An educational indicators always need improvement, especially in the developing countries like India where there is a less percentage of the population who are literate. The urban structure of education in the developing countries often faces more difficulties in tracking and handling the education system if there is less teacher-student ratio. The less teacher-student ratio often leads to low academic achievements for students as there is no personal attention for certain students. To improve this academic achievement it needs robust and certain reforms in the education sector so that there is always a scope for improvement in the educational indicators. The data-driven application can be used to formulate educational programs and to measure their improvements. The data-driven applications can be used to track and record the improvement as well as it can be used at various levels in the education sector. These data-driven applications can be helpful to teaching level, streamlining assignment and results, analysing past records and progress of students,etc.
Education is a sphere which continuously needs to be analysed, evaluated and reformed if needed so that it can match today’s competitive environment. One of the biggest factors that has reformed the education sector is the use of technology, example, the electronic devices such as mobiles, laptops, wifi, educational platforms and services, researcher, education specialist which impacted and improved teaching and learning but also usage of modern technological real time analysis. This interaction generates a large amount of data, right from an individual log file to an institutional level activity. But, the educational sector is still not been able to fully utilize the chance of using this large amount of data and exploiting that for system improvement.
Today, the data-driven approaches are used in different sectors, such as health, industries, IT firms, etc, in which strategic decision based data analysis is done. This benefits them and enables them to examine and organise their data as per their goals. There is always a scope for this data-driven technology to apply to the education sector to ripe the benefits of it. We have also witnessed how such data-driven approaches, such as ‘Learning Management System’ have impacted our lives in the present COVID 19 situation. It has also eased the workload of educators as it has provided us with standardized testing methods, student information systems, instructional softwares, learning trends, attendance, student progress and many of which we could have never identified. Though, the data driven approaches in the education sector will need a strong infrastructure, policy and program changes and reforms, political will, but it has a greater scope to improve the sector with good long term impacts.
Data-driven approaches will be successful if there is an inclusion of all the stakeholders. It requires strong and robust technology and proper training of the stakeholders to take care of it. The data-driven decisions to improve the education sector in the urban region must be taken at each level. There should be a certain hierarchical role to understand and navigate the issues and to deal with it. The data-driven approach should include the four main goal;
- Personalization: The teacher exception of its plans, the study materials, and assessments to cover the required needs of the students. Rather than being forced to “teach to the test,” instructors will be empowered to “teach to the student.” The teachers will be adjusting and teaching to accommodate students to their strengths and their weaknesses rather than utilizing the mass production style approach. There should be no student that is struggling in the classroom just because the materials which have been taught to them are at an incorrect level.
- Evidence-Based Learning: Educators and the administration department in the institution generally give decisions as how the schools which operate and function.There must be evidence-based learning and certain students must require special attention.
- Institution efficiency: The administrator must use the reflections and instruction from the data to find out the relationship between the student achievement, teachers performances and efficient administration so that the resources provided to these institutions should not be inadequate. The institution’s operation must be transparent in nature to avoid the mal-practices, so that the approach must be effective.
- Scope of innovation: All the stakeholders associated with this process must be streamlined to access the useful informational education data that can prove to be powerful for improvement and innovation. Streamlining should be such a way that there is always a scope for innovation and certain data-driven feedback must be taken care of, to improve the education system.
Also read: What is the perspective of education today?
Policy recommendation lay a foundation in the education sector. Data driven policies in the education sector may have a large impact on the assessment and the planning, development, resource allocation and the teachers records. The student performance data in the schools can be used to drive the planning and development process. The learning development of the student can be identified by the loopholes identified in student performance data and also by the informational data collected through class observation. By identifying the needs of the student, the resources such as time and staff are allotted and based on these identified needs, student assessment can be taken care of. This data can also be used in the supplementary information in the performance evaluation of the teacher.
Policymakers should take the following steps to build a data-driven education sector
- Data collection and management: The school administration must establish the practices for collection, storage, arrangement, analysis and sharing the data compiled. This will ensure the transparency in the system.
- Efficient tools : The efficient tools should be encouraged to collect the data and share it with all the stakeholders of the education to allow the educators to put data to an efficient use.
- Access: The parents and students must be empowered to access their data so that there is involvement of both the stakeholders to track the improvement in the education sector.
- Data-driven decision making: The educators and the administration involved in this must be provided with the tools, training to improve the educational outcomes.
- Privacy: The policy must be drawn in such a way that the data must be private and protected with end to end subscription.
In the end, the policy makers must use the data to promote equity in education sector so that the school and the administration may draw strategies to address the socio-economic and demographic discrimination in the educational outcomes.
The data-driven approach in the school will collect and analyse the student work that will the part of the school report and thus the performance will be tracked. This will ensure the changing way of how teachers and the learning process will be working.
- The adaptive learning process will include streamlining assignments and the grading process. The data-driven schools will not only ensure that students will learn but also at what levels they are leaning. The applications with predictive analysis will determine that students will progress and develop in that particular subject which its weak.
- Data-driven applications will allow the educators to deliver multiple choice devices or trace and score in the written exam on the digital devices with the cameras. These tools will be useful for the reporting process.
- Educators can use this analysed data to cross-check this the other databases of the school and other resources on the internet. The application will verify that all the written assignments submitted are students’ original work.
Unfortunately, there are always some or the other limitations to every technical progress which has been made. There are various reasons that create obstacles such as past culture, political will, infrastructure and the administrative process which are well known factors. But, there are also certain factors which are often ignored or not given the level of preferences that they must be given. We will be discussing such major factors.
- Educators Resistance: The data-driven approach is quite different from the traditional approach. One of the primary reasons that the approach is different is because it is an aim-oriented approach rather than process oriented. This approach will ensure that there is a direct impact of the learning, rather than the traditional approach of just delivering the study materials in the classroom, it also involves progress tracing of the educators. There are always the chances that will bring out the flaws in the education system in terms of teachers progress tracing. Therefore that educators will is the most important part of this approach and is often ignored.
- Data infrastructure: There is a notion of flawed data being used to support the data-driven education system. No matter how well the infrastructure is designed and approached, the teachers or educators need to be able to easily access the information. There is a chance of interoperability across the data systems which limit the data ability to take advantage of the approach. The data systems of non-interoperable type will reduce the ability of stakeholders to use data effectively. The must be a better implementation of the data infrastructure to reap its maximum benefits.
- Teacher training: The teachers training and education as how to use this approach and is often neglected. The administrative staff and the teachers will require training to support and how to use this data effectively and they are in dire need of data literacy.
These are some of the limitations which are often neglected and they are always in need to be taken care of.
Also read: Top 10 online learning platforms
It’s time to leverage the use of a data-driven approach in the 21st century data economy. The other sectors such as health, business are reaping the benefits of data-driven approaches, this will ensure smarter decisions, good operation, transparency, effectively managed infrastructure, innovate new solutions to problems, the education sector should embrace data too. Indeed, given the ramifications of a successful information driven education framework—a more gainful workforce, more noteworthy economic chance, and expanded competitiveness, to give some examples—the requirement for policymakers to make a move to address the deficiencies of the education framework is pressing.