Student Engagement Data: How to Make it Easy & Actionable

Schoolrunner is proud to serve thought leading schools across the country in using data to analyze, track, and improve student achievement. For more than 10 years, we’ve worked with teachers and school administrators to drive student success at many of the nation’s most progressive schools. Our comprehensive system has helped schools manage academics, attendance, culture, communications, and more. Some schools are excited about replacing old tools with better ones we can provide, but not every school is up for that kind of change management process. In short, the flagship Schoolrunner platform has been an extremely powerful tool for schools, but it’s not for every school.  

That’s why we took a step back to 1) reflect on the needs of teachers and school leaders during this moment of unprecedented disruption for K12 schools and 2) think about ways that we could support an urgent, universal need in schools without the need for change management. After dozens of conversations with traditional school and charter school leaders, we have a deep appreciation for the challenges and opportunities school leaders face including declines in enrollment, drops in attendance rates, and the desire to improve student engagement. Here are some of our observations and learnings over the past few months.

  • Concerns about enrollment declines are a systemic problem that’s most acute in urban and suburban areas where families have an increasing number of choices for how and when to attend school. These enrollment declines threaten the health of many school systems. 
  • 100% of school leaders recognize that student engagement is important in reversing enrollment declines and retaining students. Almost universally, school leaders recognize that they can improve engagement. 
  • Very few school leaders have a clear definition of what student engagement means, but all school leaders want to manage it. School leaders often struggle with this because (to paraphrase Peter Drucker) “you can’t manage, what you can’t measure.” Having a simple, straightforward set of measures for student engagement would be a major step forward for many.     
  • When schools have access to the right data, there’s low hanging fruit available to measure and improve student engagement. With adoption accelerated by the pandemic and the need for remote/virtual learning, most schools and districts have adopted at least one learning management system (LMS) and at least one video platform for live instruction and support. Data from learning management systems like assignments made by teachers and assignments completed by students are automatically captured for each student. However, aggregating and displaying the data to make it useful is difficult and requires hard-to-come-by technical expertise. For example, assignment data in Google Classroom (now used by ~65% of schools and districts) is accessible on an individual student basis, but not aggregated by teacher, course, school, or district. In a virtual or hybrid learning environment, data from video conferencing platforms is also available but requires time and expertise to access. For example, data from Zoom or Google Meet can inform school leaders about which teachers are providing live instruction and how much, which students are attending live instruction and how much, and what students are attending office hours. 

The ability to measure and access powerful student engagement data is within reach, but school leaders need support accessing it without having to change the way they work. Furthermore, they want access to it in minutes, not within weeks or months of setup and configuration. They want it to be instantly available, clear, easy to use, and actionable. That’s why we built Schoolrunner Engage.

Schoolrunner Engage is a free product that allows any teacher or school administrator to access their student engagement data from their LMS and video platform. It instantly provides insights to many important engagement questions including: 

  • How many assignments are teachers making by class, grade, school, district-wide?
  • Are students completing assignments and what % are they completing?
  • Are students completing more or fewer assignments in recent weeks or months? In other words, is student engagement rising or falling? 
  • How much live instruction are teachers providing and which students are attending? Which students aren’t showing up at all?  
  • Are teachers conducting office hours with students? Which students are attending? Are struggling students attending office hours?   
  • Which students are showing up to the video lesson but aren’t doing their work? 

These are just a few of the insights you can get with Schoolrunner Engage. For more information about Schoolrunner Engage, click here

To sign up for the waitlist to get free access for your classroom, school, or district, click here.  


Charlie C.

Founder, CEO & Chief Data Wizard at Schoolrunner

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