Building a Data Dive Routine

When students work at their own pace and on what they need the most, creating a space for data analysis, feedback, and celebration is key
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About This Strategy

This strategy helps teachers schedule and structure a simple whole-class data dive routine, during which all students can be celebrated for their progress on both online and face to face learning activities while also receiving constructive feedback that will help them set meaningful goals moving forward and make progress at a faster pace.

The effectiveness of this strategy resides in its ability to support the building of a positive data-driven classroom culture in which transparency and feedback play a key role in helping students fully maximize the potential of blended learning strategies. It is applicable to any grade level or content area.

Implementation Steps

60 minutes
  1. With the support of a coach or of a peer, start by getting comfortable with the different data reports that are possible to generate from the online learning platforms students are using in the classroom on a weekly basis.
  2. Select a reasonable amount of data points to focus on at first with students. Selecting too many would be challenging to keep up with and probably overwhelming for students. For example, imagine students are using an online math tool. At first, the teacher can focus the analysis on just a few aspects such as:
    • Time spent working on activities
    • Examples of written responses submitted by students
    • Number of activities completed
  3. Block some time to look at this data at the end of a teaching week and create a few slides or a poster to use at the beginning of the following week to share with students:
    • Positive and constructive feedback for the group grounded in both the online learning data and teacher observations of the way they completed their online work
    • Individual student work highlighted to set the bar for quality of written work submitted online
      • This moment will help students in a few different ways:
        • They will be able to improve the quality of the work they do when working online thanks to their teacher's feedback
        • They will become aware for the first time that the work they complete online is accessible to their teacher, that their teacher cares about it and that their teacher will give them feedback on it regularly.
  4. Follow up this group activity with a simple individual goal setting process during which students will set goals for the upcoming week when it comes to the improvement of the way they will work online. Consult the SMART Goals or Daily Goal Setting strategies to learn more about goal setting. Collect these goals and have them on hands as they work online the following week. Notice and praise students who are working toward their goals on a regular basis.

  5. Repeat this routine at least three times. Consider adding new data points as the year progresses to increase the level of rigor.

The videos below show three Blended Learning Master Teachers leading a whole group data dive with their students. Get inspired!

Distance Learning Use Case for Building a Data Dive Routine

Romain Bertrand
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

Diving into analyzing data with students in a productive way is even more helpful remotely than it is in person.  With some modifications, this can be done in an asynchronous way as well.

Implementation Steps:

  1. Make sure to have read all the steps of the Building a Data Dive Routine above before reading this. In particular, make sure that you know where to find learning data from the different online platforms you are currently using, such as completion, time on the activity, answers to digital exit ticket questions, etc.

  2. Prior to an upcoming live video call with your class (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.), create a few slides that you can share live on the call with students prior to starting the next lesson. These slides will focus on data highlights and trends from previous activities.

    • If you are sharing asynchronously, these slides can still be used. Record a Screencast of you talking through the different data points instead of doing it live. See different screencasting tools tutorials in the resource section below.  

  3. Here is a possible structure for the data dive whole-class presentation:

    • Slide 1: Group Celebrations! -- Things we are doing well online as a group!

    • Slide 2: Individual Shoutouts --  Exemplar samples of student work that help set the bar for rigor and quality of what is expected from you when working remotely.

    • Slide 3: Grows -- Things that can be improved when working remotely right now based on what the data shows,  such as "Answering questions in complete sentence, or showing your reasoning on your math problem when sharing an answer in Flipgrid."

    • Slide 4: Mistakes we can learn from -- Focus on specific misconceptions that the majority of the class seems to have.

  4. Use screenshots functions to snip samples of student work and/or data reports to show on the different slides. Students will do better with a visual to support their thinking (See the tutorials in the resource section below).

  5. During the live call, share this presentation with students.

    • If you are doing so, asynchronously, share the video and the Goal Setting and Feedback Google Form via a post in your LMS or an email/text.

      • A text messaging app like Remind or ClassDojo can make it easier for students with limited tech access to get your feedback and share their goals via a parent's cell phone.

  6. Allow time for students to share their thoughts about the data with the whole class.

  7. Close this sequence by allowing students to do two things, possibly in a Google form. (See example below)

    • Set some individual goals for the upcoming week inspired by what you shared with them.

    • Provide you with some feedback on how you can also get better with your distance learning practices.

Data Days

If possible, it can be helpful to set aside an entire day of professional development for teachers to review and plan based on student data. 

Implementation Steps

  1. Schedule a day, or days, into your school's academic calendar. These days can happen at the end of each quarter or semester, and should occur when students are not in the building. 
  2. Give teachers time and support to analyze student assessment data. Prompt teachers to reflect on big picture questions, such as: 
    1. How are students progressing?
    2. Which standards have students seen success on?
    3. Which standards still need work?
    4. Which individual students need targeted support? 
    5. Which student groups are over- or under-performing as compared to the rest of the class? 
  3. Support teachers to develop a whole-class plan to re-teach or spiral skills and standards in which students have not yet shown mastery.

  4. Support teachers to identify instructional interventions to support individual students or small student groups. 

  5. Identify when teachers will re-assess skills or standards that they are planning to revisit, to ensure that their interventions have been successful. 

Coach Tips

Romain Bertrand
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

Showing your students that you are aware of what they do online is essential to the success of a blended learning environment. If the amount of platforms they work on feel overwhelming to dive in for you, here are a few tips to still make it happen:

  • Reduce the number of sites/apps they work on for a while so that you can focus on providing them feedback and extracting data points that will help you connect with what they are learning. Less can be more!
  • Use a randomizer (Class Dojo has one built in) to select 5-10 students daily or weekly instead of the whole class if the number of data points to look at feel overwhelming. Your students won't know you used only a sample but you will be able to raise their awareness to what matters to you and increase the quality of their work.

Tech Tools

Google Forms and Sheets

  • Google Forms are an easy way to gather (form) and aggregate (sheet) information. Response to a Google Form document can be aggregated, sorted, and saved in a Google Sheet.

  • Every time students are asked to set goals, Google Form can come in handy and allow you to organize this data much faster you would have been able to do it by hands


  • ClassDojo is a multi-faceted classroom management tool focused on reinforcing classroom expectations and communicating those expectations out with the individual student, class, and families.

  • The ClassDojo randomizer can be super helpful in getting you 5-10 random student names every day or every week to perform your data dive if doing it with the whole class feels overwhelming