How to Utilize Assessment Data in the Classroom
An assessment is characterized as the process of defining, selecting, designing, collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and using information to increase students’ learning and development. Through this process administers can gather assessment data to strategically plan and deliver individualized instruction.
Teachers use assessment data as one of the most powerful tools in their classrooms. An important piece of teacher instruction comes from how they utilize this data. Data needs to be collected, evaluated, and then put to use through instruction and student interventions. Learning how to effectively use assessment data will impact student learning in the best way possible.
How can technology help you access assessment data?
Educational technology, like Istation’s ISIP™ assessments, allows you to automate computer-adaptive testing (CAT) systems that automatically assign assessments to students.
These types of assessment tools should have the following features to promote success:
- Monthly assessments are given the first time a student logs on during a calendar month. This is necessary to maintain a consistent stream of assessment data showing individual benchmarks for student progress.
- On-demand assessments can be given at any time during the school year between monthly assessments. This feature provides a continuous progress monitoring tool that you can utilize to gather assessment data when needed.
- Assessment reports with actionable feedback. This allows your teachers to not only analyze assessment data for an individual student but also share the data with administrators for additional progress monitoring. Teachers can also utilize these reports to observe assessment data patterns and adjust instruction.
5 ways to utilize assessment data
Once you’ve implemented an assessment tool that allows you to access the right assessment data, you can take the next steps in improving instruction in your classrooms.
Read through our five ways to utilize assessment data to determine these next steps.1. Plan individual instructional intervention
Whether your school uses an MTSS or an RTI approach, the goal of delivering instructional intervention is the same: help students improve skills they struggle with.
Assessment data gives teachers the foundation for creating their own individualized plan for struggling learners. Personalizing a student’s plan can look very different each time but may include a few similar criteria, such as...
- skills that need emphasis in the classroom;
- additional support strategies for teaching the student; and
- a way to track and monitor progress for the student, teacher, and families involved.
Keep in mind that a personalized instructional intervention plan remains flexible. Real-time reporting tools, like Istation’s personalized data profiles, provide formative assessment data and relevant statistics to guide instructional interventions delivered in the classroom.2. Develop daily instructional strategies
Knowing where each student is performing helps teachers see the big picture when developing their daily instructional strategies. This allows them to move from assessing students to grouping students based on relevant assessment data trends.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to grouping students and you may hear teachers ask:
- How many small groups should I teach?
- How am I going to find the time to meet with them?
- How do I manage the rest of my class while working with my small groups?
- Where do I find resources to meet all of the instructional needs of my students?
Assessment data will provide you with everything you need to answer these questions and start grouping students. This data can help develop instructional strategies to meet the group’s needs. Many online reading and math assessments save teachers time by linking ready-to-use resources for small- or whole-group instruction within the assessment reports.3. Determine targeted goals for students and teachers
Short- and long-term goals guide success for teachers and students. District and campus leaders can analyze assessment data and use the information to set goals for teachers that are specific, measurable, relevant, and attainable. In return, teachers can work to make sure that student goals are aligned.
In a recent podcast, former educator and Istation professional development manager Julie Kalinowski said, “When students start taking ownership of their own goals and assessment data, that’s when we see the biggest bang for our buck.”4. Monitor student and teacher progress
Progress monitoring provides leaders with valuable information regarding improvements in critical reading and math skills as well as classroom performance. This type of monitoring should take place often so that it becomes expected and familiar for all parties involved.
When conducting progress monitoring, consider using an all-in-one assessment tool for students. Having this type of assessment tool allows each student to be assessed in the area of content they need to show progress. When the tool adapts to the learner’s ability, the student becomes less discouraged and frustration levels are lowered. This ensures that the assessment data gathered during progress monitoring is more accurate.5. Discover professional development gaps
While many people believe that assessment data can only be utilized to help students improve, at Istation we are seeing another trend. Education leaders are analyzing assessment data and determining where students are seeing the least amount of improvement. This information points them to the overall professional development gaps for teachers.
Many leaders are looking for customized professional development sessions to fill these gaps. Educators are finding it easier to customize these development plans when they partner with their assessment technology provider.
An assessment provider like Istation offers customized guidance and insight into proven educational approaches. They employ specialists with real-world instructional experience that can help create the customized professional development sessions your teachers need.
Learn more about Istation’s assessment tools here.