Data Review and Goal Setting Conference

In mastery based or self-paced learning, giving students ownership of their learning data and supporting them to set goals is essential
169 teachers like this strategy
Workshop Conference

About This Strategy

This strategy helps to build a manageable system allowing students to analyze their learning data regularly, set meaningful goals aligned with this analysis and meet one-on-one with their teacher regularly to review with the progress they are making in relation to their personal goals. It is applicable to every grade level, including kindergarten, and to any content area.

Implementation Steps

60 minutes
  1. Determine first which assessments students should analyze deeply and derive learning goals from. Try to schedule these moments in a way that gives students enough time to work on the goals they are setting and see progress from it.
  2. Create a simple data analysis and reflection sheet allowing students to break down the "big" score received on an assessment into "smaller" mastery scores aligned to specific standards or skills. Here is an example used in Molly Nealeigh's 4th grade math class. Notice how this template pushes students to start thinking about standards/skills of focus in the upcoming weeks. In a Mastery Based progression, an assessment never means the end of the learning journey. Any skill unmastered can be worked on by students until they reach mastery.
  3. Follow up this activity by having a goal setting phase during which students verbalize what standards or skills they would like to focus their work on when given self-paced learning time in the upcoming weeks. They can also express how they would prefer working on these areas of growth. If you have previously helped students identify learning styles or preferences, they can connect these with the "how" when it comes to working on their "not mastered yet" skills. The Learning Profile Planner linked in the resource section below as well as the Math Contract from Molly's 4th grade class are two examples of what this goal setting can look like.
  4. From then on, plan time for students to be able to work on these goals during class. During that time, have available for them playlists or pathways (see Playlists and Pathways strategy in the BetterLesson Lab) allowing them to work on what they need at their own pace. During this time, plan small group interventions for students struggling with same skill and one-on-one data review and goal setting conferences to help students monitor their progress and make adjustments.
  5. If meeting one-on-one with all students seems difficult to do right away, select a group of students to want to focus on at first in order to study the impact and make any necessary modifications.
  6. For the one-on-one conference, use the following agenda at first:
    • Review goals set by students and compare them to your data analysis for them. Help them improve their goals if necessary.
    • Review the work plan students created for themselves based on these goals. Help them improve it if necessary based on what you know of them.
    • Review data from different activities they have already been working on. Celebrate progress already made.
    • If their online learning data or their feedback seem to indicate they are getting close to mastery in a standard, encourage them to take a quick assessment to confirm that. Lead this assessment during the conference with a strategy like Battling the Boss located in the BetterLesson Lab, or have mini standard assessments available to them.
    • Ask them what still feels hard when they work independently. Extract it from their data too. From there, suggest a group intervention they could attend or a a peer they could work on this skill with (See Mastery Map and Standard-Based Peer Tutors Strategy in the BetterLesson Lab)
    • Schedule the next progress check in with the students.
  7. Repeat this cycle for every major assessment.

Coach Tips

Romain Bertrand
BetterLesson Instructional Coach
  1. Start small. Do not try to do this for every assessment right away, or even every standard. Give yourself enough time between the assessments you will want your students to do this. This way, they will have time to work on their goals, you will have time to support this work with your one-on-one conferences and small group interventions, and you will able to celebrate progress!

  2. Schedule yourself during their self-paced work time. For example, if this is going to last 45 minutes, it can look like this:

    • 9:00-9:10: Help them get started

    • 9:10-9:30: 20 min small group intervention on Simplification of Fractions

    • 9:30-9:45: 3 one-on-one conferences with Jamal, Aliyiah and Noah

Tips from a Teacher

Molly Nealeigh
BetterLesson Coaching Participant

SECRET #1: Have them analyze their data within 48 hours of taking an assessment. Also, let students color skills green, yellow, or red with a crayon. OR even better, have them do it electronically and highlight them on Google Drive. It will help them visualize it better!

SECRET #2: The first time I had students analyze their data and set goals, I underestimated how long it would take students to complete this. So, the next time I did, I chunked it and had them first look at the power standards and then the standards they missed the most in.

To learn more, check out my blog post below!