Data Collection

What are some different ways you can document a problem within your setting? How will you collect data?

There are many ways to document problems in a school environment. Really, it is among the better environments for data collection. One way is with the results from summative assessments. Another, perhaps less rigorous, would be using formative assessments. Personally, I would track my disciplinary system, trying to match disciplinary actions to causal factors I could control to reduce the need for disciplinary action. Health and absences can be a subtle but powerful indicator of problems; I would track that by pupil too. One thing that is hard to track is volunteering to answer questions. It would be useful to know who is putting their hands up to be called upon and if that inclination changes by subject. In addition, given a benchmark hand raising score, ebbs and flows of attention could be tracked.

The only way I know to do this is with a SMARTboard and the little student controller thingies that look like remote controls. With that, and the right software, tracking student participation would be easy. Having those devices also allows a much better model for calling on students randomly, making sure each student gets an equal chance to talk, and even for quick formative assessments throughout the day. They really could be cool tools in the classroom; however, I hesitate to introduce that much technology into the process. I worry that the essential humanism of the classroom would be harmed. I look forward to experimenting with the technology to see whether its benefits outweigh the costs.

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