Photo of University Hall

View Profile Page

Faculty/Staff Login:

Nicole Barnes

Associate Professor, Educational Foundations

University Hall 2129
Download vCard


As an educational psychologist, Dr. Barnes is interested in understanding and improving the teaching-learning process by investigating the features of high-quality classroom assessment practices and the development of students’ self-and co-regulated learning when engaged in assessment tasks. Her previous experience teaching at-risk elementary school students in jeopardy of being retained has inspired her interest in developing assessment techniques that focus on student progress.


Educational assessment, classroom assessment, teachers' data use, self-and co-regulated learning during assessment tasks, and teaching and learning in urban schools



Research Projects

Teachers with Expertise in Data Use: How Do They Engage in Data-Driven Decision

Teachers are expected to engage in data use to make instructional decisions that improve teaching and student learning (Data Quality Campaign, 2009; US DOE, 2009). Despite the demand to develop teachers’ data literacy and data use for instruction, there is little empirical evidence on how teachers understand and use data in authentic contexts that can be referenced to guide these policies and interventions (Mandinach, Honey, Light, & Brunner, 2008).

In this investigation we draw from the theoretical and empirical bases of data-driven decision making (DDDM, Mandinach et al., 2008; Marsh, 2012) and teacher expertise (e.g., Alexander et al., 2004) to uncover the craft knowledge of and contextual influences on teachers with expertise in data use. Craft knowledge is the experience-based “how to” knowledge developed and enacted by practitioners
(Grimmett & MacKinnon, 1992). Extensive theoretical and empirical work has specified DDDM at the school or district level but little is known about how teachers engage in this practice within their classrooms. We seek to understand if the DDDM, designed for school and district level decision making, can be used to understand how teachers engage with data in their classrooms. Specifically,
we want to uncover how and under what conditions fifth grade teachers with expertise in data use engage in a data based decision making process.