Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership

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Using Technology to Make Sense of Data

Three complementary pieces by "statsman" Dan Ryder help you know how to manage student assessment data.


Collecting student performance data but not sure what to do with it? Dan Ryder shares how one district used readily available technology to record, organize, and analyze scores from multiple samples of student work. Dan's example focuses on a district writing assessment, but the tools and processes can be applied to similar assignments and assessments.

Dan's varied background includes the military, business, journalism, and teaching. For the past several years, he's been working with La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District in California to help educators there deal with what he calls the "data dump"--i.e. the hundreds of scores generated by the district's annual writing assessments.


"Technology to the Rescue: Managing Student Performance Data" relates how La Honda-Pescadero uses readily available technology to make sense of data from hundreds of student writing assessments.


"Digging Out" is a brief sound slideshow in which Dan explains how to use a simple Excel workbook to record and analyze student scores. (Technical note: To view this sound slideshow presentation, you'll need a 56K or faster Internet connection and Macromedia Flash Player Version 4 or higher, which is pre-installed in most Web browsers and on most computers. If needed, the player may be downloaded for free from Macromedia. If you experience difficulties viewing any of the presentations, please send us a message with particulars.)


"Organize and Chart Student Scores" is the Excel template described in "Digging Out"; you are free to download this and adapt it for your own purposes.


Write to Dan.