You’re Sharing The Data, Right?

We held a processing session for several of our DLC teacher researchers today. One of them, an early elementary teacher, said this in mid-presentation as she was discussing the impact of helping her students to monitor their own reading process:

So many times, we give assessments but we don’t take the time to give (our students) the data. Giving them the data gives them control over changing it.”

Yes. It does. Think quantified self. And I’m wondering just when it is that we give students the information that we take from them.

In an ideal situation, we wouldn’t ever not return some information whenever we require an assessment of our students. And it’s probably not that hard to ensure that the information gets back to students.

And yet. When I asked an executive at a major assessment company if he was working to give students access to the information that they collect about them, he looked at me like I’d just asked him if squirrels could talk.

So there’s work to do.

I hope you’re sharing the information that you’re collecting about students with the students you’re working with. And I hope you’re asking vendors how they’re doing that, too.

7 thoughts on “You’re Sharing The Data, Right?

  1. Gail P says:

    I will keep this in mind as I work with my students on their personal goals. It makes so much sense and while I know I share information with them, tracking their own progress toward their own goals will make so much more sense now.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I absolutely agree! It amazes me that the executive manager looked at you that way when you inquired about when students could start seeing the data that they collected. How is that we can expect students to make improvements when they aren’t given the data that explains what exactly they need to improve? We can’t.

  3. Zac says:

    My question here was, “Do students want the data?” or are we just handing it to them and telling them it is important for the fact that we gave it to them. Then, I argued against myself, “It’s better to give them the data and have them decide if they want it and want to use it than to keep it from them.”
    Still, I think the longer argument here is about the importance of helping students find value in the data we give them and accepting it when they reject or ignore that value.
    Thanks for thinking.

    1. Bud Hunt says:

      And, of course, Zac, one additional question is if the data we’re collecting has no value to the students, then what value does that data have? If it doesn’t have value, and doesn’t help students, might we think about different information that we can/should collect and how that would be more useful?

  4. Alison says:

    Bud, you consistently ask the right questions. It’s what I love about working with you. Just the idea of “quantified self” – I had never heard of it, yet I do it every day (calorie counters, etc.) and I’m training my daughter to track her moods in the same way. She (3rd grade) thought she’d get her TCAP results quickly. I told her she wouldn’t. She wants to know them…as she wants to know other ways of understanding herself. Who doesn’t? When we shift the purpose of assessment from accountability tracking to meaning making and intrapersonal understanding, we empower, well, everyone, don’t we? Teachers and students?

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