Data Backpack

Definition 

Data Backpacks are related to Learner Profiles and Personalized Learning Plans. The concept is that students would arrive in classrooms with an electronic record of their interests, accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses, goals, and plans. This backpack of data would be available to each teacher and student, at any time, so that curriculum and assessment planning could be truly personalized to students' individual and collective needs. There is a call for creating these at a national level so that as students relocate, or transfer, their data follows them, and can be accessed easily in their new community.

Features 

  • Personalization

Designer's Tips 

Data Back-Packs are not yet in use, largely because of concerns about student privacy. There are a number of initiatives underway to try and address the need for shared data with the demand for student privacy.
Curated Resources: This collection of resources from the field includes models and exemplars, as well as “DIY” guidance to facilitate your exploration of this term. 

Data Backpacks: Portable Records and Learner Profiles

Description 

This paper describes data backpacks as a comprehensive set of portable, customized records that follow students from grade to grade and school to school. There is still very little written about data backpacks, but it is a concept that designers need to understand. While this report was written for policy-makers, it provides some foundational understanding of the concept. 

Authors 

John Bailey, Samuel Casey Carter, Carri Schneider, Tom Vander Ark

Resource Type 

  • Report

Publishing Organization 

Digital Learning Now

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Data Backpack
Learner Profiles

Personalization + Privacy = Data Backpack

Description 

Safeguarding student data to preserve their privacy is an important legal and ethical consideration. This is especially true in mastery learning systems, where rich learner profiles and student achievement data are collected and stored--but also shared. This report explores the important questions of access, availability, and protection of student information.

Authors 

Carri Schneider

Resource Type 

  • Blog Post

Publishing Organization 

Getting Smart

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Data Backpack
Learner Profiles

Powering Personalized Learning: Digital Ready Now

Description 

This infographic illustrates how students' data backpacks can be leveraged to personalize learning. Beginning with personalized learning plans, the backpack grows and adapts over time as learners, teachers, and parents accumulate more and more data and information about their interests and challenges.

Resource Type 

  • Infographic

Publishing Organization 

Digital Learning Now

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Data Backpack
Learner Profiles

Developing Learner Profiles

Description 

This excerpt from a larger handbook describes some of the key features of learning profiles developed in Alberta, Canada: learning styles, passions, interests, skills and experiences, and gaps and strengths. Designers of mastery learning systems should consider how their system incorporates opportunities for diverse learners.

Resource Type 

  • Document

Publishing Organization 

Alberta Education, Canada

Type of Organization 

  • Government Organization

Terms 

Data Backpack
Learner Profiles
Personalized Learning Plan

Developing Learner Profiles: UDL Adapted

Description 

This handout describes the rationale behind learning profiles, how to design them, and whom to include in the process. It also provides three examples of student-developed learning profiles.

Resource Type 

  • Document

Publishing Organization 

Ministry of Education, New Zealand

Type of Organization 

  • Government Organization

Terms 

Data Backpack
Learner Profiles