New assessment and data management solutions for schools

This online system of differentiated practice, embedded assessment, and targeted instruction is used by more than 2 million students overall to improve their reading skills, the company says. What’s more, Lexia has collected enough information from the software’s embedded assessment of students, and has worked with its customers to see how this information correlates with other assessment data, to create a norm-referenced database of measures that students can be compared to.

And that’s significant for two reasons, Lexia says.

First, it has enabled the company to build an accurate “Performance Predictor” into the software. Instead of waiting for the results of a formal assessment, the program can make statistically valid predictions of how well students are progressing toward a mastery of skills. Teachers can use these predictive analytics to ensure that all students succeed.

Next to each student’s name in the teacher’s dashboard appears a percentage that indicates how likely that student is to meet end-of-year goals. If the student has struggled with a particular topic, the software will link to suggested lessons that can help. (These suggested lessons used to be PDF files, but as of this summer Lexia has introduced interactive whiteboard activities as well.)

The Performance Predictor also calculates a monthly “prescription of intensity” for each student. This feature notes how many hours per week students are using the software now—and how many hours they should be using it to achieve the desired results.

The other reason Lexia’s norm-referenced database is significant is because it allows schools to reduce their dependence on DIBELS and other formal reading assessments.

The data from Lexia Reading’s embedded assessments suggest they correlate closely with other benchmark exams. Teachers spend a lot of time giving these exams to students, which cuts into the time they have for instruction. Lexia says its software can provide what it calls “assessment without testing,” giving educators the information they need without interrupting the flow of instruction to administer a test.

By reducing the need for traditional reading tests, districts can reclaim a considerable amount of instructional time and can trim costs, Lexia says. Another benefit is that students tend to perform better with embedded assessment. Traditional formative assessment can lead to test anxiety, which can hinder performance; with embedded assessment, however, these anxieties don’t exist.

Lexia Reading is a core curriculum product for students in pre-kindergarten through grade four, but it also can be used as a supplemental instructional program for older students who need remediation, the company says.

Riverside Publishing, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, recently highlighted the achievement gains that some California districts have experienced with the help of its DataDirector product.

eSchool News Staff

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