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Harnessing Student Voice Data for Strategic School Improvement

We know collecting student voice data is critically important to shape supportive systems and futures for Australian students. However the challenge we see schools face is what to do next once they’ve collected the valuable data, how to understand the insights and integrate it into existing priorities.

So how can you unpack the data and integrate it into existing priorities within your school? We’ve given some practical ideas below.

Ways to unpack data

1. Through systematic collection

By systematically collecting and analysing student voice data, schools can identify areas of strength and pinpoint opportunities for growth.

In our recent Student Voice Insights, over 250,000 students told their teachers that ‘This teacher gives me choice about the work I do’ is the largest area for growth (also called ‘Conversation’).

Using this as the example, if we saw this statement consistently appear in our areas for conversation over multiple survey cycles or across multiple year levels/ campuses, we can pinpoint it as a pattern and opportunity for growth.

2. Then focussing on a particular area

The next step might be to delve deeper and collect some data which focuses on this particular topic.

Using Pivot’s Additional Questions Program, you may choose to add up to 5 questions from a catalogue of evidence-based questions, to your next survey cycle.

For ‘This teacher gives me choice about the work I do’, we know that students are seeking more autonomy and choice in their learning, so we could explore their challenge level and skill practice by asking their response to ‘This teacher allows me to move on to more challenging work when I feel that I am ready’.

3. With teaching frameworks for support

You might then look at the teaching framework alignments to understand the meaning of the responses. In the Pivot Domains, it belongs in Classroom Environment and for the AITSL Teaching Standards, this response aligns with ‘Standard 1: Know students and how they learn’ and ‘Standard 2: Know the content and how to teach it’. From here, you may choose a granular area of focus from the standards such as ‘1.5 Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities’.

Pivot provides teaching framework alignments from their survey questions to various instructional frameworks commonly used within Australia including AITSL Teacher Standards, HITS (Vic), AVID WICOR Framework, Quality Teaching Framework (WA) and Teaching for Effective Learning (SA).

4. By leveraging external support/coaching

If you are unsure how to unpack the student feedback data or contextualise it to your school's priorities, budget and strategic goals, coaching calls with an education expert can provide a valuable opportunity to unpack the trends and move you to the next level.

Pivot Coach Adam says, “Schools approach coaching calls with a range of experiences and contextual differences. Some schools have recently partnered with Pivot and are eager to see what the data tells them. Others are hoping they can get ‘hard data’ for something they’ve suspected for a while.”

How to integrate data

Now that you have identified trends or areas of growth, how do we integrate it into existing strategies and start to implement positive change?

Firstly, you can identify where the new data trends naturally align with existing goals and initiatives.Then conduct a gap analysis to determine areas where current strategies might not fully address the identified trends. Discuss these with school leadership/ strategic decision-making personnel to develop a clear goal/ action plan.

For comprehensive identification of key trends and to plan actionable next steps, utilise coaching and professional development to align with the identified trends. For example, offer targeted training sessions that equip teachers with the skills needed to address the new objectives.

Pivot offers bespoke coaching, provided by education experts, for leadership teams, teacher teams, individual teachers and whole staff - for existing schools to connect data to school priorities.

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