Indigo: Empowering educators with online tools for analyzing educational assessments

The Indigo Education Company is a social enterprise that administers their corporate level non-cognitive Indigo Assessment surveys in high-school and college classrooms and ensures that the results are accessible and informative for students and educators. In contrast to traditional academic evaluations, the Indigo Assessment places a high emphasis on the social and emotional aspects of student development, highlighting non-academic strengths, behavior styles and motivators. The reports that Indigo generates from these assessments have had different purposes in different contexts — they have been used by students for career guidance and better understanding themselves, educators for supporting students, and policy-makers for understanding the underlying data and making appropriate amendments to curricula.

Statistics for Social Good developed an online exploratory data analysis tool to enable quick views of survey results at the school level. Rather than providing a one-time statistical consultation, our objective was to empower educators and Indigo Education Company analysts to develop their own interpretations and insights from the data. The motivation for this approach was that similar questions end to emerge across different schools and classrooms. Some questions include:

  • Are there any students in need of additional attention?
  • What is the state of the student population as a whole?
  • Are there surprising relationships between responses to social, emotional, and academic questions?

Hence, it would be helpful to provide relevant visualizations and analysis that are easy to regenerate each time new data is collected. Per-question scatterplots and histograms are directed towards the first and second questions, respectively, while population-wide hierarchical clusterings and lasso regressions facilitate investigation of the third. Finally, we have made all code for this tool public, so it can be adapted by different organizations to suit their needs.