Giving Compass' Take:

• Rachel Burstein shares the results from an EdSurge survey of educators aimed at determining how they were collecting and using evidence and the gaps that they see. 

• How can funders help to improve data collection and use in support of educators? 

• Learn about making school data work together

From fall 2018 through spring 2019, the EdSurge Research team conducted a survey of 115 educators who registered for Teaching and Learning Circles. Respondents viewed an inability to evaluate student progress toward meeting certain types of goals as a significant problem. In fact, 32 out of 88 educators identified an “inability to effectively measure student progress in academic and non-academic skills” as the first or second most acute challenge they faced from a list of five.

Educators Don’t Think They’re Measuring Success
In our survey, we asked educators how they measured the success of a particular strategy or initiative they had implemented in their learning community. Of the 69 educators who responded to the question, nearly half reported that they had not tried to measure success. This included 21 survey respondents who judged their strategy or initiative to be “successful” or “very successful”

Identifying Measurements That Align With a Project’s Goals and Scope
For educators who are used to evaluating student progress with traditional grades and test scores, it can be hard to think about qualitative data as a legitimate form of evidence. And finding the time to implement a formal evaluation approach can prove challenging. Still, gauging effectiveness is key. The impetus for making a change to pedagogical practice, is of course, that something isn’t working. Ensuring that a plan is in place for figuring out whether the new or modified approach is working is critical.

But measuring progress needn’t be a laborious process. Comprehensive rubrics, lengthy feedback forms and time-consuming observational techniques all have their place. However, more lightweight approaches to evaluation may be more effective for projects and initiatives of a smaller scope.

Many of the educators we surveyed and interviewed shared that measuring effectiveness can be daunting, but that aligning the evaluation approach with the goal of the project can make it more manageable.

Read the full article about educators collecting and using evidence by Rachel Burstein at EdSurge.