ThinkLink Learning demonstrated an online formative assessment solution that is one of the few existing products to tackle “predictive assessment”. This means the software takes assessment results and tries to predict how close students are to meeting state achievement standards–and how close schools are to meeting their AYP goals. ThinkLink’s software–called Predictive Assessment System for Students, or P.A.S.S.–allows teachers to give periodic, benchmark-based assessments correlated with state standards, or teachers can or create their own assessments using an item bank of questions linked to these standards. The system is completely web-based and is hosted on ThinkLink’s servers. Versions currently exist for schools in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, and West Virginia, but the company says it will work with districts in other states to create a version that meets their needs, too. P.A.S.S. uses color-coded graphs, charts, and numeric indicators to report on the progress of students, schools, or entire districts toward state-prescribed performance goals. For instance, a sample class summary report for teachers appears as a series of multicolored bars, one for each content strand to be taught. Each bar indicates the percentage of students who are mastering that particular topic (in green), who show partial mastery (in yellow), and who are in need of major intervention (in red). The teacher can click on the topic to get a report on how individual students are faring–or, by simply looking at the original bar graph, the teacher might realize he or she needs to go back and cover the topic again if only a sliver of the bar for that topic is green.

About the Author:

eSchool News