Quite a bit of thought was put into the types of report that could or should be run by teachers. On the one hand, quantifying individual and aggregate student performance can be a useful tool in perfecting one’s pedagogy. On the other hand, such data is subject to privacy concerns, and can be open to different interpretations, some of which could be harmful to the student, particularly if used incorrectly.
We decided to give teachers four different types of report:
|Roster||lists all students enrolled in a course||Should be used to verify that a student is enrolled or subscribed in the course.|
|Study Tests Taken||
||Should be used to estimate student’s grasp of material, and to pinpoint material with which the student is having difficulty. This report should be used with students who are likely to have trouble with the material, such as remedial students, special needs students, and those who are already struggling. This can be used frequently, in order to alter teaching strategies before students become discouraged and disengaged.|
|Practice Tests Taken||
||Should be used to assess student’s grasp of material, and to pinpoint material with which the student is having difficulty. Because practice tests will be taken less frequently, this report does not need to be run as often. It should be used not to alter teaching strategies, but to verify that current teaching practices are effective.|
|Individual Progress Tracker||allows the teacher to see the student’s Progress Tracker, including final test scores and written answers||Should be used to monitor assignment completion and test scores, and to grade short answer questions. In addition to grading, this reporting mechanism also allows the teacher to monitor completion rate and time spent in-product. (coming soon: essay answers)|
The ability to run reports raises several concerns. First, and most importantly there is the danger that the reports will be used inappropriately to track and segregate students by ability without giving them either the time or the teaching to improve. While our teacher and curriculum guides have suggested activities for gifted and for special needs students, it is important to realize that any one student’s abilities are dynamic and occur on a spectrum. It is hoped that the ability to see more data, on a more regular basis, will prevent pigeon-holing students into lifelong “labels.”
Second, there is the danger that they will be used as the sole data point with which to evaluate teachers. This is unrealistic, and does not take into account environment and interaction. And third, there is the danger that these functions will be targeted by hackers in order to get actionable, salable information about individuals. The last instance is the only one that we as a company can do anything about. WorldView’s dispersed storage mechanism and security measures, however, make the reconstruction of student data by hackers virtually impossible.