Monday, August 31, 2015

Galileo Provides a Comprehensive Instructional Effectiveness System

Galileo K-12 Online contains an effective, flexible, and defensible instructional effectiveness system aligned to state-adopted standards and measurement frameworks. With its easy-to-use, research-based technology and content, Galileo provides support to Districts and charters as they develop and implement local instructional effectiveness initiatives. Following are some highlights of Galileo’s instructional effectiveness technology.  

Galileo’s Instructional Effectiveness Dashboard provides educators a centralized location from which to view and interact with actionable assessment, curriculum, and instructional effectiveness information. Reliable and valid results from benchmark, instructional effectiveness, and other Galileo assessments are rapidly available for district/charter educators. Report data accessed from the Dashboard details student mastery of standards, suggests next steps in instruction to promote learning, continuously tracks student progress, and forecasts student performance throughout the year. The Dashboard presents information on two tabs: the Administration tab and the Results tab. 

Instructional Effectiveness Administration tab on the Galileo Dashboard. Click to enlarge.

The Administration tab includes tools to build, access, and administer proficiency rating scales as well as to import and view staff files. These tasks may be accomplished using the Administer Proficiency Ratings, Score Compiler Summary, and Proficiency Rating Scale Results by School widgets.  This tab may be made available to those with appropriate permissions. 

The second tab on the Dashboard is the Results tab which serves as a place for all users to access their evaluation results. This tab includes the Proficiency Rating Results, the Student Growth and Achievement, and Score Compiler Report widgets which enable teachers to access proficiency rating results, current student growth and achievement results, and compiled evaluation data. 

Galileo’s Score Compiler is a crucial component of ATI’s comprehensive instructional effectiveness system. The Score Compiler allows users to select a variety of measures (e.g. teacher observations, student growth data, and student performance levels on state tests), place scores¬ from these measures on a common scale, and then weight each measure as desired. District or charter-determined scoring provides the rating scale by which instructional effectiveness scores are calculated. The Score Compiler provides continuous and final instructional effectiveness scores with a detailed explanation of how the scores are compiled available from the View Calculations link.

Galileo’s instructional effectiveness system provides educators with continuous efficiency and effectiveness data. This reliable evaluation data can then be used to inform professional development, enhance teaching and leadership skills, and elevate student performance. 

To learn more about how Galileo can support your local instructional effectiveness initiatives, schedule a Galileo Overview

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thousands of Technology Enhanced Items

Galileo offers a wide range of innovative, technology enhanced (TE) items designed to mirror items found on state-wide assessment and to provide students an engaging assessment experience. Galileo item banks currently include thousands of TE items available for kindergarten through high school in math, science, and English language arts. They can be included in instructional materials, quizzes and class tests. The increased volume of available TE items allows students and instructors more opportunities to become familiar with them and provides students an engaging assessment experience.  The following is a sampling of the TE items found in Galileo.

Math customized TE item sample. Click image to enlarge.

Science customized TE item sample. Click image to enlarge. 

English language arts TE item open response sample. Click image to enlarge

Science sequencing TE item sample. Click image to enlarge. 

The item types available include: multi-part items, selectable text items, sequencing items, expanded selected-response items, and customized TE items. ATI TE item types include items modeled on PARCC, SBAC, and AIR state-released examples and innovative designs from our professional staff of experienced item writers. Our writing staff continues to add hundreds more TE items to our item banks each month. Take a peek inside Galileo  and discover what a student will experience on a typical test or quiz and the variety of TE items available. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Demonstrating ATI’s New Technology Enhanced Online Testing Interface

If you haven’t seen our new Online Testing Interface, you should check it out. We have provided a demonstration test covering multiple grades and subjects with a variety of technology enhanced (TE) items so that you can experience first-hand all of the cool new features and tools in the interface. The first thing you will note is how easy it is for the student to navigate from one item to another. You can go forward and backward one item at a time or you can select a particular item and navigate to it immediately. As you progress through the test, you will receive continuous information indicating how many questions you have answered and how many questions remain to be answered. When you move from one question to the next, your response to the initial question will be saved automatically. If you are a worry wart, or if you are in the middle of something when you need to navigate, you can click on the Save button and peace of mind will be restored. 

When you think you are finished with the test, click on the Exit Test 
button. Before the Test Fairy will let you go, you will be reminded of questions that have not yet been answered and questions that have been marked for review with graphical icons. You can return to a given question simply by clicking on the question number. When you are really finished with the test, you can exit the test by clicking on the Exit Test button to go back to the Review Your Answers screen. Once you are happy with your responses, you can exit the test by clicking the Exit button.

The interface is optimized to display TE items, and we have included a variety of TE item types so that you can see how they work in the interface. There are math items, science items, and English language arts items. The first thing you will see when you open the test is a series of math items. I have to warn you that some of these are not easy, but don’t worry. There are tools that can help you. If you are stuck for the moment, you can table the item by clicking on the Mark for Review flag accessed through the Item Menu icon. If you need to craft an argument or remind yourself of a critical point, you can write yourself a note. For selected items, you can also highlight portions of a text. When you are dealing with some of the testy math items, you may find it helpful to use a calculator. Simply click on the calculator in the upper right hand corner of the test and you will become an instantaneous math wizard. OK, not really. Nevertheless you will find it useful.

You may also be happy to note that the interface has been designed to work well with tablets. The interface is now in use, and has been implemented with approximately 30,000 students. Approximately three thousand students have taken assessments using tablets. The most popular tablet at this time is the iPad. 
Now it’s your turn. Here’s how you can experience the new online testing interface.

  • Go to ATI’s Home Page, click the orange Home tab in the left corner of the screen. Find the User Logins below the Home tab and click on the K-12 Student-Parent Center link.  You are now entering the world of Galileo.
  • Log in with a Login Name: ATIdemostudent. Your password is testdemo. When you log in, you will be in the STUDENT CENTER. 
  • On the right-hand side of your screen, you will see the test sample called Multi-grade TE items. Click on the link and get ready to start the sample assessment.

You are now a student in the ATI online testing interface ready to respond to various TE items. Please Note: Others have taken the sample test before you and the answers have been saved. The good news is that all of the questions have been answered and you may feel a sense of gratitude as some of the items are not particularly easy. The bad news is that there is no guarantee that any of the answers are correct. You may want to pave the road for those to follow you by correcting as needed inaccurate answers you see on the test. Your own responses to the TE items will be automatically saved as you progress through the test and, while answers cannot be deleted as long as they occurred within the scheduled time period for the test, your answers will replace the ones that proceeded them. In any case, enjoy your trip through the assessment.

We know how hard you are working to prepare your students for the new world of online testing with TE items. We feel privileged to provide assistance in your efforts. Stay tuned, there will be many more enhancements to the testing interface. The next one to be released will be a tool enabling students to write equations online in response to questions.

Until then, enjoy the sample test.
Login name: ATIdemostudent  and password: testdemo.

John R. Bergan, Ph.D.
ATI President

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Peek Inside Galileo’s New Testing Interface

The redesigned Galileo Online Testing Interface, the first of several upcoming enhancements, is now live. The interface features streamlined navigation and interactive features consistent with those found on state-wide assessments developed by PARCC, SBAC, and AIR. Testing tools in the interface (e.g., calculators, marked-for-review, strike-through and note capabilities) provide a supportive testing experience for test takers. ATI’s many technology enhanced items are accommodated well in the interface for both district/charter-wide and classroom assessments. Additional bonus: The interface provides increased support for assessments offered through tablets.  

Take a peek inside what you might see on a test or quiz. The sample image points out the primary features and new testing tools available. Additionally, access the chart which explains the exact functions of key icons and testing elements.

Galileo sample item with new primary functions indicated.

If you have any questions about the Galileo new testing interface, contact one of our friendly Field Services Coordinators to schedule a Galileo Overview.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Effective Data, Extraordinary Results

ATI is happy to report that we have witnessed continuous, data-verified student improvement among Galileo K-12 Online users across the country. We recently spoke to leadership from Champion Schools, a charter located in Phoenix, Arizona that has experienced exceptional academic gains earning them statewide recognition including being named Arizona Charter Schools Association’s 2013 Charter School of the Year. The school’s leadership attributes their impressive growth and sustained success to the school’s focused approach to intervention supported by Galileo K-12 Online.

Champion Schools’ principal, Heather Ray, offered the following, “My advice to any school looking to improve academically would be to use the data derived from Galileo pretests, benchmark, and posttests. Expand beyond the basic reports and learn how to utilize all the different functions … Galileo offers. Use that information to drive your instructional practices.”

Champion Schools saw an increase in the percent of students passing statewide tests from 2012-2014.

Read more of the full interview with Champion Schools and learn how they effectively used Galileo data and achieved extraordinary results. Read other data-based Success Stories.