CTB/McGraw Hill released a new white paper highlighting the benefits of technology-enhanced formative and interim assessments, including the company’s Acuity suite of assessments, in supporting student achievement. The white paper, titled “Promoting Student Achievement Using Research-Based Assessment with Formative Benefits,” describes several independent research studies that suggest formative assessment is a practical solution that can help educators accelerate student performance and meet achievement goals.
Acuity contains all four elements of a comprehensive formative assessment, CTB says: ongoing measurement, in-depth reporting, analysis of performance data, and resources for targeted instruction. What’s more, Acuity meets the demands of many interim assessment programs. It’s a suite of diagnostic and predictive benchmark assessments designed to show student growth toward state standards and performance indicators in language arts, math, and science for grades 3-8 and algebra for grades 6-12.
Acuity features both online and paper-and-pencil administration options to match the level of technology available in schools. Its reports provide data aligned with state standards and indicators that teachers can use to inform instruction and support student achievement.
Curriculum Associates, a publisher of research-based supplemental curriculum materials, announced that it will be selling two products from Let’s Go Learn: DORA (Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment) and DOMA (Diagnostic Online Math Assessment). The programs are driven by technology that simultaneously tests and reports on multiple skills while adapting to individual learners’ abilities. As students respond, the programs adapt by making questions harder or easier as needed. Starting levels vary according to the user’s age, and the programs contain graphical interfaces for elementary, middle, and high school, as well as adult learners, to engage all ages appropriately.
DORA is a web-based assessment that diagnoses K-12 students’ reading abilities. It uses a combination of text, audio, and multimedia images to measure eight reading sub-skills: high-frequency words, word recognition, phonics, phonemic awareness, oral vocabulary, spelling, reading comprehension, and fluency. By examining these sub-skills together, DORA reveals each student’s unique reading profile.
DOMA Basic Math Skills serves as a diagnostic tool for students in grades K-5 and remedial math students. The program assesses users’ number skills, from number recognition to calculations of fractions and decimals, as well as measurement skills, including time, money, units of measurement, capacity, and area. The program generates a math profile for each student, so that teachers and parents can clearly identify where to target instruction.
Both the DOMA and DORA programs produce individual and classroom reports, including comparison of performance against state standards. Small-group licenses for the reading assessment and each version of the math assessment start at $299.
eInstruction discussed its recent acquisition of Interwrite Learning. This acquisition doubles the size of eInstruction and significantly expands its lineup of interactive classroom solutions, the company said. The combined entity will continue to offer and support the Interwrite Learning family of products, which includes student response systems, interactive whiteboards, mobile teacher slates, and teacher panels, while delivering an integrated learning solution fully compatible with eInstruction’s ExamView Assessment Suite. The result is an integrated system for instruction and assessment with real-time feedback and response.
iRespond previewed its new UltraLite handheld response unit, which will debut in June. The iRespond UltraLite uses the same Teacher’s Dashboard as other iRespond products. A PIN-based login means students may use any remote, and any remote may be used as a teacher’s remote. Other features include real-time student assessment, integration with PowerPoint, standards-based reporting, and the ability to answer various question types. The UltraLite uses wireless radio-frequency technology to communicate, and it can flag questions for additional review and display class averages and feedback.
Promethean demonstrated its new student response system, called Activexpression. This new solution lets students express themselves through full phrases, symbols, and numbers—and instantly share their responses with the entire class. Activexpression enables two-way communication between teachers and students, and it enables teachers to give feedback directly to individual students as well as the entire class. The system also allows teachers to create quizzes and polls spontaneously, without prior preparation. The software that drives the system includes a question master, which allows for the creation of question banks using a full range of response types: multiple choice, true-false, yes-no, put in order, fill in the blank, Likert scales, confidence checking, text response, and alphanumeric response.