As educators, our primary goal is to positively influence student success. We set out to accomplish these goals through countless hours of creating lessons, providing classroom instruction, and assessing students. However, a secondary goal is achieved through the process of improving student success—raising retention rates. This, of course, is vital to the long-term health of the institution and simultaneously appeases administration.
So, how do we accomplish these goals? More importantly, how do we as educators know when we’re doing the right things to meet these goals? Our institutions have so many moving parts, it can be difficult to pinpoint what faculty are doing to improve student outcomes. However, it is key to know when we are doing the right things so we can replicate them with current and future students. While having data on student retention rates and what qualifies students as at risk are both important, these metrics tend to be reactionary to student performances. To improve student success and keep retention rates high, institutions should use data in a more proactive manner that creates immediate impact. This is easily accomplished with student assessment data.
Using an assessment software to gather student performance data beyond a static exam score is an easy way to accomplish this. There is nothing that can’t be evaluated using the robust information we receive from each and every assessment. The best part? It doesn’t matter if this is something you’ve never done at your institution or if you’re a long-time user who has yet to use the in-depth exam data, Whether you’re starting from scratch or retroactively mining assessment data, this is a process that can be easily implemented through basic exam item mapping.
Below are four easy ways to use data-driven approaches to improve student outcomes and raise retention rates at your institutions.
Influence Curricular Decision-Making
Are you looking to maximize the effectiveness of your program? Implementing a curricular change and want to know if the new curriculum is working? Looking for gaps and/or redundancy in your curriculum? Understanding how your curriculum is performing is vital to student success. Learn how to evaluate your curriculum through student assessment data with a focus on improving those ever-important retention rates here!
Evaluate Teaching Methods
There’s nothing like delivering a great lesson in class. Students are energized and confident they have a grasp on what was just taught, and you feel great that you successfully planned and implemented a lesson that engaged students. What’s better than that? How about knowing the lesson was a success? Check out this brief video to learn how to proactively use statistics to identify which lessons and teaching methods are truly most effective in improving student success in your classroom.
Empower Student Self-Awareness and Exam Preparation
Collecting in-depth student assessment data benefits more than just administration and faculty. By mapping exam items to more specific content areas contained within an exam, students receive vital information that allows them to be more self-aware of their preparation and performance. Learn how providing students with more information on their assessment results will empower them to proactively improve their exam preparation, and thus their success on exams, in this video.
Preparing Students for Entrance or Licensure Exams
The ultimate evaluation of any educational program is the success of its students on board or licensure exams. To best prepare students for these exams, it is imperative that we evaluate program effectiveness by comparing results on our assessments to board performance. Check out this quick video to learn how to create a process that will best prepare your students for success on licensure exams.
The days of making decisions based on qualitative and/or retroactive quantitative data should be well behind us. Using an assessment tool to harvest assessment performance data can empower institutions to make proactive data-driven decisions that are proven to lead to institutional and student success. The statistical revolution in education has arrived, and it’s time to take advantage of it for the betterment of our students, faculty, curriculum, and institution as a whole.