Data deluge ...

Often I wonder why we are so obsessed with data in education ... from face-to-face into distance learning I am yet to be convinced that knowing more about what we do actually helps improvement.

Even when data is used, it would seem to me that the majority of times that improvement is needed. It comes from:
  • Instinct
  • Personal preference
  • Leadership influence
In fact, often data is presented and improvements are made that worsen the experience of the student community. As the above list is based on bias, if instinct is wrong, personal preference biased and leadership ignorant. The problem predicted by data, either was never an issue or the issue (if there was one) differs from the perceived view of the problem.

Then the real problem arises, when data is everything and instinct is abandoned. Whilst instinct is fickle and still subject to my cynicism, I prefer this to blind reliance on data.

How does your educational organisation work, is the culture capable of allowing experience to override data? Or is data the demon that is worshipped at the high temple of performance.


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