Changing the “Data Rich/Information Poor” Paradigm


BIG PICTURE VIEW in using data purposefully

  • From the abundance of data select what you need for your purpose
  • Focus on who the data is intended to serve (students, administrators, parents, government)
  • Analyze and use data as close to the date/source of its generation as possible: use classroom assessment Immediately; large scale to inform long term decisions
  • Scrutinize assessments for validity, reliability, and fairness
  • Prioritize use of time in administering, evaluating, and responding to data
  • Continuously monitor whether the assessments and interventions are working
  • Recognize the strengths and limitations of each type of assessment and data
  • Review the effectiveness of policy, schedules, resources, and professional development



  • Align assessments with learning targets
  • Choose resources that support the targets and assessments
  • Purposefully select strategies that align with their intended purpose: content knowledge, higher level thinking, demonstration of learning, etc.
  • Embed assessment continuously throughout teaching and learning
  • Use multiple indicators of achievement for each learning target: short answer, essay, performance



  • Use data to inform instruction and guide next steps in teaching and learning
  • Engage students in assessment and data analysis: Identify their own level of knowledge, misunderstanding, strategies they can use to improve, etc
  • Support students as they use it to inform their own learning: What are my next steps, who can help me, what resources do I need?
  • Decide on the level and type of feedback to give each student
  • Cluster and group students to work on specific targets
  • Discern whether and when students are ready to move forward with learning



  • Determine reasonable levels of mastery
  • Utilize best practices to support student learning
  • Vary instructional strategies
  • Adjust the curriculum
  • Chunk learning in a different way
  • Adjust content, pacing, and depth
  • Re-sequence the lesson
  • Target specific learning gaps
  • Identify students who need focused support or enrichment
  • Elicit students thinking and information processing
  • Modify assessment and timing