Fidelity of Use, Part  2: Connecting Utilization Data to Student Outcomes

June 19, 2019


Together we’re all on a journey to better understand usage analytics, the most effective way to measure return on investment (ROI) for school districts’ EdTech spending. It’s likely that your organization is already gathering some information on resource utilization, though this data may not yet be aggregated in a central location. In the first installment of this series, we discussed the importance of coalescing resource utilization from across your district and visually presenting it in a way that’s easy for decision-making stakeholders to understand, which is the first step in establishing Fidelity of Use. Described by Enboard’s Director of Software Development, David Carter, Fidelity of Use is the relationship between access to resources, resource adoption, and the influence these resources have on educational achievement.

Resource engagement alone doesn’t tell a complete story, as the amount of time your scholars spend using an application may not necessarily be reflected by their test scores. The second step towards actualizing Fidelity of Use is connecting that utilization data to tangible outcomes, which can provide insight into an educational tool’s real value. When we think about EdTech tool efficacy, we’re attempting to answer like questions “Are these resources making a difference in the lives of the children we serve?” and “Are the results worth the effort?”

Comparing resource utilization against measures of student attainment can shed light on whether specific applications are worth the price your organization is paying for them, and if these investments are yielding the expected learning outcomes. Measuring the impact of EdTech doesn’t necessarily have to stop with just assessments; with connections to the right data sets, assessing far-reaching implications such as graduation rates and job placement begin to emerge as predictive outcomes and intervention opportunities. This information can then be used to better inform purchasing decisions and improve curriculum and course design, professional development, and educator training as well as establish early warning systems to identify at-risk students.

Every client partner we collaborate with struggles to get educators excited about new tools because they’ve already been through so many iterations of relatively similar resources, making it a challenge to establish buy-in. Being able to demonstrate the real-world value of digital tools and surface them in a way that makes their positive impact evident can improve adoption success rates across your district. Enboard’s soon-to-be-released Usage Analytics dashboard is designed to help district leaders, educators, and other staff share high-level information and come together to make informed decisions about the tools they use. As data sets surrounding scholar achievement become available, Enboard can integrate them for comparison against resource utilization to make a significant difference in the way your district facilitates learning and teaching.

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