In this section you are going to learn the difference between what are known as Active & Provisional Students on the SPAplatform. This might seem confusing at first but once you get your head around it it makes perfect sense. Be aware though that it's not really all that important that you understand the difference when it comes to basic analysis is SPAstandard, but you might start to see strange things at first when you import data into the system that does not have all the student information in it. So it is worth reading this chapter, even if it's just in the back of your head when looking at data to understand why things look the way they do.
Active students are easy to understand as they are all the students who are currently at the school and have been imported using the Import students options. These students have all their non-optional details filled out in their student profile and are considered "Active"
Provisional students are a little trickier to understand but are here for a reason. These students are created when you import data (for example NAPLAN, Teacher Judgments, PAT testing etc) but the student has not been imported using the student importer and automatically added to the Active students section. When you import data for a student the system matches that data using the student ID number, if the system finds a student already in the system with the same ID number it will match the data to that student.
If the system cannot find a student with that ID number in it already it will create a new student profile and put them into the "Provisional" section. The special thing about Provisional students is that unlike Active students where we know all the details about them (Name, DOB, Year level etc) we might know nothing else about the provisional student other than their ID number. The system creates a "placeholder" profile for the student and will start to fill out details about that student for you as you upload more data files. So long as the matching ID number is found. The system will fill in only blank details on that student. It will not override details that have been imported or manually entered on that student. This is a basic explanation of provisional students, read on for a more detailed explination.
Provisional students further explained
Okay lets get our head around a few examples of Provisional students.
- Lets say we have uploaded some NAPLAN data from 2008-2017 but we have only uploaded our Student ID file for 2017's Active students. All the current students that you uploaded into the system will be found under the Active student section. These children might have been here since 2007 for example. In this case all the matching NAPLAN data for those students back as far as you have uploaded will be matched up. But in those files you will also have children that are no longer at your school but where there when they sat those NAPLAN tests. In this case all those students will be found under the Provisional section.
Now i know what you're thinking, why are these children know in our system as "Provisional" and not "Historical". Well thats because they might not be Historical children, they might still be at your school but you have not uploaded or added them into the active students list.
Lets say that all you have uploaded into the system are your Teacher Judgment XML's from either CASES, SASS or another package. In this case the only information that is in those files on a student is their ID number & Year Level. We don't know anything else about them (NAME, DOB etc) in this case you can see in the provisional section a list of only ID numbers. The students have been created in the system and have had the data uploaded associated with them, so you can start analysing this information straight away. But you won't know who these students are unless you either upload a student id file with the information on these students, or you upload a data file that has more information for example NAPLAN where it will have their name and DOB and class etc in that file. In this case once you upload that file the system will automatically match the ID number and fill in the blank fileds for you. Next time you go to analyse that data you will see the new information assigned to that student.