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What is Real-time performance data in education

Availability and access to real-time performance data in classrooms and other learning spaces will be critical to addressing the increasingly serious learning crisis facing today's children and youth. Real-time performance data focuses on continuously monitoring program activities and instructor and student progress to better inform adjustments to program inputs, activities, and outcomes on the go. Administrators (e.g., school or govt. leaders program facilitators) can use performance information to adaptively manage assets and tailor programs to the needs of students and teachers.

Tracking learning progress

Over the last decade, the discourse in the global education sector has shifted from one about access to one about access plus learning. The Global Learning Compact report (Perlman Robinson, 2011) called, among other things, for highlighting measurement as one of the six main idea to achieve learning for all.

The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global education – and its impact on learning has been specifically severe among marginalized populations – has only exacerbated the global learning crisis. In terms of learning poverty, there could be a sharp increase of up to 70 percent in low- and middle-income countries.

Real-time data education
Real-time data education

Real-time data

With the increasing emphasis on measurement in education systems, the international education and development communities have placed greater emphasis in recent years on the continuous collection of data that can support adaptive, data-driven program management. Unlike definitive program or interpose evaluation data , real-time data is collected on the go and analyzed quickly, enabling timely decision making and adjustment to . A number of efforts are currently underway to improve the profile and accuracy of real-time data collection and use in the field of international education and development generally. For example, a consortium led by Results for Development, working with USAID, generates evidence for the implementation of adaptive programs through monitoring, evaluation, research, and rapid feedback learning (Benson et al., 2019). At USAID, “adaptive management” is also one of the core principles of the program cycle and is understood as “a deliberate approach to decision-making and adaptation in response to new information and changes in context.”

Real-time data for education

In the education sector, conversations around timely data provision are focused on equitable learning outcomes and as part of a broader movement towards data-driven decision-making at all levels of the education system. In fact, many education policymakers have highlighted the need for more timely and accessible data.

For example, a 2017 survey of education leaders around the world ranked timeliness and accessibility as the top two areas that need to be improved to make education sector data more useful.

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