A general term that refers to qualitative and quantitative data that can inform a decision or course of action. Often the terms evidence and data are used interchangeably, however, they have distinct meanings. Data becomes evidence when it is used to prove something or support a conclusion. For example, NAPLAN scores on their own are data. However, if you then use these performance scores to support the conclusion that your students’ performance has improved, these scores become evidence of that conclusion.
Evidence in the context of informing next steps in education should consider both evidence of what should work, for example, drawn from the research and literature, and evidence of context, for example, what do we know of the current situation.
When discussing evidence there are 3 types of evidence to consider:
- Evidence of activity
- Evidence of process quality
- Evidence of impact
It should be noted that evidence of activity or process quality cannot be used as a proxy for evidence of impact.