Choosing the right MIS for assessment success

Mark Maybury

Mark Maybury is academic product manager at WCBS. He joined the company in early 2017, having spent many years in education, in part as an assistant head at a large Secondary school in Birmingham, and then supporting school leadership teams with maximising the benefit of IT in supporting school improvement. Along with the exciting challenges that come with the job, Mark particularly relishes the opportunity to engage with customers to develop a product that has a direct impact on teaching and learning.

Website: www.wcbs.co.uk Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Images courtesy of supplier. Images courtesy of supplier.

The value of a school management information system (MIS) isn’t simply for the safe storage of data. Its true value is in the speed at which the data can be accessed and then used to inform decisions - from an individual student, right through to whole-school level. Assessment for learning is perhaps the best example of this.

Tracking success and intervention

An ideal MIS provides the facility to track both success and intervention at every step of a student’s learning journey. It allows staff to assess every student against their baseline data and targets; tracking along the way whether a student is meeting, underachieving or exceeding learning outcomes, and attaching valuable evidence as necessary.

Data recorded in an ideal MIS will be able to use inbuilt tools to flag immediate concerns where intervention is required; offering specific tasks to inform the intervention strategy, including targets to monitor their progress.

Aggregating data on the whole student

Tracking a student’s progress shouldn’t stop there, though. As any educator knows, learning success cannot be achieved in silos!

The purpose of any MIS should be to fully support a triangulated approach to assessment data. An ideal MIS will enable the widest possible tracking, aggregation and analysis of student data; from each child’s attendance and punctuality; their behaviour and learning engagement; their health and welfare; their extracurricular participation and special educational needs; to their learning outcomes and their performance against specific curriculum objectives.

A great MIS will combine all of this data into one, producing a 360‐degree view of the child; one that not only shows teachers how a student is progressing academically, but also what might be impacting their learning progress. Using the MIS in this way provides a holistic view of a child that helps all school staff to deliver the right support in the best possible way.

Enabling best of breed integration

An ideal MIS provides the ability to deliver a holistic view of student progress, though not necessarily through one single product. Technology is developing at such a pace that producing a complete solution - one that stores data for every aspect of school life effectively and securely, collecting and analysing it all through a range of unparalleled applications - is virtually an impossibility.

An ideal MIS enables integration of best of breed apps so that no assessment activity occurs in a silo. Rather, it collects and connects all the vital data that a school amasses into a single, entire, evidence‐based assessment of a student at every step of their learning journey.

Assessment for learning success

Assessment for learning success involves a whole host of elements, and an ideal MIS must deliver them all. This includes the speed with which every teacher can input data; the ease they can access, understand and utilise the analysis; the efficiency they can track each student’s progress against outcomes and identify intervention requirements; the clarity with which they can view learning progress against a wider, holistic assessment of the student; and the way that they can draw on these elements to support and inform their planning.

An ideal MIS doesn’t just deliver individual student assessment. It also provides progress tracking and intervention for class, year group, learning stage, whole school, and teacher performance management too. This gives SLT, administrators, teachers and / or parents the data they need to inform decisions for student and school success.

With all of this in mind, I’m proud to say that HUB from WCBS delivers an ideal solution for assessment success. It provides seamless integration with a wide variety of applications, including Classroom Monitor for advanced assessment for learning analysis. HUB is a true cloud, software‐as‐a‐service, multi‐tenanted management information system for schools.

To find out more, visit www.wcbs.co.uk or get in touch via [email protected] / 01458 833 344.

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