In our previous blog, we discussed steps to help you begin putting your program data to work. Now, we’d like to dive a little deeper and explore how score report data can fuel instructional improvement and offer some tips on how to interpret data limited by COVID disruptions.
Conversations in the education world have placed strong emphasis on the value of data as it relates to instructional improvement and how that data can be used for both summative and formative purposes. Data can be a useful resource to answer some common questions such as:
- Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?
- Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?
- Can we teach the subject better and promote better learning?
Analyzing Trends in NOCTI Score Reports
CTE teachers are dedicated to doing all they can for students and preparing them with the knowledge and skills to be successful in their chosen career field. A key to achieving this goal is the effective use of data.
In the book Putting Your Data to Work, John Foster, Carol Hodes, and Sandy Pritz offer some guiding questions to have in mind while reviewing the results of the assessment:
- Are there gaps in student achievement, teacher instruction, or the curriculum being used?
- Has there been an impact from a new curriculum or facility?
- Are there performance differences among subgroups of students?
- Does the same assessment show differences between instructors (e.g., a two-teacher program) or between two groups of students (e.g., a.m. or p.m. session)?
NOCTI’s score reports and competency-level trends are effective tools to support the effective use of data. These tools can be used to make helpful comparisons (e.g., year-to-year comparisons and comparisons to state and national averages) and to assist in identifying trends within individual standards. The data supports the process of identifying standards in which students may not consistently be performing well. NOCTI’s score reports assist educational leaders in finding areas of improvement, retention, or loss.
Combating COVID Knowledge Losses
The COVID-19 pandemic created a disruption in education. CTE students lost 25-30% of their year to COVID-related disruptions in 2020. How do we help them recover from the COVID knowledge slide?
Data from credentialing assessments can serve as a guide for analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on CTE students.
Based on national standards, pre-tests help determine where students are starting in a new year of instruction. The score analysis of every standard within the occupation helps set instructional benchmarks for groups and individual students. Pre-tests also pinpoint specific areas of knowledge loss and are an excellent tool for individualized instruction.
Additionally, comparing last year’s post-test scores with current pre-test scores will also help measure any COVID-19 knowledge slide. Comparing scores gives a “before-and-after” analysis of where students were before COVID-19 disruptions and where they are currently. This will also assist in identifying specific areas to focus instruction.
Continued Support for CTE Programs
The importance of having longitudinal data cannot be overemphasized. Continuity of data helps to identify individual and program strengths and assists in identifying areas for additional focus and/or instructional delivery adjustments. CTE programs play a vital role in our economic recovery as they equip students with job-ready skills, increase the likelihood of career success, and enable employers to confidently hire candidates with industry-relevant skills and knowledge.
NOCTI remains dedicated to providing resources and assistance to ensure that CTE remains a viable option for all individuals and that data to support the field of CTE is readily available.
Check out NOCTI’s publication focused on using data for instructional improvement (Putting Your Data to Work), as well as a number of on-demand webinars that include helpful tips for getting the most of your data!