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ARIS: Educator Usage and Perceptions of a District-Wide Data System

About NYC's Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS)

Unveiled in 2008, New York City’s Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) was  one of the first  district-wide investments in data-driven education reform in the United States, a major undertaking for the nation’s largest school district.

ARIS is an online platform that offers educators the ability to view and analyze information (e.g., student biographical information and transcripts), as well as professional development and collaboration tools (ARIS Learn and ARIS Connect, respectively).

By putting these resources within easy reach for educators, ARIS aims to inform classroom practice and school planning and improvement efforts.

About Our Study

In NYC and around the country, there is broad interest in using data and technology to improve teaching and learning. NYC’s experience with ARIS can provide valuable lessons about what educators want and need from technology, and how they may actually use the tools available to them.
To begin answering these questions, the Research Alliance is conducting a study about educator use and perceptions of ARIS, drawing on “clickstream” data, which tracks user visits to and navigation through the system, as well as surveys, interviews, and focus groups designed to glean educators’ nuanced impressions of ARIS.

In the first phase of our study , we assessed how much and in what ways teachers and administrators used the wealth of data ARIS makes available, as well as barriers that prevented them from using ARIS effectively.

The second phase honed our focus onto ARIS Connect —a component designed specifically to help educators improve their practice by sharing resources, posting questions, and giving one another feedback, both within schools and across the district. We examined the extent to which educators used ARIS Connect as well as barriers to use, and identified alternative tools that have been adopted to support online collaboration. 

Finally, in the third phase of our study, we will investigate the relationship between schools’ use of ARIS and student achievement.

Supported by the Spencer Foundation.

Related Publications

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools

Digital Collaboration and Classroom Practice

ARIS Connect is a district-developed tool designed specifically to help educators improve their practice by sharing resources, posting questions, and giving one another feedback, both within schools and across the district. Our study investigated how educators perceive and use ARIS Connect and other so-called “Web 2.0” tools for sharing and collaborating. (2014)

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools

Usage Patterns and Perceptions of the Achievement, Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS)

This report offers the first systematic examination of actual usage of New York City’s Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS), a comprehensive data system designed to put student information within easy reach of school administrators and teachers. The findings suggest that ARIS has been used successfully as a school-wide planning tool, but was less valuable as a direct aid to classroom instruction. (2012)

Project Team

James Kemple

Executive Director of the Research Alliance for NYC Schools; Research Professor of Teaching and Learning

jk134@nyu.edu

John Tyler

Brown University