The relationship between the use of technology for data-driven decision-making and student achievement in high school mathematics
Sulser, Dennis Patrick
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The extent to which Montana school leaders of high school mathematics use technology to examine student assessment results and affect instructional and curriculum change is not known. Specifically, it is not known to what degree mathematics school leaders use technology in assessment analysis, and if that analysis is related to student achievement in mathematics. Educators and math students in Montana "AA" high schools are the studied population in this research. Math instructional personnel and building leadership were administered a data-driven decision-making (DDDM) diagnostic to determine their capacity for using technology in the process of DDDM. Educators from 10 of the 13 "AA" high schools participated in the survey. One hundred twenty-five educators in the 10 high schools responded to the survey, 90 math instructors and 35 administrators. The DDDM diagnostic was secured from Dr. Scott McLeod of the University of Minnesota's School Technology Leadership Initiative. Dr. McLeod is conducting extensive research on the DDDM capacity of 11,000 educators in the state of Minnesota using the DDDM instrument. Five different mathematics student assessment indicators over a two-year time frame for each of the 10 participating schools were gathered from the high school principal in each of the schools. The composite scores from the assessment indicators in each school were correlated to the use of technology for DDDM capacity in each school to determine if a relationship existed between the two variables. Although this study utilized descriptive and correlation methodologies, it also resulted in apparent differences between teachers' and administrators' perceptions of their collective capacity for using technology for DDDM. Calculated means for each category of the DDDM survey instrument resulted in a higher average in every category for administrators than for teachers. This difference between teachers and administrators has implications for leadership and increasing the capacity for DDDM in Montana schools. There appears to be no significant relationships between student math assessment outcomes and using technology for DDDM capacity of educators. The research indicates that Montana "AA" educators are not using technology for DDDM to the degree that a positive relationship exists between student results and DDDM capacity. The study concludes that a closer examination of relationships between the use of technology for DDDM capacity and teacher-created formative assessments should be considered.