So you’ve got your QLA and have all the student marks in it (entered yourself or by your students). And while it looks great with all those colours, you may well be asking yourself “So what do I do now?!”.
In this article I’ll discuss how you can use a QLA and get the most important information from it quickly so you can make the biggest impact with your students.
Whole class analysis
What topics and skills were green (>70%) for most students? Well done! Your students are generally fine with these areas but will need some practice to make sure they don’t forget.
When I get my list of green and amber topics from a QLA, I create (or reuse) several one slide PowerPoint files, each with questions/tasks from a topic highlighted by the QLA (or sometimes a combination of topics). Then I simply use that as a lesson starter without changing my main lesson PowerPoint, allowing me to easily use different starters with different classes even if I’m using the same lesson.
What topics and skills were red (<30%) for most students? Can these be improved with questions/tasks like above or do they need re-teaching? Will you use flipped learning, or will you re-teach during a lesson? If you’ll be re-teaching, will it be for part of a lesson or a whole lesson? If a colleague has done the same QLA, did their students do any better in these areas? If so it may be worth discussing with them how they teach those areas to see if they do anything differently.
When re-teaching, the important thing is to do something different. Don’t go and re-teach the exact same lesson again. If it didn’t stick the first time, it probably won’t a second.
Should the lesson or scheme of work be changed? When you re-teach something differently, does it work well? If so, then consider adding it to the lesson or scheme of work.
Individual student analysis
Which students did really well and were green for lots of topics and skills? How will you recognise this? It’s so easy for these students to fall under our radar.
Which students have improved? Perhaps some were mostly red in all areas for a previous QLA but now they are getting more green and amber areas. Ace! How will you recognise and praise these students too?
Recognising and praising the improving and well as high achieving students will not only make them feel good but will also send out the right message to the whole class, that we value hard work.
Which students were red for lots of topics and skills? Are there any other factors beyond the classroom (such as ill health) that we need to consider?
When feeding back to these students its easy for them to get the impression that they did really badly and to potentially make them feel like there’s little point in them trying in our subject. Did they get any green areas at all? If so then make sure you feature these in your feedback, highlighting that they can improve in the other areas too. Share with them what topics most of the class did badly in so they recognise it wasn’t just them that found some areas difficult.
Do these students need anything extra that the other students don’t? Maybe some extra work in some areas?
Do you need to contact any parents? Either for really good performances/improvement or really poor performance/effort. This doesn’t have to be a phone call, you could send an email or ask your school admin team to send a text home.
How will you measure improvement in the identified areas? Will you re-do the whole assessment or just certain questions? Will you use the same assessment/questions or different ones? When will you do that? If you do it too close to the re-teaching then you may be measuring performance instead of learning. A minimum of a two-week gap is recommended to make sure you’re not measuring performance.
Introducing the 5 Minute QLA Plan
To make it as quick and simple as possible to get the most from a QLA, I’ve created a ‘5 Minute QLA Plan’ which is a one page PDF that will guide you through all the questions discussed above. Print it out and scribble all over it!