“Creating a data wall can be a powerful way to activate the genius that lives in your colleagues.”
For assessment data to be truly effective, it must be communicated and presented in a way that is easy to understand and use. Raw data can be difficult to make meaning out of, but by taking the time to develop simple and accurate representations of key data — in the form of charts, graphs, and tables — we can more easily understand the meaning of the data we have.
Data walls are one effective method of presenting data simply and clearly. A data wall is a visual, interactive representation of data that displays results over a period of time. Essentially, it provides an at-a-glance look at the school’s data as a whole, for specific classrooms, and for individual students. These displays of student data make it possible to visualize and analyze trends in both individual and group learning.
By putting information on the wall, you can quickly identify trends for strengths and weaknesses in the school, for each grade, and for specific student populations — influencing instructional decisions and informing teaching strategies. The collaborative nature of a data wall also facilitates team engagement and learning, as teachers and school leaders exchange ideas for interventions. The data visuals can serve as an anchor for your work with students, and allow for communicating about data with other audiences as well.
Effective data walls display:
- Student Identifiers (name, initials, or identification number)
- Coded Post-it notes or other markers that identify student grade levels or classes
- Subject area
- Assessment data from the selected instrument, such as a student’s RIT score from the MAP test, from three interim assessment administrations (Fall, Winter, Spring)
- Any special coding for individual students, such as IEP or Title I
Analyzing assessment data reveals the information needed to plan for continuous growth-centered instruction, and a data wall helps you communicate this information with your stakeholders.
Other data wall examples:
Connect with other community members by posting a picture of YOUR data wall below in the comments! We're excited to see them.