Enlighten, a team of Carnegie Mellon University
students, have partnered with Renaissance Learning,
Inc to develop a dashboard that allows school or
district administrators to compare achievement to
demographically similar schools. Over the course
of the past seven months, we have researched,
prototyped, developed, and iterated to bring the
Enlighten Dashboard into fruition.
Between January and May 2019, Enlighten has conducted our first round of research and found that data coordinators are interested in having access to comparison with similar schools mainly based on ethnicities, poverty level, special education, and school size. We also found that all eight of our interviewees would like to connect with similar schools to discuss decision making strategies that work in their context. A major component of our research involves mining Star assessment and demographic data to inform a model defining what it means for two schools to be “similar”, and to find correlations between demographic factors and growth. We have found that there are some demographic aspects that do correlate with score differences, such as percent of students with Free or Reduced Lunch (an indicator of poverty levels), and some do not, such as Teacher-to-Student Ratio.
Since May, we created numerous prototypes and
iterated constantly in response to results from over
25 hours of user testing sessions. From beginning to
end, we’ve gone through a host of changes, including
changing our Similarity Score from a 100-scale to
10-scale, and adding a Table View for easier data
The initial prompt for this project focused more on
providing a data analytics tool to administrators,
where they could learn information about their
school in context. We found time and time again, that
administrators want to use this product for more than
analysis--they want to take action and make changes
at their schools. Allowing administrators to connect
with and learn from other schools is not only our way of
helping administrators create meaningful change, it’s
also one of our most highly praised features.
The Enlighten Dashboard is a novel platform for
administrators to compare, contextualize, and connect
to schools within their state and across the country.
We believe that the Enlighten Dashboard will empower
educators to better work together in accelerating
learning for all students.