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Reading and analysing data

Appropriately conducted quantitative analysis of assessment data is one of the most powerful methods of using information to improve teaching and learning for students, both individually and collectively.

It is essential that educators are able to accurately read and interpret data, so that they know where students are in their learning, and are able to best set goals and plan for optimum teaching and learning.

Remember, test scores should not be used in isolation to calculate the achievement level of a student. Any test is a snapshot, and the results should be considered along with a range of other evidence. See Making a teacher judgment.

It is a valuable exercise to have students analyse their tests, and graph their results over time, so that they can learn from them. This record of progress over time also provides strong motivation for students to set goals in their learning.

Reading and analysing data topics

Commonly used graphs

There are a number of ways to graphically present data. Some common graphs are illustrated, with advice on how to read and interpret them and possible goals to set from them.

Data reports from some widely-used assessment tools

In this section you can find examples of data reports available from e-asTTle, PAT and STAR, and guidance on how to read them.

Data reports from student management systems

In this section you will find examples of reports available from student management systems (SMS).

Things to keep in mind

Here is a short summary of important issues to do with the collection and analysis of evidence.