by a number of factorsmore than likely, they will be a combination of Common Core
standards and aspects that the teacher thinks is most important about the subject being
taught. The learning goals will also depend upon the group of students and what the
teacher thinks they are capable of doing. The teachers values and interests will always
vary but ultimately these learning goals must be guided by state-mandated requirements.
Performance-based assessment works by assessing products that students prepare
reflecting their learning or by assessing actual student performances designed to
demonstrate their learning (Burden & Byrd, 2016).

I think the idea of Data Notebooks is great for students of any age. From what I
can gather from the video, the kids are using these notebooks to track their progress or
behavior in a certain area. One girl was using her charts to track her grades on reading
quizzes, while one of the boys was using it to track his behavior in class. One of the girls
was using it to outline her goals (both personal and academic), and several of the students
had their data notebooks color codedred, yellow, or greendepending on how much
improvement they needed in that category. While students of all ages could definitely
benefit from data notebooks, I can see them being more common in the lower grades
because it gives younger kids a lot of needed structure (Sue Cleveland Students
Discussing Data Notebooks, 2013). This idea could be useful for classes as a whole, too,
if class behavior or performance were tracked and charted. This would pave the way for
class discussions regarding progress and I think it would be a great way for students to
get a long-term look at their progress and performance in academics or other areas.
Classroom Response Systems such as clickers or poll apps may increase
active class participation. From my own experience with clickers, these responses are
generally mandatory and are often a substitute for attendance points in the form of small
daily quiz grades. Polling systems are often a way for teachers to engage students during
discussion because it is interesting to see your classmates opinions about a certain
subject; clicker systems can also bring up polls to show what percentage of the class
chose the correct answer.
The reading breaks down types of clicker questions into several categories: recall,
conceptual understanding, application, critical thinking, student perspective, confidence
level, monitoring, and classroom experiments (Bruff, 2011). These systems have the

potential to increase active participation because there may be students who are too shy to
raise their hand and talk in front of the class, but are more comfortable sending in a
clicker or poll response. However, I consider active participation to mean engaging in
discussion, and I cant say that sending in a clicker or poll response is exactly analogous
with this idea. But clicker response systems have a lot of potential to increase student
engagement, especially if these responses are mandatory, because they are less time
consuming than individually calling on each student. However, it is one of the most
easily accessible forms of student data because the students are giving it directly and the
content is immediately apparent to the teacher.
Collecting and managing student data undoubtedly has benefits for the teacher,
but there are also a lot of potential challenges in this area. For one, we have to make sure
that the underlying purpose of collecting student data is positivenamely, that it serves
to meet the needs of the people. One example of this is making sure that all parents have
access to data about their childrens performance and behavior in school. Parents,
educators, and the general public should also have access to data regarding how schools
are performing overall. Its important that this data is accurate but that its collection
doesnt violate privacy rights. One challenge that can arise in this area is that states often
cannot share their data with other states regarding their schools and students (Data
Quality Campaign, 2015).
Related to this issue of student data and privacy is making sure that the data isnt
mishandled or given to the wrong people. At the root of the angst surrounding the use of
student data is the lack of trust and familiarity with how the data is collected, shared,
stored, and protected (MindShift, 2014). However, this article also argues that the main

purpose of collecting student data is so that teachers can tailor their curriculums to better
match the ability levels of their students. The main components that comprise this data
are everything from the students name, birthday, and medical history, to his attendance
record and test scores. When this data is stored by the school, it creates a student profile
that theoretically helps educators tailor their curriculums to better help the student. But
some fears surrounding storing this data fall into several categories: data marketers, data
breaches, and unshakeable data trails (MindShift, 2014). Basically, many people fear
that this type of data storage will give children permanent digital records and open up the
possibility of their data being sold to companies for the purpose of figuring out what to
market to the populace. Its a complicated issue and one that still draws a lot of
controversy from parents, teachers, and schools.
Overall, the issue of student data is one that will inevitably affect my future as an
educator. I have to learn how to utilize data to better understand my studentshow to
interpret their abilities based on behavior and school performance. I also need to know
how to use this data to tailor my teaching methods so that it is most appropriate for my
students. Techniques like data notebooks, which allow students to track their own
progress, and classroom response systems, which encourage more active participation,
are great examples of how data can become a part of daily school life. But we also have
to keep in mind that there will always be challenges and issues to keep in mind when it
comes to collecting and analyzing information about our students.

Bruff, D. (2010). Classroom Response Systems: Clickers. Vanderbilt University:
Vanderbilt Center for Teaching. Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guidessub-pages/clickers/.
Byrd, David & Burden, Paul. (2016). Methods for Effective Teaching: Meeting the Needs
of All Students. Pearson Digital Library.
Unknown Author. SCEPBIS. (2013). Sue Cleveland Students Discussing Data
Notebooks. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGZZS4RJmtc.
Unknown Author. (2015). ESEA Reauthorization: Why Data Matter. Data Quality
Unknown Author. (2014). Whats Really at Stake? Untangling the Big Issues Around
Student Data. Mind/Shift, KQED News.