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From Data to Action: Analyzing and Interpreting Assessment Data

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 30

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Senior Director of Efficacy Research
Melissa Hogan, Ph.D.,Is the Director of Efficacy Research at BrainPOP, where she leads efficacy research across all BrainPOP products. Dr. Hogan has over 15 years of experience as an educational leader. Prior to joining BrainPOP, Dr. Hogan led the Learning and Development team and served as the Interim Executive Director of Professional Learning for 8 years. Dr. Hogan also served as the Educational Data Coach for the State of Delaware Department of Education. In addition to these roles, Dr. Hogan worked as an elementary teacher and Dean of Curriculum and Instruction for 6 years.

Session description

Educators are relying on assessments to help understand students' learning more than ever. How can educators make sense of data and figure out what to do next? This poster session will focus on using two key protocols from the Data Cycle of Inquiry: patterns of need and root cause analysis.

Purpose & objective

When done correctly, quality assessments create data that can be used to make sound educational decisions. For that to happen, educators must have a solid understanding of their assessments, including what they measure, what they don’t measure and what the results actually mean. It’s not enough for a classroom teacher to identify a cluster of students who didn’t perform well on an assessment. That teacher must also understand why the students are clustered there and what changes need to be made to improve their achievement. The session offers a step-by-step method for achieving this.

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Assessment Data 101
Patterns of Need Intro*
Discovering Patterns of Need
Identifying Patterns of Need and Instructional Strategies
Root Cause Analysis Intro*
Potential Root Causes
Root Cause Analysis Protocols*

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Supporting research

Some of the ideas in this presentation come from new research on the impact of data-driven decision-making on school improvement. Recent reports supporting this approach include:
David Ronka, Robb Geier and Malgorzata Marciniak, PCG Education, 2010
Kim Schildcamp, Educational Research, 2019
2020 Data Inquiry Guide, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Session specifications

Assessment/evaluations/use of data
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Professional developers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices not needed
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.