Scotch Oakburn College
An Octopus BI Case Study: K-12
Scotch Oakburn College
Helping teachers better plan a holistic approach to student learning
Scotch Oakburn College is an independent, open-entry, Early Learning to Year 12, co-educational day and boarding school, in association with the Uniting Church in Australia.
The school is committed to ‘Creating the Future’ within a caring, supportive and inclusive community that provides an exceptional holistic education that enables every student to maximise their potential.
The school was facing data challenges commonly faced in the education sector.
“We had lots of data but it was stored in many different places and often in a format that was not easy to interpret,” says Virginia.
Attempts had been made to put the relevant data into spreadsheets that teachers could use but this was incredibly time consuming for those creating the spreadsheets.
Having the data stored piecemeal made it difficult to retrieve and to triangulate. There were also ‘holes’ in the data they were difficult to spot.
Scotch Oakburn considered a number of factors in selecting a long term data strategy partner.
Flexibility was the first.
“We wanted a partner who had experience but was willing to work alongside us, to make suggestions and to listen to our needs,” says Virginia.
“We needed the ability to make changes on request as we generated new data or wanted to change the way existing data was presented.
We also needed a solution that was affordable”.
Embarking on their data journey, Scotch Oakburn thought a lot about what they wanted to know, what data they had and how they wanted to see the data being used to support student learning and holistic student reporting, in conjunction with their learner profile initiative.
The school has 10 learning attributes that help focus learning in a way that leads to more deliberate and considered recognition of the whole student. They want students, parents and our broader community to become more familiar with these attributes and their relevance for student learning.
Teachers now have access to a dashboard for their whole class which, at a glance, has a heat map of triangulated academic data showing strengths and areas for development for each student in their class.
As well as other data on the class dashboard, there is a student dashboard which drills down even further and enables visual tracking of academic data – PAT, NAPLAN and A-E results.
“Teachers are now better able to plan for the range of abilities in their class. On a pastoral level, a better ‘picture’ of the child can be seen to better support each student.”
Working with Octopus developers to design the dashboards, “we need to always be thinking of making the data tell a story that makes it accessible to ALL teachers, not just those who love numbers and spreadsheets,” says Virginia, adding that the use of graphics and colour is key.
Only teachers at the school currently have access to the Dashboards but the school is considering the value of opening them up to parents and students.
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