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Using data walls to display assessment results: A review of their affective impacts on teachers and students
journal contributionposted on 28.04.2021, 00:57 by Lois Harris, Claire Wyatt-Smith, Lenore Adie
Data walls are a data use practice increasingly being adopted in western, Anglophone countries to display student academic achievement data. The purpose of data walls is to improve teaching and learning by helping teachers and/or students to identify patterns of growth and achievement, set goals, and plan instructional interventions or self-regulate. This paper presents a systematic review of 30 empirical studies to explore how data wall use affectively impacts students and teachers, as well as related effects on their privacy and motivation. The review found that data wall displays elicited a range of positive and negative emotional responses, depending on variables such as the display’s location, contents, and associated social practices. Data walls were reported as enhancing motivation by helping stakeholders to sustain focus on and track progress towards goals, or by fostering comparison and competition. Data walls where class and/or individual students’ data could be identified, for example, through names, pictures, or small sample size, also generated concerns around privacy. These issues highlight the need to consider how data wall use aligns not only with relevant legislation, but also community expectations.