Using Data-Informed Instruction in Your School

This article outlines some of the strategies for using real-time feedback and instruction in schools and districts.

Formative
Editorial Team
February 9, 2023
Resources

For educators around the world, receiving good, consistent, real-time feedback can yield positive pedagogical outcomes. On a micro level, teachers can study student results on a test, for example, and then adjust their instruction to address any potential learning opportunities. The key, of course, is to let good data inform education rather than drive it. This way of data informed instruction pairs objective fact with nuanced intuition.

And on the macro level, administrators with a holistic perspective on their school or district’s educational health can make comprehensive policy decisions that stem from authentic classroom dynamics. According to GoGuardian research manager Mariana Aguilar, good data has allowed “higher-performing schools… [to] transfor[m] their entire culture: District leaders, school leaders, teachers and students are all working around the common goal of improving learning outcomes for students based on [available] data.”

Playbook

Reactive to Proactive

Aimed at teachers, students, district leaders, and other educational changemakers, this comprehensive playbook details seven strategies for using Formative that will transform teaching and learning through the use of real-time feedback.

Download Now
Playbook

Reactive to Proactive

Aimed at teachers, students, district leaders, and other educational changemakers, this comprehensive playbook details seven strategies for using Formative that will transform teaching and learning through the use of real-time feedback.

Download Now
Playbook

Reactive to Proactive

Aimed at teachers, students, district leaders, and other educational changemakers, this comprehensive playbook details seven strategies for using Formative that will transform teaching and learning through the use of real-time feedback.

Download Now

To that end, here are some steps on how to best use data-informed instruction in your school.

  1. Define clear standards and goals. Make sure you’re operating off clearly defined parameters. If you’re a teacher, set performance-based metrics that factor in state curriculum standards and individual education plans. If you’re an administrator, ensure your teachers are working within school or district initiatives. Setting these markers early on ensures a more consistent data spread.
  2. Invest in software that’s capable of presenting data. Technology has only enhanced the ability of educators to benefit from data: intuitive LMS’s and learning platforms like Canvas, Google Classroom, NearPod, Schoology, or Formative provide real-time feedback into school/district life.
  3. Prepare targeted formative assessments. The more data teachers have, the better they’ll be able to adjust to the needs of their classes. Targeted formative assessments allow for frequent reinforcement of skills and comprehension; when used in conjunction with a learning platform, they also offer insights into what students know and where they might need to spend more time.
  4. Collaborate with PLCs. Group data analysis benefits educators in many ways. For one, it can track historical progress and growth across the different levels of a subject, allowing teachers to adjust and revise course curricula. Group work also affords fresh perspectives and shared workloads when sifting through data. But most importantly, it’s a holistic way of keeping the student at the forefront: educators across an entire school or district can focus on the individual needs of one - or many - students.
  5. Commit to reflection across school/district. Teachers need time to review data, and administrators need to commit to a thought schedule that prioritizes that work. Maybe that’s after a major assessment. Or maybe it’s during regularly scheduled PD intervals. Regardless of when, agreeing to a set reflection means that educators will have protected time - their other duties won’t become too overwhelming.

Promotion

We've Officially Partnered with Google Classroom

Formative is now part of Google Classroom’s new integration. Create, edit, and assign any formative without navigating back and forth between platforms!

Learn More
Promotion

We've Officially Partnered with Google Classroom

Formative is now part of Google Classroom’s new integration. Create, edit, and assign any formative without navigating back and forth between platforms!

Learn More
Promotion

We've Officially Partnered with Google Classroom

Formative is now part of Google Classroom’s new integration. Create, edit, and assign any formative without navigating back and forth between platforms!

Learn More

Data-informed instruction means that educators use data to provide vital context before making their own judgment calls based on their experience, pedagogical understanding, and relationships with other peers and learners.

For additional resources on data-informed instruction, check out the following:

Webinar

Using Formative in the Modern Classroom

Join Formative, Modern Classroom and a special guest educator from Hosford Middle School for an interactive, free webinar!

Learn More
Webinar

Using Formative in the Modern Classroom

Join Formative, Modern Classroom and a special guest educator from Hosford Middle School for an interactive, free webinar!

Learn More
Promotion

Using Formative in the Modern Classroom

Join Formative, Modern Classroom and a special guest educator from Hosford Middle School for an interactive, free webinar!

Learn More