If You Build It Will They Come? Teacher Use of Student Performance Data on a Web-Based Tool
NBER Working Paper No. 17486
The past decade has seen increased testing of students and the concomitant proliferation of computer-based systems to store, manage, analyze, and report the data that comes from these tests. The research to date on teacher use of these data has mostly been qualitative and has mostly focused on the conditions that are necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) for effective use of data by teachers. Absent from the research base in this area is objective information on how much and in what ways teachers actually use student test data, even when supposed precursors of teacher data use are in place. This paper addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing usage data generated when teachers in one mid-size urban district log onto the web-based, district-provided data deliver and analytic tool. Based on information contained in the universe of web logs from the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years, I find relatively low levels of teacher interaction with pages on the web tool that contain student test information that could potentially inform practice. I also find no evidence that teacher usage of web-based student data is related student achievement, but there is reason to believe these estimates are downwardly biased.
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