Digital monitoring tools are instruments that support teachers in obtaining, organizing, and analyzing student data from test assessments. Through these tools teachers are also provided with feedback on the data they receive.
A recent review studied the effects of digital monitoring tools on student academic achievement. Studies included had to compare an experimental group in which teachers used digital monitoring tools with a control group. Each group had to include at least 20 teachers and the intervention had to last a minimum of 12 weeks. Only independent measures, such as standardized tests, were included in the meta-analysis.
A total of 14 studies were included in the review. Most of the studies evaluated the effects of the intervention on mathematics or reading. Studies were carried out more frequently in primary school than secondary school. Overall, the results showed positive effects of digital monitoring tools on student academic achievement (ES =+ 0.12). The effects were larger in primary school (ES = +0.14) than secondary school (ES = +0.04), as well as in reading (ES = +0.17) and math (ES = +0.10) compared to language (ES = +0.02).
The authors categorized the interventions in three groups:
- programs with a low feedback frequency (1-2 times a year) targeting teachers, principals, and the school board. The tools provided class-level feedback and predictive feedback as well as quite intensive activities were implemented through the program. Content included mainly technical information.
- programs with a low feedback frequency (1-2 times a year) targeting teachers and principals. The tools provided class-level feedback and predictive feedback. Intervention activity varies in its intensity. Content included class or school support.
- programs with a high feedback frequency (1+ times a month) targeting only teachers. The tools provided class-level feedback, not predictive feedback. The intervention activities were not very intensive. Content included technical information, class or school support and data translation into instruction.
Among the three types of interventions, A and C were the most effective with an effect size of +0.25 and +0.13, respectively.
Source (Open Access): Faber, J. M., Feskens, R., & Visscher, A. J. (2022). A best-evidence meta-analysis of the effects of digital monitoring tools for teachers on student achievement. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 0(0), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/09243453.2022.2142247