Courses and Materials

Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Professional Education offers a complete suite of on-campus and online courses.
To get started with a free, self-paced 8-hour course, check out
Introduction to Data Wise.

The Revised and Expanded Edition of Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning (Harvard Education Press, 2013) shows how systematic and thoughtful examination of a wide range of data can be a catalyst for important schoolwide dialogue. These conversations can help schools tap into teachers' knowledge, foster collaboration, identify obstacles to change, enhance school culture, and improve student learning. 

Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators identifies improving meeting agendas as a high-leverage strategy for changing how people work together, and offers tools for developing a common language for discussing and improving the quality of meeting design and the templates to help you get started. It provides tips for setting up, facilitating, and participating effectively in meetings, and supports the reader in developing a strategy for making a fundamental shift in how collaborative time is used.

Explore: Meeting Wise Resources

 

 

   

Data Wise in Action: Stories of Schools Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning (Harvard Education Press, 2007) focuses on eight very different schools as they integrate the Data Wise Improvement Process into their daily work. It highlights the leadership challenges that schools can face at each step of the process and illustrates how educators use creativity and collaboration to overcome those challenges.

 

Key Elements of Observing Practice contains a series of short videos that invite you into classrooms and meeting rooms at the Richard J. Murphy School in Boston, a school that uses data wisely. It comes with a Facilitator's Guide that lays out a professional development sequence in which teacher teams use these videos as a springboard for working together to design their own process for learning from classroom observation.

Watch: An interview about the DVD

Eight Steps to Becoming Data Wise 
Here's how school-based teams get the most out of their data-inquiry meetings
Education Leadership, October, 2015

The Path of Data Wisdom 
Celebrating 10 Years, the Data Wise Project unveils a new portfolio of resources
Harvard Graduate School of Education, April, 2015

Lessons from the Data Wise Project 
Three habits of mind for buidling a collaborative culture
Harvard Education Letter, HGSE May/June 2013

The “Data Wise” Improvement Process 
Eight steps for using test data to improve teaching and learning 
Harvard Education Letter, HGSE January/February 2006

Leadership Lessons from Schools Becoming "Data Wise" 
Stories of schools using the process
Harvard Education Letter, HGSE January/February 2008 

The Heart of Data Wise 
School Practices that Support the Work of Improvement
Usable Knowledge, HGSE 2009

Why use protocols? 

Protocols can help you and your colleagues cultivate the habit of mind of intentional collaboration.  By offering structure to conversations, protocols allow groups to delve deeply into important issues, make the most of limited time, and ensure that all voices are heard. Some of our favorites include:

Coherence 
Purpose: To allow teams to acknowledge the work they are already doing to use data to improve learning and teaching, to create a sense of coherence between that work and the Data Wise Improvement Process, and to help identify a point of entry into the Data Wise Improvement Process (for use after the Stoplight Protocol)

Constructing the Improvement Process 
Purpose:  To help a group of people come to a common understanding of how they view the improvement process and discover for themselves that improvement processes are not linear and that there is no one “right” way to do it. 

Hopes and Fears 
Purpose: To give participants an opportunity to get expectations and concerns out in the open so that they can begin to establish a group commitment to addressing them.

Inquiring Introductions 
Purpose: To practice skills of inquiry, listening, and responding to evidence. As a side benefit, it also gives members of a team an opportunity to get to know one another. 

Norm Setting 
Purpose: To come to consensus about how a group will work together.

Stoplight 
Purpose: To inform participants about the steps of the Data Wise Improvement Process and provide an opportunity for reflection about where a school is with respect to the process using the Data Wise Arrow handout. It also helps participants cultivate the habit of mind of maintaining a relentless focus on evidence.

SUMI Protocol Debrief 
Purpose: To debrief a newly introduced protocol and gain feedback on its usefulness and impact for future work.

Vivid Images 
Purpose:  To develop a group's understanding of the importance of communicating what they see using low inference, descriptive language.

Great Sources for Protocols

The National School Reform Faculty offers a range of helpful protocols for educators, including protocols for norm-setting and looking at student work.  Protocols used frequently in the Data Wise process include Affinity MappingConsultancy, and Compass Points protocols, however, this searchable index of protocols offers an A-Z index of many more structured activities for group facilitation.

The Power of Protocols is a book that presents a strong case for how protocols can transform the way educators collaborate and then provides detailed instructions for facilitating protocols for a wide range of occasions.

The School Reform Initiative also maintains a comprehensive list of protocols, including protocol instructions in Spanish and Portuguese.

Supporting Collective Learning 
The following resources are used in our courses and described in the Data Wise book. 

Assessment Report Scavenger Hunt 
Purpose: To provide a structured way of understanding the attributes of an assessment report so that you can understand how results are reported.

Data Wise Journey Presentation Template 
Purpose: To provide a format for capturing your team's journey through the eight steps of the Data Wise Improvement Process. Why start from scratch when formatting your presentation, when you can use a template that has been field-tested by educators from around the world? There is also a universal version of the Journey Presentation Template which is best for system-level teams. (See Data Wise, p. 215)

Data Wise Arrow Handout 
Purpose: To provide the eight steps of the Data Wise Improvement Process on a single page; useful with the Stoplight Protocol or as a handout or poster. (See Data Wise, p. 5)

Stoplight Data Template 
Purpose: To capture and chart data collected during the Stoplight Protocol.

Data Display Checklist 
Purpose: To serve as a reminder of how to format your charts so that readers can easily interpret the information they contain. (See Data Wise, p. 82) 

Meeting Wise Checklist 
Purpose:  To encourage you to consider the meeting elements related to purpose, process, preparation and pacing when planning or reflecting on a meeting.

Meeting Wise Agenda Template 
Purpose: To provide an example of how a meeting agenda can be structured to take into account all of the items on the Meeting Wise Checklist.

Meeting Wise Rolling Agenda Template
Purpose: To show how to structure a single shared document that contains all of the agendas for a series of meetings. (For more information about rolling agendas, please see Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators.)

OCSI Rolling Agenda Guide 
Purpose: This instruction booklet was developed by Melissa Covington and Jennifer Williams of the Office of Continuous Systemic Improvement (OCSI) in Prince George's County Public Schools (Maryland) to support staff members throughout the district in adopting a consistent format for their shared meeting agendas.  (For more information about rolling agendas, please see Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators.)

BPS Inquiry Faciliation Application 
Purpose: This is an application that the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Inquiry Facilitator team created for schools to use when applying to receive focused coaching and support from Inquiry Facilitators.  This application might be useful to you for a similar purpose or, more generally, for explaining and identifying key elements and competencies needed for inquiry.

Data Wise evolves as educators share their best practices. Our Introduction to Data Wise video shows where the Data Wise Improvement Process itself came from, and our ACE Habits of Mind video shows the specific habits of mind that educators cultivate when using the process.

The videos below are a series of tutorials for chart-making on Windows, Mac, or Google Sheets.

Making a Clustered Column Chart in Excel for Windows (10:36)


Switching Rows and Columns in a Clustered Column Chart: Troubleshooting for Windows (1:57)

 


Making a clustered column chart in Excel for Mac (8:18)

 


Switching Rows and Columns in a Clustered Column Chart: Troubleshooting for Mac (2:24)

 


Making a Clustered Column Chart in Google Sheets (3:32)