Category Archives: Data Analysis

Big Data – How ‘Big’ is the data in Education?

Author: Manasa Raghuram

Big Data. Two simple words. When I first heard these words I wondered how much ‘Big’ data can education really have? And as I started working a year ago on Partnerships at Report Bee, I gradually realised that there is vast amount of educational data available for every student. But, was this being put to good use? After all, the data’s worth lies in the interpretation and the subsequent action, isn’t it?

School education, as we know, has evolved dramatically over the years. It is not just academics now. Schools offer many different programs ranging from life skills, leadership, robotics to yoga.  So, we have all this rich student data available with us: How do schools essentially make use of this?  With Report Bee in schools now, many different beautiful, insightful report cards are made possible at the click of a button!

Low income schools :

What happens with such vast education data in low income schools supported by impact organizations? More often students’ progress in those schools is never tracked since such data sets are unstructured, cluttered and lack insights. It is cumbersome to maintain and over a period of time this can lead to data loss when stored as hard copies or excel sheets.

Let’s consider a student named Priya. During Priya’s school life, she would have a unique data set related to her: general records with academics,daily attendance, health, co scholastic records, standardized test scores and so on . This in turn, becomes a huge data set for many students like Priya under an impact organization.

What if this huge unstructured, but extremely valuable education data is mined? Let’s for a moment, forget the analysis that can happen across the spectrum and focus on the students. We would be able to find simple patterns in student’s learning, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of the individual academic performances and the factors influencing them which would in turn enable us to design more effective intervention programs.

What does Report Bee do?

The Partnerships team decided to actively foray into this new vertical to see how we can do what we do to help the many Impact Organizations in Education to make sense of the huge datasets they have.

So, What does Report Bee do for impact organizations?

big-data

Large Unstructured Education Data + Report Bee = Meaningful, Actionable Insights

Yes, we precisely do the above. The data given to Report Bee can be of any format, a text file, a comma separated file, a microsoft access database or any other format. Report Bee’s analytics engine is designed in a way to read these files of different formats and create insightful reports, that is visualized aesthetically for quicker and easy understanding.

Often times, different organizations have very specific objectives and have the need for a unique set of reports. That is when our data team steps in, providing customized visualizations with drilled down information regarding students’performance across subjects and across years. This can help organizations know the impact of their program on the students’ learning.

We know that the Best Decisions are Data Informed Decisions.

This information dissemination has in turn, helped the donors and other stakeholders with efficient capital allocation, eventually improving student learning.

Report Bee is all set to help create an impact in students’ learning by transforming how education data is read, understood, visualised and acted upon.

Big Data. Two small words with a big promise for education.

The story of how same marks can lead to two different grades!

Author : Hariharan

It was a sunny day and I felt my car’s AC air gushing at my face. It was in no time, the AC beat the heat but it was temporary. The heat came from a phone call then. The person X of Hive Public School at the other end tells me, “Hari all the overall grade calculation for class 6 is wrong”. I wanted to reassure whether she was telling what I heard, so I told, “Could you please repeat it ma’am?”. “Hari all the overall grade calculation for class 6 is wrong. What we have given in the sheet as aggregation what Report Bee has done doesn’t match at all”. I took deep breath which I don’t do often and claimed, “Your’s is a CBSE school right?”, the answer was ‘Yes’. “We do calculation based on the CCE* guidelines”. And the conversation went on till I agreed to change the grades for deviating students. Now, you would have got it, most of the time we end up abiding customer needs.

Usually the assumption for any CBSE school would comply to CCE guidelines. This was an incident on that assumption which proved costly. The next few passages, I will be explaining the math involved in our calculation and why the deviation happened in the first place. So if you are not really a math person and it bores you, feel free to jump to the last paragraph.

Our mode of calculation (CCE prescribed) :

captureTo your left is the grade calculation image. They say grade is calculated based on the marks scaled up/down to 100, basically percentage. Each grade also has a grade point pinned to it as well. Each subject’s grade for a term is calculated by aggregating the marks procured in the numerator, the total in the denominator and multiplying it by 100. That would give the percentage value for it to be displayed as grade in the report card. In this way individual subjects will have marks and the respective grades. To calculate the overall grade, the individual subject’s grade is the percentage expressed out of total marks in term all subjects inclusive. Below is the image explaining our calculation for the specific student Bee.

image-1

Hive Public School’s mode of calculation (The heart wrecking phone call) :

There is no legitimate image for this to be referred. The only place where the calculation can be found out is as fields shared by the school. Each subject’s mark is grade with percentage as base. Till this point they resemble our mode of calculation. After this, they do a calculation which you might not see in any CBSE school doing. For the grade procured, the corresponding grade point is referred and this is done for all the subjects. The grade points are summed up and divided by the number of subjects included part of their academics. This gives an average grade point out of 10. The overall grade referred is based on the grade point’s range. Below is the image explaining Hive Public School’s calculation for specific student Bee.

image-2

The teachers of the school had gone for a workshop three years back and had brought this take away of overall grade calculation. Had the overall grade calculation methodology been mentioned in the CCE guidelines, this problem wouldn’t have come. So, here we came with a hack. The school identified students with deviating grades and gave it to us. We changed the grades manually through CSS, the tool which is normally used to feast your eyes with vividness. Because of this, there was 956 lines of code at the back end. Also, we ended up editing the grades of 20% of students in a class on an average.

*CCE – Continuous and comprehensive evaluation is a process of assessment, mandated by the Right to Education Act, of India. Student’s marks will be replaced by grades which will be evaluated through a series of curricular and extra-curricular evaluations along with academics. The aim is to decrease the workload on the student by means of continuous evaluation by taking number of small tests throughout the year in place of single test at the end of the academic program. Only Grades are awarded to students based on work experience skills, dexterity, innovation, steadiness, teamwork, public speaking, behavior, etc. to evaluate and present an overall measure of the student’s ability.

Boys perform well in Co-ed than single-sex schools

We belong to an era of data science, cognitive psychology and artistic visualization. At Report Bee, we performed an extensive analysis on single sex schools vis-a-vis co-ed schools and found that in Tamil Nadu, boys are performing better in co-ed schools than boys-only schools.

We took the last 4 years data (2012- 2015), and the findings showed us a trend.

In 2015, among the 6258 schools that appeared for the 12th board exams, the pass percentage of boys only schools is 59.8 whereas the pass percentage of girls only schools is 66.2. But in case of the co-ed schools, the pass percentage of boys and girls increases to 63.6 and 66.8 respectively.

In class 12, we found that boys in Co-ed schools on an average scoring 5.3% more than their counterparts in boys-only schools. Through a detailed analysis on each of the revenue districts, we observed a maximum average difference of 13.5% (~162 marks) in a Perambalur.

KANYAKUMARI, DINDIGUL, OOTY, NAMAKKAL, TRICHY, NAGAPATTINAM seem to have boys in boys-only school performing better than Co-ed schools, reason here is these districts are literacy districts and they perform well in any given condition.

When tested on girls in co-ed school and girls only school, there was an increase of 0.6%.It showed that girls are performing better than boys irrespective of being a single sex school or a Co-ed school.

Similarly In class 10, we found that boys in almost all the revenue districts in Tamil Nadu are performing better in Co-ed schools. Except Virudhunagar, all the other districts show a higher performance in average marks scored by the boys studying in co-ed school.

The performance of the students can vary from various reasons like peer pressure, discipline, employability, infrastructure, adolescence and so on.

Tamilnadu 12th Board – Spatial Analysis

12th Std boys12th std girls

Green colored districts are those in which the boys in Co-ed school have obtained a better average% than the boys-only schools. Red colored are the districts where the boys in boys-only schools have scored a higher average% than the Co-ed schools

Tamilnadu 10th Board – Spatial Analysis

10th std boys10th std girls