Monday, May 26, 2014

Galileo’s Technology Enhanced Items

Since the adoption of Common Core State Standards, other new state standards (e.g., Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, Colorado’s Academic Standards, Massachusetts’s Curriculum Framework) and Next Generation Science Standards, the ATI team has been working to integrate these new standards into Galileo K-12 Online assessment and curriculum tools.

The recently new sets of standards call for a different way of teaching and learning and for the integration of assessment and instruction. They require students to move from memorization and recall to understanding and application of concepts. Students are expected to develop critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communications skills.  ATI is supporting educators responsible for providing appropriate learning opportunities by providing assessment and curriculum tools aligned with the intent of the standards. Part of this support can be found in the Technology Enhanced (TE) assessment items being offered to educators.

TE items are developed, certified, and embedded into Galileo's Formative Innovative Item Pilot assessment library every day thereby offering educators a broad range of item types and items for inclusion in assessments. Galileo offers TE, selected-response, constructed-response, and performance-based item types. TE items provide a more complex measure of student learning and a more engaging assessment experience. To follow are a few item types, available now and reflective of planned consortia items, that can be incorporated into your classroom assessments.

• Interface Enhanced Items
Customized and individually programmed items, including items that may have clickable images, drag and drop functionality, or interactive graphs. ATI interface technology makes it possible to quickly develop items reflective of changes in consortia item-type offerings.

• Item-Collection
Multiple sub-items combined into a single item. For example, one sub-item might be a selected-response item. The second item could then ask the student to explain or support that conclusion using an additional selected-response item or a constructed-response item.

• Sequencing Items
Assess sequencing skills. Sequencing tasks require the student to place things into logical or procedural order to demonstrate understanding of cause and effect relationships, order of operations, or steps in a process.

• Interactive Text Items
Require the student to identify key elements of a text by highlighting those elements.

• Multiple Right Answers
Make it possible to select multiple right answers in selected-response items.

If you are interested in incorporating TE items into your class before the end of the school year or during the summer, contact ATI today at or call 1-877-442-5453.

Learn more and see samples of TE items

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pilot Technology Enhanced Items

Did you know that ATI is offering clients the opportunity to pilot formative assessments composed of Technology Enhanced (TE) items? Drawing on Common Core and state-specific standards, the items help districts and charter schools to successfully measure student mastery of the English language arts, math, and science standards which each state is assessing in 2014-15. 

TE items are developed, certified, and embedded in Galileo's Formative Innovative Item Pilot assessment library - accessible for use right now and through summer school! Have a look. Try them out. Teachers can start familiarizing themselves with TE reporting functions and students can gain exposure to the engaging item types such as interface enhanced items, item-collection, sequencing items, interactive text items, and multiple right answers. Guides discussing taking assessments with different technology enhanced item types and available reports are provided as links below. Thanks for using Galileo.

Learn more: A Student's Guide for Taking Assessments Comprised of Technology Enhanced Items Quick Reference Guide

Learn more: Reporting on Students' Performance on Technology Enhanced Items Quick Reference Guide

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Webisode: Geometric Formulas for Understanding

In our conversations with users, we have learned that educators have a growing interest in digital professional development opportunities focusing on student engagement and achievement. We are developing educational webisodes that emphasize the integration of technology and teaching strategies relevant to Common Core with the goal of increasing student involvement in the learning process.
The latest instructional webisode from ATI, Teaching Geometric Formulas for Understanding, presents an approach that supports instructional balance between mathematical understanding and procedural skill development. Understanding of geometric formulas is an important component in accomplishing the Common Core objective for students to obtain a level of mathematical knowledge that can be used in solving real-world mathematical problems.

“Know this formula, understand it, and use it!” Watch the educational webisode demonstrating the inclusion of formula understanding in instruction addressing the measurement of the area of a circle. View the webisode now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Feedback to Enhance Learning

Both research and the classroom experience of teachers have consistently pointed to the importance of feedback in the instructional process. It isn’t sufficient to explain how to multiply fractions, take a derivative, or craft an essay. Students must understand why formulas work and why it is better to make a point in a particular way. To achieve this level of understanding, students must attempt to solve problems themselves. In the course of such active learning, mistakes will be made and will be revealed to both the student and the teacher.  Additional explanations and corrections can then be provided.

Feedback is at the intersection of assessment and instruction. When feedback is implemented, teaching is followed by evaluating results, which inform subsequent instruction. Making assessment more relevant to teaching is one of the cornerstone principles of the Common Core movement. Common Core assessments are designed to require higher levels of understanding than has been the norm in the past. It isn’t enough to have memorized problem-solving rules. One must understand the basis for those rules and be able to actually apply what has been learned.   
Toward that same end, ATI is working to modify our instructional platform to support these more complicated assessment tasks and providing the capability to provide feedback within the instructional environment to increase student understanding. Currently we have made available to districts a set of formative assessments built around these more interactive item types emphasizing greater depth of knowledge. By the start of the next school year it will be possible to put these new more complicated items in instructional dialogs that integrate assessment and instruction and provide the capability to offer feedback to enhance student understanding. Data from these assessment tasks will be available to the reporting engine thereby making it possible to both assess and instruct with the same resources. Look for announcements of the availability to these new tools as the start of the new school year gets closer.

By John R. Bergan, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development