The SGP package, a part of the R software environment, is used to do various types of student growth analyses. It has several lower level functions, studentGrowthPercentiles and studentGrowthProjections, that do the calculations themselves whereas it also has higher level wrapper functions that allow for more complex data manipulation.
The WIDE format is the default format and is used for all lower level functions, whereas LONG is the preferred data format for the higher level wrappers. The decision between the two data formats is driven by a number of factors, but if you’re running any SGP analyses operationally year after year (or for anything else that isn’t a one-off analysis) it is typically best to use LONG.
To run SGP, you’ll need a computer with R installed, a database that can accommodate the LONG format and some data to work with. You’ll also want to make sure that your data is prepared properly, in the proper order and formatted for the higher level functions of the package (studentGrowthPercentiles and studentGrowthProjections).
For those just getting started, the SGP package comes with a few guides to help you get started. In addition, CRAN has a variety of resources to get you up and running with the package.
SGP is an open source package, available for Window, OSX and Linux operating systems. You can get the package compiled for just about any computer that is running R.
As an open source package, the SGP package is based on a free software platform and has many benefits over commercial packages. The package is scalable and can handle large amounts of data in a short amount of time and the user interface is clean and simple to use.
The SGP package is a great option for data scientists and researchers that want to do advanced growth analysis on large amounts of data. However, if you’re not familiar with R, the SGP package can be a bit daunting and it may take some time to get your feet wet.
If you have the time and the data, you can also consider performing an R training course to learn more about how the SGP package works and how to use it. This will allow you to do more advanced analyses and build a strong understanding of the process.
In almost all cases, SGP can be a straightforward process to perform if the correct data is supplied and the data has been properly prepared. Often, errors that come up in the analysis revert back to data preparation issues, so it is usually a good idea to spend some time getting your data prepared before you start running any SGP analyses.
Using the SGP package
The SGP package can be very useful for running a variety of student growth analyses, both for research and for analyzing student growth at school. It’s a flexible tool that can be used in both quantitative and qualitative research, as well as for identifying trends in a student’s performance.