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Training on Data Visualization Best Practices to Facilitate Data Use

REL Southwest provided training on data visualization strategies to support the engagement goals of three primary groups at the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE): staff who work maintain the My School Info website, staff who facilitate Equity Labs with local education agencies, and staff who lead the department’s Reading Initiative for Student Excellence (RISE). All three groups are interested in engaging a wider range of stakeholders in ADE data and in prompting stakeholder actions in support of student growth and college and career readiness and success. Staff who oversee My School Info are interested in helping local education agencies, schools, and community members interpret the rich data that ADE collects to measure school progress on student achievement, with a focus on data related to predictors of college and career readiness. Staff who facilitate Equity Labs are interested in how they might present data to local education agencies and school leaders to reveal inequities in resource allocation, including access to excellent teachers. Staff leading RISE are interested in strategies to help communicate the importance of literacy through parental outreach.

Over the course of three REL Southwest training sessions and consultation, ADE participants explored creative ways to think about and convey data effectively and learned how to build meaningful and thought-provoking data visualizations related to their specific ADE initiatives. The project’s goal was to enhance ADE staff capacity to develop data visualizations tailored to different audiences and purposes, with longer term goals of strengthening ADE’s ability to inform educators, parents, students, and the community about relevant ADE data and actions these stakeholder groups can take to help improve students’ college and career readiness and success.

Related research partnership: Southwest College and Career Readiness

Resources

Session 1: Exploring Data Visualization Strategies Part 1

Session 2: Exploring Data Visualization Strategies Part 2

Session 3: Applying and Refining Data Visualization Strategies