Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Session 8: Data Driven Decision Making

Session 8: Data-Driven Decision-Making

As I understand from this week podcast, data-driven decision-making is a method to collect useful data to evaluate, decide to follow, or to implement a set of goals or to settle in making an important decision. In educational field, data-driven decision making has become a school-reform mantra that is celebrated but widely misunderstood, and is often ignored (despite its hype) or actively feared.
At its best, data-driven decision-making is much more than an accountability tool; it is a diagnostic tool that permits or encourages teachers to tailor instruction and method to student needs. Thus, it finds that the teachers can improve and more easily direct their students toward success.
In reality, when the word “collecting data” is mentioned, the data collector would not gain much support from the educators. Why have some educators been resistant to a concept that has so much support from the government, businesses, parents and others? The first reason is fear and loathing. With only slight exaggeration, it is safe to say that most educators view data as the enemy. Data is something a third party requires you to gather about yourself with the expectation that it will be used to embarrass you down the road.
The second and collateral reason for educator resistance is that, with few exceptions, educators see data as a burden, not an asset. A teacher needs to spend time with his or her students, not with data entry and arcane analysis. With the notable exception of attendance data, which in most districts generates revenue, school data neither simplifies life nor increases a sense of professional efficacy.
As I mentioned in the second paragraphs, I have been using the data driven in decision making (I did not know that it has such name.) since my first class that I taught. About the fourth week of every semester, I always give students in my class a survey (I came up with this survey.) In this survey, I ask them to grade me according last four weeks as their teacher. They will give me a grade on my word usage, language, pronunciation, my teaching style, my performance, and my availability to them et cetera. I have been changing these questions accordingly to the situation of each class, but there were always 20 questions all together. I have been using these data to improve myself and tailor my teaching techniques and trying to reach all of them. They love it. I can tell by their attitude toward me and by overhear it when they talk to each others about my teaching. I guess that they see and feel my answers toward their needs from the questionnaire. After I took EDUC 607, I learned to extrapolate and interpret these data with a better accuracy. This semester, I think that I manipulate and understand the data from my students with improved precision and to closer real needs of my students, both in the classroom and in the workshop.

Week of February 27, 2007 to March 4, 2007
Activities and Log


Listen to podcast
Write the article
Post it on the blog
Completed the project 2 Power Point Training
I have problem to up load it to my website
Continue to work on this problem and hope will have it up load soon.


I am able to up load my project 2 Power point.
One thing I do not like is when click on this link, you cannot just
click open to open it. You must save it then open folder.
I do not know if this is the way it should be or still I need to fix it.
I am investigating this problem right now before I fix it. If it is the way it supose to be,
I will leave it alone because I do not want to work on a problem that does not exist.
My three projects are completed.
They can be viewed individually on the nav. links or from the ETEC 623 Portfolio link
on my web site. www.denguyen.com.
From now until the end of this week, I will spend time to read other scholars' articals and post my comments.


James said...


Good comments in your posting. I agree that a teacher needs to spend time with their students and not worry about typing in data to a computer. Also, I like the fact that you have been giving your students a survey after the 4th week of classes to evaluate yourself. I do something similiar in my classes early in the semester. That way there is plenty of time to change or adapt to situations that may need fixing.


Rosa said...

HI De,

I like that you call data collection a diagnostic tool. I think it can be a very good one providing the information is interpreted correctly and put to good use. I think the way you do it is very good. When you give your students a survey on the 4th week you are giving them the opportunity to give you feedback. The level of success of any class depends greatly on how well teacher and students can understand and communicate. You are actually improving the odds by using the survey you formulated. It is a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Survey sounds like a great idea! Do you try to really use the feedback dynamically for each class? Do you do additioanl surveys like at the end of the semester or do you find that you get a lot of similar constructive feedback between classes? I've used some self made surveys but the most I've gotten from them has been very general feedback.

RFLORES said...

Hello Dee,

I have had a similar experience as yours; I have been using Data-Driven-Decision-Making for quite a few years now. The only thing is, I used to label it, by using other vague terms such as "Decision-efficiency," or "Data-compression." In any event, now I have the right term to use and my experience will be more comprehensive.

dflores1972 said...

Hello De,
I liked that you included DDDM in your teaching techniques. We so often forget that we use everyday in our careers.

Cassandra said...

I think we collect they data even though we may not always realize it. It is a tool that can assist us in our classrooms in many ways we can learn from the strength's and weakness of the students.

robert lynn said...

All of us will at times collect data, either formally or informally. This is what a reflective teacher will use to be able to adjust their teaching methods or perhaps a misaligned grading procedure.

tyler said...

You really seem to use data decision making a lot. I do not use it that much. It is something that I guess I should use more. Very interesting comments.

Michele said...

I think its great that you give your studnets a questionaire to answer. THat is a wonderful idea to see what they see and to get a better idea of what areas you newed to focus on for the year.

Jennie O'Kelley said...

I think that you blog is great and very colorful. I argee with you that teachers need to not focus so much on computer generated data but other forms of data as well. I think the idea of a survey is great and I plan on using that with my parents and students as well. I also have a blog on my webpage that allows to ask students questions regarding the class to get info back from them. great blog.

Brian Newberry said...

Very interesting examples and comments. It is so true that some educators feel data is a burden. There are some good reasons for this! For some teaching is more art than science. The artful part of teaching uses a different method to guiding practice and making decisions. Too, the science of teaching has led to burdens on teachers that haven't always been beneficial in the long run.

Still, we shouldn't blame the tools, as ultimately it is the people who use, or misuse them.

Your survey is an excellent example of a positive use of DDDM.