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Analyzing Student Engagement during the COVID-19 Pandemic: What We Have Learned about Data Use

This report highlights key takeaways from TERA’s work with six partner districts during the 2020-21 school year that demonstrate both the limitations of the data collected during a difficult year, and how we adapted our approach to make use of available data to learn more about student engagement in a year of immense change. We discuss three key recommendations for districts as they reflect on data use from the 2020-21 school year and make plans for future years.


Full Report   |  Executive Summary


Key Recommendations
remote learning  
  • Examine students’ and families’ choice of instructional model during the 2020-21 school year to learn about those students and families rather than to judge the success of in-person or virtual instruction.

  • Combine multiple data sources to identify which students are most and least engaged.

  • To better understand general trends, examine multiple years of data, consider differences by school tier or student characteristics, and probe for more information when new trends emerge.

Suggested Citation:

Woods, S. C., Patrick, S. K., & Guthrie, J. E. (2021). Analyzing student engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic: What we have learned about data use. Tennessee Education Research Alliance.