What exactly is a Data Wall?
A Data Wall is just what it sounds like, an easy-to-implement method for physically tracking student progress on a wall by using various visual representations. Data walls can take many forms depending on the collected data and how it can be broken down to best align with relevant school goals.
Data walls can track everything from reading levels, to test scores, attendance, and anything in between. A data wall is most effective when it is inclusive of every student and every teacher, emphasizing the strategic school plan objectives and progress. This doesn’t necessarily mean there should only be a single data wall for the entire school, data walls at the classroom level should reflect strategies that impact the success of the whole school.
How are they being used?
By implementing a data wall, teachers are able to securely and confidentially capture their students’ data at hand to make evidence-based decisions they may not always have the capacity to do when busy teaching. Here are some examples:
Discovering patterns in one student’s performance over time across different KPIs
This helps teachers see the specific areas that a single individual may excel at, remain consistent in, or require more focused attention. It can also guide a teacher towards knowing whether their efforts are positively correlated to the student’s progress being shown.
Tracking improvement periodically based on standard baseline data assessed at the beginning of the year
By comparing to a baseline level, teachers can measure the levels of growth that students acquire at periodic times throughout the year until the school year comes to an end.
Identifying trends across the entire classroom over a specific area being measured
If there are notable trends across a significant number of students, teachers can use these metrics to see if alterations in their overall instruction methods should be made to ensure students’ learning needs are met.
Highlighting notable outliers
There is always the possibility for situations that don’t have a clear explanation when they occur. Data walls can bring attention to those that serve as reference points and areas for discussion when teachers report collectively with their colleagues.
Predicting and preparing
Once the metrics are starting to be captured, they can be leveraged for developing strategies in curriculum, behavioral plans, and classroom goals that will better influence the improvement of the entire school.
The Student Impact and Why They’re Important
Now that we know the techniques for using data walls, we can dive into the benefits they provide for student improvement and how crucial they can be for schools given the vast amount of data being collected.
When schools begin to effectively use data walls:
- Everyone on staff is able to work collectively for the betterment of students across performance, academic growth, behavioral development, and a variety of other KPIs and their respective metrics
- Teachers can take greater accountability for each student for the sake of the parents and district board members that rely on progress updates for state mandates.
- Communication and collaboration becomes a greater priority amongst staff members that want to take advantage of the insight their colleagues have found and potential areas to improve
- They have the ability to constantly adapt to internal factors and external changes that are influencing the goals of the school, and therefore how metrics may be getting broken down or decided.
- Everyone involved with the data can determine new benchmarks for students to achieve based upon results from the previous year.
Opportunities to take the Data Wall a Step Further – Virtual Data Visualization
Schools don’t have to limit their data wall to just their physical landscape and environment. To gain even more value from these techniques for data collection and analysis, schools can bring their data insights to life through a virtual data wall – a dashboard.
Dashboards can work to eliminate challenges of seeing only one-two KPIs or metrics at a time that comes with using a physical data wall. Through drilldowns and Interactive Intelligence provided by iDashboards, teachers can manipulate their dashboards to see as many KPIs as they want, allowing them to analyze details and relationships that make up their crucial data points.
Being a virtual automated tool, they can also be accessed anytime, anywhere by whoever needs to track their data. This not only saves time with maintenance of updating data but also with reporting and analysis when data is shown in real-time. Teachers and administrators can interact with their dashboards at moments that work best with their busy schedules and the needs of their students. They can also receive alerts that warn teachers of numbers not being met or bring attention to those that hit a desired target.
Every school wants to make their students the main priority and empower them to achieve success, so why shouldn’t your data be working to do the same?
Learn how iDashboards can incorporate classroom, school-wide, and district data into your reporting process to make decisions more efficient and tailored to the growth of every student. Contact us here today.
Get the Guide Fundamental Design Principles for Dashboards
Even if you’re not the artistic type, this guide will have you thinking like a graphic designer and making informed choices that support your data narrative.