Your GCSE Results in 10 hours or in 10 minutes? The power of Reporting Services and SharePoint.

August 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reporting Services, SharePoint, Twynham School 

As those of you who know me personally will be aware two of my passions are technology and data! For a History teacher this is fairly unusual but these are also two of my key roles in school as an Assistant Headteacher- e-learning and data. During the last week I have been very busy making sure all our systems will be ready with Windows 7 installed throughout the site and three refurbished computer rooms (two of which the contractor still hasn’t finished). Even more demanding should have been organising the A-level and GCSE download days which I am in charge of. For those of you that do not know download days are on a Wednesday the day before results day when schools have 24 hours to download and prepare the data to share with students and staff.

Now I said they should have been demanding days and indeed when I joined three years ago they were. In August 2007 on my first A-level download day we spent 10 hours at school and left when we were thrown out by the caretakers still not 100% confident what our exact results were! Over the last few months I have written a series of blog posts on our development of Reporting Services as a results tool within SharePoint. Yesterday I arrived at 8.10am to meet the Data Manager who had been in since 8 am (alas I was late). At this point she had downloaded the data and put it into the MIS system. Normally from here it would take many hours to either prepare spreadsheets or organise reports out of the MIS. These are the three clicks I made.

[kaltura-widget wid="2vjr3bbkvg" width="410" height="364" addpermission="3" editpermission="3" /]

The three clicks you can see in the video are: clicking on the Headline figure; drilling into the All Subject Report; Drilling into an individual Subject. Below this are two more levels which I have not shown as they contain student information. I can click into an individual class and see the students results for that class. From there I can click on an individual student to see their results. In 2007 I was able to contact the Headteacher at 1pm to give him an idea of our results. Last year we had a firm figure by 11.30. Yesterday? I actually think I may have woken him up with a call at 8.10 am with a cup of tea and a donut in my hand. The real beauty of this is I made the video above from home by logging into the school site and going to the data page (which for security watchers was locked down so only I could access it). The time of the video was 11am and I had my feet up having printed off all the result sheets and put them in envelopes before heading home. Now I love download days.

Reporting Services Integration in SharePoint 6 of 6

To wrap up this session on integrating Reporting Services in SharePoint I thought I would run a demo showing all 5 stages of the data analysis package we have produced using a Camtasia video. Below you can see the transition from GCSE Headline to All Department Analysis, Department Level Analysis, Class Level Analysis and Student Level Analysis.

For best viewing of the video please enlarge!

Reporting Services is an extraordinarily powerful tool to support teachers and middle/senior leaders in making accurate judgments and reflecting on outcomes in public examinations. It would be interesting to hear from people who are using Reporting Services 2008 to find out how usable it is for the end user. Reporting Services 2005 is definitely something that requires a lot of in-depth knowledge about and we are very grateful to our Senior SQL Developer Chris Mckinley for building this powerful tool.

Reporting Services Integration in SharePoint 5 of 6

Having reached the class level of our data analysis tool created in Reporting Services, teachers are able to complete their analysis in September with a rich vein of data shown below.

Individual Class Analysis

Individual Class Analysis

When teachers look at those students who underperformed in their subject one of the most important questions is why. This could of course be obvious to the teacher as the student lacked motivation, had poor attendance or did not complete the exam properly. One other factor could be that the student underperformed across the board in their exams. How does a teacher find this out? Using our data analysis tool the teacher can simply click on the name of the student whose results they want to look at and the appear as shown below:

Student level analysis- click to enlarge

Student level analysis- click to enlarge

In the table above the student has strengths in Maths and Science but their performance is lower in more literate subjects which may explain their lower performance in History. The key of course is that the Reporting Services tool allows teachers to undertake this form of investigation easily and in a few clicks.

Reporting Services Integration in SharePoint 4 of 6

Moving into Middle Leader and Class teacher analysis, yesterday we were looking at the department table which is pulled through Reporting Services into SharePoint. This is shown below and enables the Head of Department and Line Manager to examine differences in outcomes between individual classes.

At this stage the Head of Department may want to drill into an individual class to look at the reasons for particularly strong or weak outcomes. They can do this simply by clicking on the class code on the right side of the table above. What appears next is a very powerful page for discussion between Heads of Department and Class teacher which can be seen below.

Individual Class Analysis- click to enlarge

Bear in mind that I have cropped out an area on the left side which contained the names of the students from this group. The table pulls through an excellent range of data for reflection including: prior attainment at Key Stage 2 and 3; review data from teacher judgements across KS4; forecast and target grades; GCSE outcomes and student points versus subject points and residuals which are then nationally adjusted. This then forms the basis of a class report written by teachers and is also a key document for Performance Management.

Reporting Services Integration in SharePoint 3 of 6

So far in this series we have being looking at the use of Reporting Services integrated into SharePoint for use by Senior Leaders to examine the performance at whole school and department level. Yesterday we looked at the All Subject analysis we do at Twynham School which is shown in the table below.

All Subject analysis in reporting services

All Subject analysis in reporting services

From here the tool we have produced is particularly useful for looking at differences in performance between classes. This is where the Subject Leader should be able to identify strengths and areas for improvement. By clicking on the department title in blue (image above) on the left side you arrive at the 3rd level of the pyramid of data- Class level.

Class level analysis- click to enlarge

Class level analysis- click to enlarge

From here the Subject Leader can look at the overall spread of grades within each class, gender differences, A*-C and A*-A benchmarks and residuals which are also nationally adjusted. They may then wish to look at a particular class in detail to see where the strengths or weaknesses are coming from. I will show you how they do this tomorrow.

Reporting Services Integration in SharePoint 2 of 6

Yesterday we looked at accessing data directly from within SharePoint using the very powerful tool Reporting Services. At the top of the pyramid of data we had senior leaders (and indeed all members of staff) being able to quickly pull up Headline data shown in the table below.

The next stage for senior or middle leaders when results are in is to look at department level data to see how each department has performed. In the table above the top right corner contains the word GCSE. By clicking on this link a stage down in the pyramid appears- the department level analysis.

All subject analysis- click to enlarge

All subject analysis- click to enlarge

From here senior and middle leaders can look at the overall performance of departments across the A*-U range as well as the key indicators A*-A and A*-C. They can also see residuals which are then nationally adjusted on the far right to give a true reflection of relative performance. From here you can drill directly into individual classes to look at performance across a single department. This is something I will cover tomorrow.

Next Page »