Create strategies for meeting your school behavior goals with Student Behavior Analytics powered by Hero.
Hero captures a record of student behavior at the moment it happens, from the classroom, to the cafeteria, to the hallways of schools around the country.
For a variety of reasons, planning and executing a strategy to capture this behavior data effectively can be a challenge. It requires fidelity. It requires teamwork. It requires careful planning of target behaviors and outcomes. The idea of capturing student behavior data with a tool like Hero, however, is pretty simple. You recognize a student for good behavior and there’s a record of it. You reprimand a student for bad behavior, there’s a record of it.
There are a number of benefits that come out of simply recording positive behavior using a behavior tracking app. There is a documented interaction between the student and a staff member, where the student was recognized for something they were doing right. Or perhaps there was a recorded teaching moment, when that student was off track. A student’s behavior history can be useful if a staff member or admin wants to see how a student has been doing. This data becomes invaluable during parent meetings, when you can see and share exactly how their student has been behaving. In addition, there is a cumulative record at the end of a grading period or school year, which can help school leaders, district personnel, or even the state build a better understanding of what has happened at the school level.
All of these things are valuable to a school, but they are just the beginning of what is possible when a school begins to adopt student behavior analytics.
Reporting Versus Analysis
Before we get too far into the weeds with the concept of student behavior analytics, let’s first discuss the difference between reporting and analysis.
To begin, reporting is retrospective. Reporting is sending attendance records to your district data warehouse. It’s for assessment. In short, reporting helps you see how you performed. If you use Hero to track tardies, you can look at reports to see how your tardies were this month. Reporting this data will allow you to let your team know how the school is performing against its goals.
Analysis, on the other hand, is predictive. When you analyze last year’s tardiness data, you can predict when you’ll have surges in tardiness this year, and do things like allocate additional staff to the front desk, and create incentives for students to show up to school on time—to stop the problem of timeliness before it starts.
This distinction can be easy to miss, in all walks of life. It happens when we look only at the results, but not the lessons.
Retrospection Ain’t So Bad
At Hero, we sometimes get retrospective, too. Because results can be fun, feel good, and are shareable.
So it’s not that we shouldn’t be retrospective. It’s important take time to celebrate a job well done. When a Hero school reduces out of school suspensions by recognizing students in a positive way, reduces tardiness by 50 or 80 percent by creating clear expectations and accountability, or creates a measurable improvement in school culture, we join in the celebration, we high five, we do a little dance in the Hero office.
Results like these represent a positive impacts on real students. It’s no exaggeration to say that it affects students’ lives.
Shifting to Student Behavior Analytics
The problem with reporting is this: If it’s in a report, it’s in the past.
Researchers love this type of data. The state needs this type of data. And this data can help make big decisions.
But analytics can help make small, targeted decisions. And if your team makes data analysis a habit, those small decisions add up, and the ability to react to leading indicators mean that you can make an impact before the data is reported.
Tiered interventions are an example of the analytics versus reporting paradigm. When you look at a breakdown of your student population, and identify segments that need different education plans, or behavior plans, you’re using patterns in the data to take proactive, preventative action—often using research-supported methodologies that rely on previously reported data. I think you can see where we’re going with this.
The short version is that while analytics and reporting are very different disciplines, they are no doubt two sides of the same coin. Reporting data is, of course, much, much easier—and more intuitive. But when you begin to develop a framework to make your data actionable, you unlock its potential for real, immediate impact.
Hero is, as it stands, an excellent tool for capturing and reporting student behavior data. And that’s a great start. But we’ve started to discover case after case of schools using Hero data to do so much more.
And Hero has a vision that pushes us to be better: To transform school culture, making school a better place to work, learn, and grow. We certainly didn’t invent student behavior analytics, but after seeing our customers use Hero to put it into practice, it has become very clear that this is an area that we will be researching, writing about, and building toward with great energy. And we can’t wait to share what we find.