Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Multimedia Enhancements

A busy summer is transitioning to a busier fall for all of Assessment Technology Incorporated’s (ATI) Assessment and Instructional Design team. A key component of that increase in production is the development of new technologies and item types to promote authentic, engaging, and interactive assessment of students’ abilities to address new priorities in state standards assessment and instruction.

ATI has been a leader in developing innovative assessment tools, instructional materials and educational management systems. As we transition from the current state standards to each state’s customized version of the Common Core State Standards, we are developing resources that enhance and expand our ability to provide educators with valid and reliable measures of student performance. These resources allow teachers to put these measurements to use, informing instructional approaches to develop students’ skills.

Projects begun over the summer are bringing enhancements to the interactivity of our Instructional Dialogs, innovative item types, and assessment of early literacy.

One area that provides a natural opportunity for student interaction through technology is in our science content. Computers, models, and student involvement are all components of successful science instruction.

Students are able to review the parts of the skeletal system by pointing to each part.

This activity is available now in the fifth-grade Dialog bank.

In “Weather Maps and Symbols (Interactive)” students can review again, but they are also able to design their own maps from the forecast.

Students can make multiple maps to practice their use of the weather symbols.

This activity is available now in the fourth-grade Dialog bank.

In expanding the assessment of crucial early literacy standards, content designed by English Language Arts Content Specialists now integrate audio technology and student controlled listening items to focus on these fundamental skills.

These assessment items use recorded directions and narration to guide students through skills involving phonemic awareness and text-response for students who are not yet reading fluently. Being audio items, it’s hard to convey their function through images; you can find them in Galileo’s Early Literacy assessments for K-2. Please contact your Field Services Coordinator to schedule these assessments.

Finally, we are in the initial stages of development of items that allow students to take online tests that allow them to answer questions, not by choosing an answer, but by performing the tasks to show mastery and answer the question directly. These items are slated for piloting in 2012.

These new tools will offer our partners in education the ability to assess students beyond multiple-choice and written responses, enabling students and teachers to interact with the Galileo Instructional Improvement System even more directly.

One skill which is useful in all subjects is sequencing. The following examples give students the ability to order the information as required by the standards.

Sequencing events in a text is also a common standard across many grades.

Labeling is another skill appearing in multiple content areas. The example below is being developed for life sciences

Measurement also benefits from this interactive approach to the assessment of student skills.

Students are able to move the ruler, align it properly, and record their measurement in standard or metric units.

The development of assessment items that move students beyond multiple-choice, and enable them to manipulate information to demonstrate understanding and mastery of required concepts and skills is a priority for ATI. Emphasis on nationwide efforts to refine standardized assessment is also a priority. We look forward to sharing further instructional and assessment enhancements over the coming weeks.

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