48 Future Forwards: Exploring Frontiers in Education
We also chose to map the different learning paths of every individual student within a grade as two step
diagrams, plotting students who started MAP tests above and below the 50th percentile (top of Figure 3
below) and the projected score (bottom of Figure 3 below).
Students who started in the bottom 50%, and those starting below expectations are colored orange.
Figure 3. A section of the user interface, showing student growth trajectories represented as test percentiles (above) and
difference from the projected score (below). One student’s trajectory is highlighted, and shows an increasing negative gap in
expectations for Math but decreasing gaps in reading and language usage.
From Figure 3, one can almost immediately see just how difficult it is for under achievers to break into
the upper quartiles on standardized test regimes - most students who finish in the top quartile started
there (blue lines focused on top of the graphs, very few orange lines in the top of the graphs). One can
also see that more students have finished the year scoring above expectations, despite having started as
under achievers, in reading than mathematics.
Talking points and data conversations around these charts may take the form:
Student X’s (highlighted in Figure 3 above) mathematics skills appear to be declining consistently
over the last five years, but her scores on reading and language usage are improving. Did
interventions for reading during this past school year differ from interventions in math class?
How? What form of academic support do you think will most likely help X maximize her math
potentials during next year at school?
We chose to display achievement across the different goals within a discipline as radial plots (see Figure
4 below). In these plots, each student is represented by multiple nodes positioned on each of three (for
language and reading) or five (math) axes by normalizing his/her RIT score attained on each goal to a
value between 0 and 1, effectively plotting the students with lower scores closer to the centre of each
We calculated the grade level mean expected RIT score for each discipline from our mixed effects
model, and chose to display the value in the centre of each plot. The mean expected score is also
plotted on each of the goal axes as a dotted black line, with the intention of quickly showing the
separation of students performing at or above expectations from those below.