Data, Data, Data: Student Mastery Reporting Plus Three Other Data-Driven New Features

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

Data, Data, Data: Student Mastery Reporting Plus Three Other Data-Driven New Features

Posted in Schoology | March 04, 2014

Some people love jigsaw puzzles. Personally I don't get it. The challenge of organizing hundreds, even thousands, of similar yet totally unique pieces into a coherent picture (that is the same as the one on the box!) just never seemed too enticing to pass up. But what if instead of assembling a picture you've already seen, the puzzle pieces showed you something you didn't know, something that can change your daily life?

This is the essence of data tracking and analytics. If you imagine single bits of student data like puzzle pieces, then the picture they create can transform the way you teach, plan lessons, et al

Take Common Core, State Standards, and custom Learning Objectives for example. We started by enabling educators to align content to these learning objectives on Schoology, essentially creating their puzzle pieces. Now, I'm proud to say, we've taken a huge step forward in turning these alignments into something truly useful—a coherent picture of student achievement!

Introducing: Schoology's Student Mastery Reporting, the most exciting of our four latest data-driven features that will improve your lives as educators.

Student Mastery Reporting Enterprise Only

Located in the navigation directly below your Gradebook, Student Mastery Reporting is a comprehensive tool that allows you to quickly and effectively track student achievement based on standards and learning objectives-align course content. Its color coded, familiar layout and automated features make it easy to hit the ground running.

But don't let the simplicity fool you. Student Mastery Reporting can be easily customized to accommodate most any standards-based grading model you choose.

A Comprehensive Approach to Mastery

We designed Student Mastery Reporting so that you can customize and filter data to assess student achievement in a variety of ways. This approach to mastery reporting is meant to provide a more complete picture of how your students learn and help you to make better-informed decisions. 

Over all, Student Mastery Reporting enables you to:

  • customize mastery criteria and easily track student progress.
  • see the achievement of your entire course in reference to all of your learning objectives at-a-glance.
  • view all your learning objectives, the graded items they're tied to, and the range of scores your students have received on each.
  • assess how your students have performed on all assignments, discussions, tests, and quizzes aligned to any given learning objective.
  • understand individual student strengths and the learning objectives and assessment formats with which they struggle most.

This feature's high level of customization allows you to choose your grading scale and set achievement levels—i.e., the thresholds for missing, meeting, and exceeding expectations. You can even set how many times a student has to meet expectations to achieve mastery.

The various ways Student Mastery Reporting allows you to view student data provides a well rounded understanding of where students are in their learning, what they're struggling with, and what next steps can be taken to help them improve.

One great example of this is the individual student view that both instructors and students can see:

This view allows you to quickly assess which learning objectives any particular student needs help with. It also gives you an idea of whether they are struggling with a skill or simply do not perform well during certain kinds of assessments.

So whether you plan to go 100% standards-based grading or you simply want a more in-depth look at how your students are learning, Student Mastery Reporting will no doubt help you achieve your goals. At the very least, this feature will help you to improve your impact on students by knowing how to best tailor instruction.

If you're not sure what standards-based model best suits your courses, I'd recommend reading Formative Assessment & Standards-Based Grading by Dr. Robert J. Marzano, a world-renowned leader in education research and methodology. Our Student Mastery Reporting can empower all the assessment and grading systems discussed in his book.

Note: Enterprise users, you can find all the details on how to use Student Mastery Reporting in this Enterprise Help Center Article. If you are not an enterprise user, please contact a Schoology representative for more information on Student Mastery Reporting.

Question Tracking All Users

Question Tracking is a new feature of Question Banks that allows more effective tracking of student performance on assessment questions. When enabled, any question from the question bank that is used in a test or quiz will be locked and tracked, with the tracking information displayed in the bank. This lets the bank creators see which teachers are using the questions and what courses they are being used in.

Once a question is being used in a test or quiz, and therefore being tracked, no one can edit it. The inability to edit questions can come in quite handy if you decide to export question results for analysis. It simply ensures all the data accurately reflects student performance.

To enable question tracking, create a question bank and click the check box at the bottom:

If you need to edit a question that is already being tracked (i.e., is being used in an assessment) then you can simply copy the question, make your edits, and label it in a way that will help you know which is the most current version.

For more information, please see our Help Center article on Question Banks and Question Tracking.

Resource Search All Users

At the top of your Resources menu on the left sits the Resource Search. With this sweet little tool, you'll be able to pinpoint the resource(s) you want quickly and effectively.

There's no longer a need to rifle through the (potentially) hundreds of resources you've created, shared, and imported over the years. Simply type in a key word and click the Magnifying Glass. Schoology will then search through all your Personal and Group collections along with the massive Public Resource Library to present you with all the relevant content in the blink of an eye.

To streamline this process even further, you'll also have plenty of filtering options. These narrow your search based on Area, Subject, File Format, Grade Level, and Alignment.

One important note is that better content tagging practices make for more effective search results. To really get the most out of this feature, you should incorporate Additional Info into your content creation process using the Advanced Option that looks like an "i".

Support for Next Generation Science Standards All Users

You can now align content to the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS. You can learn more about them on the NGSS website.

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Now that you know the basics of these new features, I think you're ready to start putting all this data to good use. I must say that I am so excited about these features, particularly Student Mastery Reporting, that I can't wait to hear your feedback. So try them out and, if you feel inclined, comment below or on Twitter (@Schoology).

Also, if you have any questions, please reach out to our Support Team via our Support Center.

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