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What is evidential data?
Evidence is the data we select to collect– the relevant information that we notice from our classroom and teaching practices and the reflective interpretations we make from that information. The process of interpretation is one of sense-making:pondering or asking questions of ourselves and others about evidential data, that in turn will help us create new and useful knowledge as learning.

What is the purpose for gathering evidential data?
The PeaK-ICT contract requires that cluster staff follow set goals alongside the proposed ICTPD programme. A comprehensive milestone report that outlines progress, supporting evidence as quantative/qualitative data, key lessons and next steps to achieving the cluster outcomes is formulated twice a year by the Facilitator.

Among the many models that have been used to inform data gathering as a process, the koru or knowledge spiral as illustrated here explains how classroom practitioners can use an on-going four step cycle to collect evidential data and make that reflective difference to their teaching practice:

  • Decide/Plan - What and how much specific information as evidential data do I plan to collect?
  • Act - How might I act on collecting the necessary data over time?
  • Observe/Reflect - What will I observe and reflect on and how might I document this?
  • Learn - What new learning have I since experienced and how can I apply this to future situations?

What data collection strategies will I use?
There are a number of ways that evidential data can be captured:

Choose strategies that suit your purpose and consider capturing at least 3-5 accounts of evidential data (learning experiences from planned lessons or units are perfect). Collect more accounts if you so decide and incorporate this process as part of your classroom planning. It is also important that a reflective journal, blog or wiki be kept for documenting how you use the koru cycle to capture and continually reflect on evidential data. Know that both these practices require time, effort and patience.



How might I develop focus during reflective observation?
•Try to think differently and/or step back from situations
Discover new meanings through new ways of moving and/or acting
Carefully observe and impartially describe ideas and situations
•Concern yourself with what is true and/or how things really happen
Reflect on prior experience in relation to new ideas
Compare and contrat ideas and their implications
•Appreciate different points of view
Give observations your personal meaning

"Data and statistics may provide the tools for measuring important educational concepts, but the numbers are only as good as the thinking that goes into the interpretation" - TKI - Teaching and Learning.

Collecting Quantative and Qualitative data - What do these two words mean?external image cre22.gif

Quantitative data refers to numbers and/or letters and is usually associated with research methodology. An example could be that 70% of cluster staff use e-mail on a daily basis. Quantifiable data should be:
  • valid - directly matching is measured
  • reliable- provides consistent answers
  • objective- although certain answers might be hoped for, data is collected with a completely open mind

Qualitative data is associated with the expression of feelings, thoughts and behaviours. The information is not necessarily true and accurate. Questionaires as an example are used for this purpose since personal responses are generally called for. Qualitative data should be:
  • credible - results need to be believed as achievable
  • confirmable - other colleagues are able to produce similar results
  • dependable - information comes from a reliable source
  • transferrable - close attention is made to the data context and the assumptions made.


Resources and Links:
What is evidential data? pdf
Capturing evidential data to inform reflective practice.doc
TKI - Teaching and Learning: Guidelines to classroom initiatives
Information and Reflection Journal