According to Scottish writer, Arthur Conan Doyle, “It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data”. Yet, for centuries, the education industry has implemented teaching practices without any data to prove its efficacy. Of course, it’s only in the past decade or so that technology has made data capturing not only possible, but simple.
Without technology, teachers would have to manually retrieve and interpret student data before creating personalised learning paths. This is because conventional classroom tools like blackboards and chalks, and paper-based examinations are unable to automatically capture data. Teachers are increasingly realising the problems associated with traditional didactic sessions, and are warming up to the concept of data-driven education. By leveraging Big Data, educators can upend the traditional standardisation model and instead encourage creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills among students.
This is where Literatu’s technology comes in, allowing teachers to capture and analyse data at the student, classroom, school and cluster level and use that data to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching practices and create personalised learning paths to fit students’ individual needs. Once teachers have translated their digital or paper-based course materials into online activities (delivered instantly across iOS, Android, Windows and web-based devices), data down to the question level is captured. Answers can be analysed not only to give teachers a picture of what their students have learned, but also to identify why students have chosen the wrong answer. Literatu’s live monitoring capabilities also allow educators to see answers as they are being entered, affording them the ability to perform rapid analyses of user experience, and implement necessary changes to content delivery.
Also, by examining the digital footprints learners leave behind, educators are able to track the entire learning experience – including which questions were too easy or too difficult, how long it took students to answer questions, how many times pages were visited, the time of day when learning operates as its best, and so on. Where before, data insights would disappear with paper, Literatu’s interactive and instant data dashboards give teachers visibility and insights across all their students.
Moreover, if time is today’s most valuable resource, then technology has a very important role to play in the context of education. Using Literatu, teachers not only engage students with their own pedagogical approach and materials, but also save over 75 percent of grading and feedback time whilst building Big Data analytics about their students. The fact that over 660 million CAL photocopies were made in 2012 in Australia (Copyright Agency), suggests that educators want to use materials of their own choosing, but in doing so, they are losing critical formative data. Given Big Data can yield information about hundreds and thousands of students taking the same course, technologies like Literatu are able to shed light on multiple data points on a single learner over time.
ACER’s CEO Geoff Masters said effective teaching should involve four key processes: establishing where learners are in their progress; tailoring teaching to the needs of individual learners; providing immediate feedback to guide action; and assisting learners to see and appreciate the progress they are making. Literatu does this through technology.