Using Data to Make Decisions

This online course was developed in partnership by the Pinellas School District and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of Southern Florida.

Using Data to Make Decisions outlines techniques for collecting and analyzing data. It contains practice exercises, links to relevant articles, and case studies of teachers who are using data in their classrooms. The course is designed to illustrate methods for collecting and analyzing data that do not require complex mathematics.

The course is divided into five lessons, based on the Continuous Improvement Cycle of Plan, Do, Study, and Act. It can be used as a "self-study" or for continuing education units (if your district has a facilitator). Each lesson contains sample assessments along with multiple activities. At the end of the course, a survey will be available.

Using Data to Drive School Improvement

The Online Resource Guide:

  • Tools to help yiu utilize data in order to close student achievement gaps?           
  • Teachers analyzing data to determine curriculum focus
  • Background information
  • Demographic data 
  • Student learning data tools for data analysis             

Using Data in the Classroom

Engaging students in using data to address scientific questions has long been an integral aspect of science education. Today's information technology provides many new mechanisms for collecting, manipulating, and aggregating data. In addition, large online data repositories provide the opportunity for totally new kinds of student experiences. This site provides information and discussion for educators and resource developers interested in effective teaching methods and pedagogical approaches for using data in the classroom.

Using Data Online: Translating Data into Information

Created for teachers, data teams, and school leaders, Using Data Online focuses on creating data coaches to lead high-functioning data teams and professional learning communities. Participants will learn how to facilitate collaborative inquiry and will gain valuable experience in the process of collaboration and data analysis.

Participants gain a broad understanding of the factors underlying the choices and decisions made in schools every day. They then learn the process of grounding their own decisions in multiple sources of evidence as they look for the root causes of student-learning problems.

Collaborative inquiry and data-driven dialogue are explored and enacted during the course. Participants interact in collaborative teams with their classmates as they work with a real instructor through the process of using data to inform instruction. Other course activities include analyzing different kinds of data, readings, dialoguing, reflections, self-assessments, and instructor feedback.

Data-driven decision making: Using objective measures to improve student learning:

Data-Driven Decision Making: Using Objective Measures to Improve Student Learning is designed to help participants gain knowledge and skills in using data to improve student learning. Through this course, teachers will learn the importance of using data to plan appropriate instructional experiences for their students and how to identify and analyze the measures of data to understand student learning needs.

This is an introductory workshop for teachers, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers and proficiency with email and current Web browsers.


SchoolPortfolio automates the data profile (i.e., demographics, perceptions, student learning, and school processes) and guides the analysis of these data into the creation of a vision, goals, objectives, plans, leadership structures, professional learning plans, partnership plans, and evaluation plans that will improve teaching and learning. Along with an automated data profile, SchoolPortfolio has a planning and evaluation component and provides examples, guiding strategies, and resources for completing the entire continuous improvement process.

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