How I Have My Students Analyze Their OWN Data

Let’s face it, in the realm of education, the word “data” typically insights immediate dread and frustration from teachers.  The focus on standardized test scores is not going away, and so data days are here to stay.  However, this year I asked myself why I am the only one looking at my students data.  Why was I not having my students analyze their own performance on assessments?  If I want my students to have true ownership of their learning, then they must be given the opportunity to identify their own areas of strength and weakness.  And let me tell you, once I started using this method, I saw an instant change in the mindset of my high school students.  Talk about a GROWTH mindset!

First Step: Create a Student Data Analysis Sheet

Before discussing the test, create a student data analysis sheet that is simple enough for students to complete.  The most important thing to do when creating this sheet is to separate the questions based on the concept they are testing.  For instance, if questions 3, 4, 5, and 9 were all over types of cells, then I would chunk these together in one section.  I create a table that includes only question numbers.  As we discuss the test, I have students put a check marks in the boxes of the questions they got correct.

See my example below:

DATA Post 1

This unit test had three sections.  After we’ve gone over the test as a class, I have students calculate the percent they got correct in each concept section.  They do this by completing the following formula

(number correct/total number in concept section) x 100

DATA Post 2

Students record the percent correct in the appropriate boxes.  Calculating the percent makes it easy for students to quickly identify the topics they are strong in and the ones that could use improvement.

The next step is for students to graph the percent correct for each topic.  I find that this is an important step for my visual learners.

DATA Post 4


The last step, (and my favorite) is for students to answer four questions that guide their thinking about their test results.  I got these questions from a colleague and they are genius!

DATA Post 3

Students have to explain why they did better in one topic over another and then give themselves a grade on how well they know the topics covered.  At the end, they give themselves a grade on how well they prepared for the test.  Through this series of questions, students are obligated to take ownership of their own learning through the analysis of their actual test data and how they feel they understand the content.


So what do you think?  Will you be trying student data analysis in your classroom?  Let me know by commenting below or find my on social media.


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