Managing data can be incredibly useful for your program. You can successfully manage fundraisers, demonstrate value (and progress) to administrators, and improve your communication with parents.
But your students have to come first.
Dealing with student data has come a long way since pencils, paper, and a sheet of graph paper. Now it’s expected that classroom technology will offer you student data and ways to manage it. SmartMusic is no different. Here are three ways to use SmartMusic’s data to help your students improve.
Motivate Students to Practice
SmartMusic’s practice analytics tool gives you all sorts of data on what your students are doing outside of class. You can, for example, see how many minutes the average student practices each day across a week. Putting this data to use is easy. In addition to having students complete assignments, you can also tell students that keeping the class average minutes per day above a certain threshold gets them a reward – the ability to redo an assignment, programming a piece of their choice on the year-end concert, etc.
Making this a team effort rather than an individual one will develop accountability throughout your ensemble and help foster a cooperative learning environment.
Students with PLAY Plus subscriptions can also use this time to explore new pieces in the SmartMusic library.
Assessing practice time as a group is also an opportunity for self-assessment. After a rough rehearsal, you can point to this data and ask students what needs to change next week. They’ll be able to track the way more practice time leads to more successful performances.
Turn Parents and Administrators Into Allies
SmartMusic’s data tools can also help you show parents and administrators how students are progressing. Sure, the gradebook is useful, but the practice analytics provide hard data that isn’t about assessment. You can tell a parent, “I know that Johnny spent a lot of time on the material for this concert and it made a big difference.” You can show an administrator how students who spend time practicing are more likely to stay enrolled in your class.
SmartMusic’s instant feedback also helps you show administrators that you’re dedicated to formative assessment. Rather than awkward end-of-term grading, you can adapt every assignment based on the data SmartMusic gives you. If your class is struggling to bring a piece up to tempo, you can demonstrate how each assignment changed the required tempo for submission.
Parents and administrators love knowing that you’re considering student needs as you work toward a successful concert.
Use Recordings As Data Too
Numbers are great markers of student progress, but the proof is in the performance. Because SmartMusic makes student recordings available to you, you’re able to give more specific feedback, and you can confirm that students are making progress away from school.
Individualized feedback is a key part of improving your ensemble and can help you create differentiated instruction strategies for your rehearsals.
You may also want to use recordings as the basis for more quantitative feedback. The easiest way to convert recording data back into a number you can share with students is by including custom criteria in your grading rubrics. You can give different point values to each grading criterion, and assign them to multiple assignments. This will keep assessment consistent across assignments. Students will know that their articulation, for example, improved across the course of a unit from a 6/10 to a 9/10.
Over To You
Now it’s your turn to access your students’ data in SmartMusic and use it to make your next concert sound better than ever. If you aren’t using the new SmartMusic yet, remember that you can access all the analytics and assessment tools by getting started with TEACH Free.