"From visible to understandable: Designing for teacher agency in education data visualizations"
Ahn's core research interest is understanding how technology, information, and co-designing solutions with the community can enhance the way we learn and deliver education. He co-designs technology with community partners for diverse learning contexts. He has engaged in research-practice partnerships around emerging technologies including social media, alternate reality games, and data visualization platforms. He serves as faculty director of Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN) and a member of the Connected Learning Lab (DLL) at UCI. Currently, he is editor of Educational Researcher.
Nguyen is specializing in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement (TLEI) for her doctoral work. Her research interests include design of STEM learning experiences and multimodal assessment to study collaboration and conceptual understanding. She is advised by Professors Mark Warschauer and Rossella Santagata.
In the United States, teachers are expected to analyze data to inform instruction and improve student learning. Despite investments in data tools, researchers find that teachers often interact with data visualizations in limited ways. Researchers have called for data interpretation training for preservice teachers to increase teachers’ interactions with data visualizations, but training alone may not be enough to spur pedagogical insights. Research suggests that helping teachers build personal connections with data may foster their own agency. However, little is known about how to provide agency-developing experiences for teachers more efficiently that respect both the time and resource constraints that teachers face in their daily work. This article presents a design experiment that explored whether giving preservice teachers the choice of which data to visualize impacted their connections with data. When compared with a control group who were not offered the chance of choosing their data (but only received data interpretation training), the authors found that participants who experienced the agency intervention reported a deeper connection with the underlying meanings of educational data. This intervention provides foundational evidence that facilitating agency-developing experiences may help educators to develop deeper sense-making about educational data.
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