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Data collection is not everyone's favorite thing to do. But, good data can provide the teacher with insight into their students' progress. It will identify their strengths and weaknesses. Teachers can then use this data to reteach or redirect their instruction. Here are 4 easy steps to take when collecting and managing digital data. Step 1: Determine and Set Up your Tracking System You may be the teacher that is still using good ol' paper and pencil, but that requires a lot of manual work to collect and analyze data. Consider moving over to digital progress monitoring to help save you time and stress. Next, you need to determine whether you will track student data or if they will track their own data. I always did a mixture of both. I tracked certain data, but I also helped the students come up with their own goals and track their own data. This allows them to take ownership of education. Then you will need to choose the program that you will use to track this data. Most schools have a data tracking tool used to store grades. This is fantastic when generating grades for your students, but sometimes you want a place where you can upload work samples, take notes, etc. That way you can share this data with parents or other teachers that work with your students. My two favorite areas to help keep track of data is Google Drive and Airtable*. Both of these platforms have templates for teachers to track data, which makes it easy to just pop in the topics and data. Click here for my FREE Airtable template. Whatever platform you use, make sure that it allows you to enter data on forms or spreadsheets so that you can analyze and review that information. Step 2: Determine Your Goals and Topics This is where you will need to work backward. I like to take on this task quarterly. I get out my pacing guides and figure out what standards I will be teaching that quarter. I then place those topics into my data tracking system. If you have your students tracking data, you make want to consider keeping it simple. Example: I will complete 5 Math Boom Card Decks this week. Give them a card with 5 boxes that they can check off. If you want to be more specific, name which Boom Card Decks they will need to complete. Step 3: Gather Your Data Simply said...gather data! You may want to take one day a week to upload the data onto the platform that you choose. If you are only tracking data coming from one site, you can simply look at the data on that site. Most of these sites allow you to download the data via csv. file to import into your spreadsheet. Example: Boom Learning* has a great data tracking system on its website. You can download it to a csv. file and upload it onto any platform that you choose. If you are using Google Forms, you can view that data within your Google Drive. You can also import that data to Google Sheets to look at a variety of data. Step 4: Adjust Instruction Now is the time to sit down and look at the data that you have complied. I like to have my tables color-coded so that I can easily determine which topic needs to be retaught. On Airtable*, you can use the "Interfaces" (top left corner) button to show bar and pie graphs. Identify the gaps and opportunities to fill in those gaps. Look at which learning activities have been successful and which were not as successful. Use this data to pull certain students that are having the same deficiencies in a small group. Or, reteach and reassign activities to monitor progress. I am a bit of a data geek. I don't particularly enjoy organization and inputting data, but I do geek out on figuring out what worked and what did not work. *Hey there! My posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something or sign up for something through those links, you won't pay a penny more, but I will get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Thanks in advance!