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Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YD, UK
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Educational management and data
It is well known that formative assessment has a key role to play in supporting learning. Some key background information related to this area was provided by Don Passey in Technology enhancing learning: Limited data handling facilities limit educational management potential (2007).
How teachers and learners gain access to data to inform them at a formative assessment level has been an aspect that has been researched within the Centre. Initially looking at this area through studies for the UK Government's Department for Education, further studies have explored developments that have involved local authorities and companies.
The START project was funded by the Department for Education in England and sought to develop an innovative data management prototype that would enable teachers to easily access curriculum and assessment data for student monitoring purposes. In developing the project specification, Don Passey worked initially with Manchester Local Authority, and then Stoke-on-Trent Local Authority went on to build a prototype used across their secondary schools.
A senior manager for the Building Schools for the Future programme noted Don Passey's "significant" contribution to the START project. The manager commented that "Despite technical and organisational setbacks, Don succeeded in completing a working system which went on to be implemented across a local authority. It is worth noting that, whilst START was unique at the time, its functionality and principles have now been emulated in many School Management Information Systems: a tribute to Don's foresight and understanding of the needs of schools in this area.”
The prototype developed for the START project was used to develop further software by Different Class Solutions Ltd. who now deploy this system in a number of schools and academies. A Director of this company commented that "Don's [Passey] knowledge of education and tracking, and experience of dealing with education professionals at all levels has meant that the contributions he has made have been invaluable. In one case, Don's suggestions for improvement turned an excellent product into a groundbreaking one.”
Don Passey has continued to research further applications and integration of data management systems in schools in At the Heart of the Next Generation of Information Technology in Educational Management: Data Driven Discussion Making (2013), and for at-risk young people in Management information systems supporting youth at risk and the hard to engage (2011).
Staff working on this theme
Forthcoming conferences with Centre members on organising or programme committees:
International Conference on e-Learning in the workplace
New York City, USA
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