The Assessment-Grading App That Changed My Classroom

For years, I have been using data to drive my instruction.  Tests (summative assessments) were entered into a program (Eduphoria) that aggregated the data for me and I used it religiously to make adjustments in my teaching and lesson planning.  This is how I discovered the concepts that my students were understanding, not understanding, and what teaching strategies and methods were most effective.  If a particular lab or activity really seemed to drive the point across and the test data supported it, then I definitely made note of that and was sure to continue it in the following years (with minor tweaks, of course!).  But most of the time, I was ready to move onto the next unit and the data I collected was only used for developing my lessons for the following year.  I was missing out on the data that was probably most important in the moment - the quizzes.

Formative assessments are really where you have the chance to catch misconceptions and make interventions before it's too late.  But for some reason, until last year, I never put as much emphasis or attention on my quiz data.  If you aren't looking at assessment data, you are missing a HUGE component of what can make a difference in the success of your students and you as an educator.  Data should drive the instructional decisions you make.  We don't have the luxury of tons of extra time, so why waste your precious minutes on assumptions about what you think your students are struggling with and what they have mastered.