The “Data Wise” Improvement Process: Eight Steps for Using Test Data to Improve Teaching and Learning
This article is adapted from Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning, edited by Kathryn Parker Boudett, Elizabeth A. City, and Richard J. Murnane (Harvard Education Press, 2005). The authors recommend an 8-step process for using data to improve learning, including: organizing for collaborative work; building assessment literacy; creating a data overview; digging into student data; examining instruction; developing an action plan; planning to assess progress; and acting and assessing. According to the authors, “a central premise of the Data Wise Improvement Process is that it is important to examine a wide range of data, not just results from standardized tests.”
The purposes of this brief article are stated primarily in the title rather than in the body of the article itself. While the authors draw from their research and expertise, and their recommendations are sound, the article is somewhat dated and could be enhanced by drawing on more specific, real examples. The article is easy to read but could be enhanced by providing the actual figures that are mentioned in the text. Utility should be reasonable, primarily for those who have limited experience in data use. Others may find the 8-step process fairly common. While evidence of effectiveness is not addressed, the authors expertise and the popularity of their book on which this article is derived suggests a possible positive impact on learning.