Empowering Educators to Use Data to Drive Their Own Learning

Jill Thompson is currently an Associate Partner at Education Elements. Prior to working with Education Elements, she was the Director of Personalized Digital Learning at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Follow her on twitter @edu_thompson


First published on Inside the classroom, outside the box! and reprinted with permission.

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

-Coco Chanel

We know that effectively using student data to drive instruction for student learning is a best practice. We also know giving students ownership through empowering them to use their data is another best practice. So why are those same best practices not being applied to our adult learners?

Personalized Professional Learning is becoming a popular educational term but just like personalization for students it is a philosophy, it should be the way professional learning should be for today’s educators. We need to be providing educators the autonomy to personalize their goals and use data that support their needs.

Over the past several years, I have modeled personalized professional learning for educators multiple ways to allow them to see what learning should look like in their classrooms as the same best practices apply.

Here are a few ways that educators can be empowered to use their data to drive their own learning:

  1. Pre-assessment: Create a pre-assessment for educators to take so that you can meet them where they are in their learning journey based on their skill level. For example if I am providing a professional learning experience on “How to Implement Morning Meeting” the professional learning session should look different for those that have never heard what morning meeting is verse those that have been implementing it.
  2. Self-Assessment: This is different than pre-assessment because this helps to gauge the learner of where they feel they are based on their comfort level verse skill level. For example I may provide a self-assessment that has multiple skills/topics on it and based on the data they can chose an area they would like to further explore.
  3. Action Research: Allow learners to chose what they need to work on based on their interest. Provide them an action research template to help guide them and provide check points for feedback and support.

Interested in more of my thoughts on professional learning? Check out some of my previous blog posts.

Professional Learning Through Micro-credentialing

Creating a Face to Face, Self-paced Professional Learning Experience

Reframing a Paradigm for Professional Learning: Part 1

Reframing a Paradigm for Professional Learning: Part 2

I would love to hear how you empower educators to use data to drive their own learning; please comment below.

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