The data that is collated from each school benchmarking assessment that is conducted throughout the year is regarded as quantitative data. That means that the results are given a numerical score.
Once all the results have been gathered, analysed, and collated, a benchmark standard is set for each particular assessment. This is regarded as the standard. Student results are then graded as being at the standard level, above the standard, or below the standard.
This information can be vitally important for schools to use in order to improve their students’ performance.
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The quantitative data that each school receives after their students have completed the benchmarking tests, allows educators to put their students into certain groups within the classroom.
For example, students that fall into the above standard group can be given more advanced lessons and study material that will help them to fully utilise their learning abilities. This group of students will benefit from more challenging problems that will help them to improve their knowledge even further.
On the other hand, students that fall into the below-standard assessment group can be given extra lessons to help them understand the study material better. These students may need to have their lessons structured in a slightly different way in order for them to more easily grasp the subject matter being taught.
Benchmark tests also provide the ability for schools to compare their results with schools that are similar, whether they are in the same region or elsewhere in the world. Essentially, this allows school administrators and educators to see how their students are performing overall in relation to these similar schools.
This can then open the door for collaboration among a variety of schools in order to understand why some schools may have more students that are testing above or below the standard.
For schools that have many students that are positioned below the benchmark standard, it provides the ability to learn how similar schools are able to achieve better results. These educators can take a deep dive into the curriculum of those schools and understand how their lessons are structured in order to improve the results that their own students achieve.
Primarily, the three skills or areas of study that are tested during benchmarking assessments are English, mathematics, and science. Once the results are collated and the data is made available to each school, it can be analysed in order to determine if one of these areas is receiving better results than the others.
For example, one school may achieve a better result in the area of English and only average results in maths and science. If this is the case, educators can not only analyse their students as to why this is the case, but also the method of teaching that is being used in each individual class.
It may well be that the majority of their students are more creative and have excellent language skills but they struggle with the more structured elements of maths and science. With this knowledge, the teachers of these subjects can restructure some of their lessons in order to cater to the way that these students learn.
The key data that schools receive from benchmarking tests are considered quantitative and put their students into different groups in relation to how well they scored against the benchmark standard.
This allows educators to restructure the learning environment in order to provide their students with the best possible chance of improving their performance.