Data in practice: A participatory approach to understanding pre-service teachers’ perspectives
Keywords:learning analytics, learning design, participatory approach, pre-service teachers, data literacy
Data about learning can support teachers in their decision-making processes as they design tasks aimed at improving student educational outcomes. However, to achieve systemic impact, a deeper understanding of teachers’ perspectives on, and expectations for, data as evidence is required. It is critical to understand how teachers’ actions align with emerging learning analytics technologies, including the practices of pre-service teachers who are developing their perspectives on data use in classroom in their initial teacher education programme. This may lead to an integration gap in which technology and data literacy align poorly with expectations of the role of data and enabling technologies. This paper describes two participatory workshops that provide examples of the value of human-centred approaches to understand teachers’ perspectives on, and expectations for, data as evidence. These workshops focus on the design of pre-service teachers enrolled in teacher education programmes (N = 21) at two Australian universities. The approach points to the significance of (a) pre-service teachers’ intentions to track their students’ dispositions to learning and their ability to learn effectively, (b) the materiality of learning analytics as an enabling technology and (c) the alignment of learning analytics with learning design, including the human-centred, ethical and inclusive use of educational data in the teaching practice.
Implications for practice or policy:
- Pre-service teachers ought to be given opportunities to engage and understand more about learning design, learning analytics and the use of data in classrooms.
- Professional experience placements for pre-service teachers should include participatory data sessions or learning design workshops.
- Teacher education academics in universities must be provided with ongoing professional development to support their preparation work of pre-service teachers’ data literacy, learning analytics and the increasing presence of data.
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