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Ohio Data Primer

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Module 3: Practice—Are We Leaving Anyone Behind?

This is the data entry template for the individual trend charting engine. Enter the data you have collected. Either cut and paste one cell at a time or type in the data directly.

Above is the data entry template for the charting tool, filled in with example data. Click the "Graph" button to create a chart. On the chart, you will find a "Back to Data" button that will return you to this data template. Explore what it is possible to do, both by using the controls on the charts and by typing over data in the template to change their values.

The example data are a permanent part of the Data Primer. Although you may change the data temporarily to explore the charting options, the example data remain unchanged underneath. Modifications you make to the data table are not stored. Clicking the "Demo Data" button always restores the original example data set.

When you are ready to enter data you have collected, either cut and paste one cell or one column at a time or type the data directly into the template.

The characteristic information is used by the charting tool to sort or select subsets of students. The performance data are what the charting tool plots.

Student performance always occurs in time. Changes in performance are also always indexed against time. Therefore, in each test data column you must also specify the year of the test. The charting tool will always array the results left to right from earliest to latest date.

Move the mouse over the chart to check that the student data values appear in the proper year and that the chart title is appropriate. If the data are correct, use the "Select..." control to explore differences in the patterning of growth in performance:

  • Is growth the same from year to year, or does the rate of growth improve with time?
  • Are there differences in performance patterns for groups of students?
  • Are performance gaps forming or closing?
  • Who is improving? When? Who is holding steady?
  • Who is falling behind? Are there common characteristics among the students whose scores are declining? Are there similarities in terms of the kinds of instruction they have received in the time they spent in your school?
  • Would more data points per year help with interpreting student performance?

Remember that any modifications you make to the data table are not stored permanently. Data you put into the Data Primer remain available to you only during your current session. If you wish to keep a copy of a changed data table or to keep a copy of a graph created from a changed data table, either print what you wish to keep or cut and paste it to a file of your choice.

When you follow the directions on this page of the Data Primer, you are making copies of information about your students from a secure website and moving those copies to non-secure locations. Any data you add to the Data Primer will disappear permanently as soon as you close the browser; however, that is not true for any spreadsheet pages you created following these instructions. If you leave your browser session open, whoever next uses the computer will be able to see what you added to the Data Primer.

You will want to close your browser session and the browser itself when you are done. In addition, you will want to erase any files if you are working on a publicly accessible computer. Before you do that, you may want to copy the spreadsheet file to a thumb drive or other portable memory device you can take with you. Even if it is your own computer, others may have access. You will want to prevent unauthorized access to these student data. You will not want to leave this file on your computer desktop with an obvious name, such as "My Students' Scores."

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