Contra Costa College Turns To Innovative Thinking About Data Use. Rather than relying on anecdotal experiences to make significant decisions, and based on Ken Sherwood’s prior experience, Contra Costa College brought in IEBC to support faculty and staff on how to use their data to be more effective. Sherwood says it didn’t take long for educators to become enthusiastic about the value of data-driven decisions. He describes the partnership in this interview.
IEBC provides data use support to schools, districts, colleges, universities, foundations, state departments of education, and other education stakeholders. With our menu of workshops, we customize them for our clients based on the data they have available. We also develop custom workshops on topics of interest to clients and provide coaching services to improve data use. Working on-site, we assist educational institutions in creating a data-informed culture of continuous improvement.
IEBC’s data use support is grounded in our unique, three-part data use model for student success: analytics, human judgment and decision-making, and organizational habit. Improving the data literacy of administrators, faculty, project staff, and others is not enough. That only covers analytics. The human element and organizational culture and habits are critical components. IEBC understands how people interact with data and is able to turn it into useful information in the context of their educational institutions. We also write about data use, most recently in the Chronicle of Higher Education Special Report on Big Data, which included this article by Brad Phillips and Jordan Horowitz. Big Data Alone Won’t Help Students
And within the context of culture, our new book from Harvard Education Press, Creating a Data-Informed Culture in Community Colleges by Brad C. Phillips and Jordan E. Horowitz, presents a research-based model and actionable approach for using data strategically at community colleges to increase completion rates as well as other metrics linked to student success.
Read further to learn more about how IEBC is providing data use with workshops, coaching and customized consulting with a few examples. Our recent work has taken us to Hawaii, California, Idaho, Wisconsin, Texas and Maryland. Since introducing this model in 2014, the interest in data use workshops, presentations and data coaching has continued to grow.
Workshops and Coaching
IEBC’s workshops demystify data use and empower education stakeholders. Each workshop helps participants gain confidence in data use, practice activities in groups and individually, and develop practical applications that apply to your unique work.
The workshops listed below are customized for our clients based on their available data and their external reporting and internal program improvement needs.
- Data Use Demystified
- The Psychology of Data Use
- Types of Data and Their Uses
- Analytics: Beyond Talking Smart
- Human Judgment and Decision-Making
- Organizational Habits Promoting Data Use
- Continuous Improvement Continuously
- Predictive Analytics: Leading and Lagging Indicators
- Telling Your Story with Data
- Winning Combinations: Qualitative and Quantitative Data and Their Uses
- How to Integrate Data into a Meeting
IEBC’s data use coaching builds upon the topics in our workshops to provide guided practice for district administrators, faculty, and staff using your own data to address emerging and longstanding issues. We help build strong working relationships between those who use information and those who develop the data reports.. You end up confident in your ability to turn data into information and use it skillfully and strategically.
Hawaii Department of Education. IEBC received a contract from the Hawaii Department of Education to provide a series of workshops, followed by coaching, to administrators and key staff in Honolulu and Maui. Over the course of two academic years, IEBC introduced our data use model and followed up with workshops on practical topics such as leading and lagging indicators, types of data, integrating data into meetings, telling stories with data, and continuous program improvement. IEBC then provided coaching services to support the annual academic plans each school must develop and also plans for working with special populations. These activities led to plans that were actionable and measurable, as well as improvements in the working relationships between data consumers at schools and providers from statewide educational data systems that ensured reports were useful and useable in the service of student success.
Linked Learning. IEBC developed and managed the data system for the California Linked Learning Initiative of the James Irvine Foundation. In addition to establishing a comprehensive data system, the Foundation requested that IEBC apply our data use expertise to the reporting and internal program improvement efforts at participating K-12 districts. Using the Linked Learning web-based reporting systems—a fully, functional tool for reporting and manipulating data and a summary dashboard of metrics—IEBC conducted a number of in-person and on-line workshops. These led to increased data use, improved reporting of results to stakeholders, and greater understanding of how data can be turned into information in support of efforts to improve student success.
Go On Idaho! The J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation asked IEBC to bring our data model to the analysis of the impact of their Go On Idaho! Initiative, which was designed to increase college-going among the state’s high school population. We coached the researchers who analyzed the data about leading and lagging indicators and helped to develop a framework for data analysis grounded in this model. IEBC also assisted in data analysis and reporting, based on our model of human judgment and decision-making as well as how organizations create and sustain habits of data use. The result was more useful reports to program staff at participating high schools that was considerably more useful than in prior years and to external stakeholders that put stories of success front and center.
Madison Technical College. Madison Technical College is an Achieving the Dream institution. As such, they are focused on improving the use of data to drive student success. However, college administrators, faculty, and staff were faced with an overwhelming amount of data at their disposal. IEBC conducted workshops that introduced our data model (Data Use 101) and also addressed issues related to presentation (Telling Your Story). The day included practice with the college’s own data. The result of the work was to reduce the number of metrics from dozens to four indicators related to student success upon which the group could focus their efforts and use as part of a continuous improvement process.
While IEBC products and services often meet the precise needs of our clients, sometimes specialized approaches are desired – a specific combining of workshops or webinars; a mixture of data use tools or variations, or a unique research project based on a particular student population or funder interest. Below are examples of such work. In many cases, the lessons learned and techniques and strategies developed have become part of the IEBC fabric.
- Student Equity Planning in California and individual community colleges throughout the country
- A partnership with University of Pennsylvania Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy group to guide data system integration and increase data use in Hawaii.
- Provided, in collaboration with Educational Testing Service (ETS), two days with four intensive workshops on integrating cultural competence into student learning outcomes, assignments and assessments. Workshops were described by participants as “intense…awesome…outstanding.”
Click here to access student equity webinars and here to learn more about cultural competence workshops and an introductory webinar.