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Free online course

Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

Find out how to use data science to deliver better outcomes for your students. Join this free online course from AACTE.


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, starting from when you join
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes

Why join the course?

This free online course will help you to use data science to deliver better outcomes for your students.

Each week will focus on a different aspect of data. You will identify sources and interpret them, determine their implications and establish actions for improvement.

Week 1 – Improvement Science

We will consider: different sources and types of data; ways to improve student outcomes; improvement processes in your own context and professional experience; and real-world examples of improving student outcomes.

Week 2 – Findings

We will discuss: how to present and evaluate data effectively; the difference between data and findings; the role of ethics in data handling and sharing; and the relationship required between data, findings and actions, to achieve continuous improvement.

Week 3 – Actions

We will explore: different indicators for measuring improvement; how to collect sample data and select the appropriate indicator; and how to present indicators and actions to your students.

Learn with expert educators from AACTE

The course has been developed by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) – the premier voice on educator preparation in the United States.

You will learn with Linda McKee – an experienced teacher trainer and Senior Director of Quality Support Initiatives at AACTE.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsAll around us, organisations are collecting and using our data in ways that were unimaginable 15 years ago. And as they collect more and more data, the smartest businesses are investing in analytics to make sense of it. Teams of data scientists are exploring huge datasets to understand their users’ behaviour and make important decisions. Your favourite video streaming services use your viewing habits to decide what new programmes to fund. Online stores use your purchase history to predict what you’re most likely to buy, and when you’re going to buy it. But you don’t have to work for a tech giant in Silicon Valley to understand how to make data work for you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds YOU can use data to improve YOUR education program, and I’ll tell you how, in this free online course. I’m Linda McKee from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. I’m the Senior Director of Quality Support Initiatives and I’ll be your lead educator. I work with national and international teacher training organisations to design professional learning. In this collaborative course, we’ll teach you how to use data to make wide-reaching and lasting improvements, whatever your project. One thing is clear - it’s not enough to simply gather data. You need to know what to DO with it. So join our global collective of professionals, take part in the discussions, and let’s learn together about how to use data to improve student outcomes.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Identify data sources and recognise different types of data.
  • Recognise and discuss different methods for improvement initiatives.
  • Interpret case studies and discuss improvement processes within your own context and professional experience.
  • Explain the relationship between data, findings and actions required in order to achieve continuous improvement.
  • Describe the difference between data and findings.
  • Produce findings from a sample set of data.
  • Evaluate and discuss the different approaches taken in example data dashboards.
  • Identify and select the most appropriate indicators for measuring improvement.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for professional educators, as well as those working in other professional services like health, who wish to use data science to improve outcomes.

Who will you learn with?

Linda McKee

I collaborate with universities, national, and international partners to design professional learning in the areas of performance assessments, quality assurance, and continuous improvement.

Mark LaCelle-Peterson

Educational systems and processes fascinate me. I have worked in diverse institutions as a researcher, faculty member, and administrator, and also in quality assurance. And I love Old Norse sagas.

Who developed the course?

Founded in 1948, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is a national alliance of educator preparation dedicated to offering high-quality, evidence-based programs

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £59.00

Statement of Participation £39.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.