Managing Examination Data & How Excels Fail To Deliver

Examination is the most popular assessment tool used today when we talk about School education and that is what makes it one of the most important core elements of a Child’s education lifecycle. At SchoolPad, we see a lot of opportunity for Schools when we see the amount and quality of data that gets generated during an examination season.

It’s like a reservoir of useful insights, and trends that could help a teacher discover so many useful facts, which could then be used to get answers to questions that usually arise when a child’s performance goes down.

Is it a particular student who is not performing well or the complete class? Which teaching methodology is proving to be the most effective? Is it the poor attendance that’s affecting a child’s performance? Which are the areas where a child is consistently going down? And so on… The fact that there’s so much to discover from this data and still Schools aren’t able to use it well left us curious to understand the reasons.

We tried to understand how the data is being managed in Schools specifically the CBSE CCE data because it involves a good amount of calculations at various levels. We found that teachers in most Schools were using excel files which had embedded formulas as per the prescribed format. Teachers were then either using the same file for filling in their subject marks and then passing it on to other teachers or every teacher was filling his/her own marks in a separate file and sending it to the coordinators who were then responsible for compiling the final result.

While going through the process, things looked complicated but still manageable but then when we got deeper into the process, we found cases, which were almost un-manageable. A teacher could change any one’s marks, intentionally or by mistake without the other teacher knowing about it. This is the biggest collaboration flaw that we still find with excels being passed from one teacher to another. On the other hand even if it’s a separate file for everyone, it becomes a nightmare for the person compiling it as it increases the chances of calculation errors while copy pasting the data at the time of consolidation.

The process requires so much time and effort that the result generation, which is the final outcome, becomes most important and is treated as an achievement once complete whereas the data analysis part takes a back seat.

Effort Vs. Reward

At SchoolPad we keep analyzing the tasks teachers manage through the online software that are a part of their workday and evaluate them in terms of the effort spent to the reward generated because that’s how we calculate the success of our features. We get so much feedback now when Teachers talk about the peace they get while putting in the marks for their own subjects visible only to them and then waiting for the rest to happen automatically. It saves so much time and effort, for teachers, which they can then use for things that matter more to them and their students.

We would love to have your feedback and the ways you use manage your examination data in terms of the effort vs. reward comparison.