“Data” and “research” have been recurring themes in this blog:
- The Problem with Data
- On #Data and the Quality of Data
- On the Ethics of Data Collection in Education
- Data versus Evidence
This post continues the theme, and is focused on one of the fundamental ideas of those who seek to use “data’ or “evidence” to make decisions. Namely, we cannot make reasonable or sound decisions without triangulation. At least three streams of evidence must converge if we are to draw a conclusion.
We need also to recognize that the three streams of evidence should be related and complementary, but not the same. For teachers, this means we must truly use different activities and different types of activities to ensure students can add fractions (for example). If you have three quizzes on which students have proven they can perform the operations, that represents a single dat source. Having students solve real world problems might be a second, and students’ explanations of how to perform the operations might represent a third.
As school is starting back up, I am hearing and seeing lots of chatter on my feeds about how we know students have learned what they are supposed to learn. I hear and read about assessments and tests… but I hear no voices for multiple complementary sources of evidence.