What are the challenges of collecting data in schools?
Recent research has explored the reasons why special education teams in Nebraska aren’t using data-based decision making practices (Doll et al., 2005). Student Assistance Teams identified four barriers to using data-based strategies:
- They had limited access to reliable, effective, and practical strategies for gathering data on student learning and behavior.
- They lacked training and experience using data to make educational decisions about their students.
- They struggled to determine whether the interventions they were using are empirically sound.
- There is a striking mismatch between expectations that schools have data to document student outcomes and teachers’ sense of preparedness to use data-based problem-solving in their daily work.
What supports do teachers need?
The goal of NU Data is to address these barriers by training teachers and other educational professionals to be the “data experts” in their schools. Specifically, NU Data trains teachers to:
- Know a variety of ways to collect data
- Select protocols that are best suited to answer the teams’ questions about students
- Collate and graph data
- Discern trends and differences in data
- Use data and data trends in team problem-solving and planning
- Select evidence-based interventions
What NU Data Does
NU Data strengthens teachers’ skills in six DataBasics. These six DataBasics were developed to address the previously mentioned barriers to high-quality data use. This website goes through each DataBasic, providing narrated powerpoints, data collection tools, and other materials. Start exploring the six DataBasics here:
- DataBasic #1: Knowledge of data collection tools.
- DataBasic #2: Selecting data collection tools that fit teachers' questions about students.
- DataBasic #3: Collating and graphing data.
- DataBasic #4: Interpreting student data.
- DataBasic #5: Using data to refine instructional modifications.
- DataBasic #6: Selecting evidence-based interventions.
Want to learn more about NU Data?
NU Data is a four-month professional development intervention designed to strengthen teachers’ competence in collecting and using data to evaluate their students’ learning, behavior, or academic engagement. All of the following materials were taken from the NU Data curriculum. If you would like to learn more about NU Data, please contact Dr. Beth Doll at firstname.lastname@example.org.