You have data—now what do you do with it?
As a special educator, you likely spend a lot of time collecting and reporting data. However, this information requires careful analysis to truly have an impact on student achievement. To ensure teachers have the time and resources they need to analyze the information they’ve gathered, many schools and districts create data teams.
What is a data team?
A data team is a group of professionals who meet regularly to review and reflect on student information. These teams typically follow a data‑driven decision‑making (DDDM) framework. DDDM frameworks vary, but the steps typically focus on determining and strategizing goals, collecting and organizing information, analyzing and interpreting that information, and using data to make decisions. The DDDM process is cyclical, so after a period of implementation, the team must meet again to evaluate the effectiveness of modifications and plan for the next steps.
How does Unique Learning System support data teams?
No matter your position in the school or district, data is a top priority for you and your students’ success. This is why it’s important to understand how to drive achievement using available information for your students with unique learning needs. Luckily, Unique Learning System® offers tools to guide you through each step of the DDDM process.
Tools for modifying instruction
The ultimate goal of any DDDM process is using data to make decisions about how instruction should be modified to enable student achievement. This might mean trying a new instructional approach or introducing a new strategy. Data teams can find support for modifying instruction in Unique Learning System’s Teacher Reference Materials. Here, Instructional Guides provide multiple methodologies and evidence‑based strategies for teaching particular skills. These strategies complement the instruction in monthly units by suggesting additional ways of presenting and differentiating instruction.
Tools to support data collection
Goals, Preferences and Skills (GPS) is the data‑collection center of Unique Learning System. The GPS was designed specifically to address individual unique learner goals, preferences, and skills within educational learning tasks. All areas of assessment within GPS have been created to accommodate unique learners, and results are stored on the n2y secure website to allow for performance monitoring of growth measures over time. The tools that make up GPS include:
- Individual and Group Skills Tracking
- K–12 Profile
- Monthly Pre- and Post‑Checkpoints
- Benchmark Assessments
- Core Rubrics
- Transition Planning
Each of these fixtures within GPS plays a part in monitoring and evaluation of students’ academic growth during the year with the goal of creating positive student outcomes. Additionally, tools such as Lesson Status and My Students give educators a glimpse into student activity related to lesson completion, upcoming and in-progress homework assignments, and Daily Scores and Observations, allowing teachers access to progress monitoring that shows their students’ work on a deeper, more involved level.
Tools to support analysis and interpretation
Unique Learning System offers a wide variety of reports for both teachers and administrators within the My Reports section of Unique Learning System. These reports take data from the GPS and organize it in ways that make analysis and interpretation easy. Teachers can access reports such as Checkpoints, Benchmarks Profiles, and Daily Performance and Profiles. Each of these categories has sub‑reports that help collect more detailed data and build more robust student profiles.
Administrators can also access exclusive insights through reports like student and staff logins, checkpoint skills trends, benchmark assessments trends, and checkpoint accuracy trends.