Monday, November 28, 2016

ATI-Created Formative Assessments

ATI offers districts and charter schools libraries of pre-made assessments that may be used with students. Two examples of such libraries are the TE Formatives and the MAZE Reading Fluency Online test libraries. The TE Formatives library provides tests composed of technology enhanced items that assess one strand, concept or standard. The MAZE Reading Fluency tests can be used to measure students’ reading fluency and to track students’ growth in reading ability over time.

Once assigned to your district or charter, these formative assessments may be previewed and scheduled by teachers from their class calendar page.  

Contact ATI’s Educational Management Services Department to request access to the desired formative libraries at 800.367.4762 or  

Galileo Instructional Dialogs Offer Teachers Convenient Access to Instructional Resources

Galileo K-12 Online contains a vast body of instructional resources in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science in the form of Instructional Dialogs. Galileo Instructional Dialogs are customized, interactive, online instructional lessons and assignments that are aligned to standards and designed to provide practice and instruction to increase standards mastery. Each Dialog is a series of slides that can be used as a teacher-led lesson for the entire class or as an independent assignment used by a student or group of students. Dialogs are an excellent way to provide students with experience with technology-enhanced forms of assessment similar to those encountered on statewide assessments. Teachers have access to over a thousand Instructional Dialogs in Galileo developed by ATI’s experienced Assessment and Instructional Design team. 

Additionally, Instructional Dialogs are an excellent time-saving resource for teachers. In Galileo, teachers can schedule existing Dialogs, build their own Dialogs, and even modify existing Dialogs to tailor them to their goals and students' needs. Dialogs built by one teacher can be shared with other teachers through Galileo K-12 Online. Dialogs can be assigned to individual students, entire classes, or district-wide. The flexible nature of Instructional Dialogs enables teachers to use them as a presentation-style lesson in front of the entire class, as a student-focused task in a lab or one-to-one computer resourced classroom, or even as an assignment outside of class for students with Internet access.

To learn more about using Instructional Dialogs, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable Field Services Coordinators

Monday, November 21, 2016

Seminar Recap: An Arizona First - The New Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform in Action

Thanks to all who attended, this informative and timely seminar was a big success. The event, which was co-hosted by Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) and ATI, provided a first-hand look at how Arizona educators are taking the lead in utilizing the teacher-friendly innovations of the new Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform. Attendees viewed presentations from the cohosts and engaged in the "Arizona Round Table Discussion" that included education leaders from CUSD, Crane Elementary School District, and Maricopa Unified School District. The round table participants provided their reasons for adopting the new platform along with discussing their experiences, successes, and next steps. 

Access to the presentation materials is now available. We invite you to view and share them with colleagues. For answers to any questions about using the Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform in your district or charter, email us or call 1.800.367.4762.

ATI’s Dr. Sarah Callahan Estrada kicks off the seminar with her presentation, “Technology Supporting Arizona Educators in the Digital Age.” 

CUSD presenters share their experiences of implementing the Galileo Digital Curriculum Platform.

Monday, November 14, 2016

ATI’s Item Writers Develop Numerous, High-Quality Items to Meet Your District Assessment Needs

Approximately 800 new high-quality items are added to Galileo item banks every month. This fete is accomplished by our experienced, in-house Assessment and Instructional Design team. The team of item development experts use ATI’s multi-stage process which is based in research and reflects industry best practices. The process takes into account principles of Universal Design and has been carefully designed to produce high-quality items including selected-response, technology enhanced, and constructed-response items as well as performance-based and project-based assessments. The item development process includes the development of item specifications, item construction, item review with certification, and field testing of items including empirical validation of item quality using Item Response Theory. 

ATI Multi-Stage Item Development Process
Stage 1: Item Specifications 
The first step in ATI item development is to review the standard and the component skill to be assessed. This skill is the starting point for developing an online list of item specifications defining the characteristics of a class of items to be written. Item specifications indicate the defining characteristics of the item class, the rationale for the class, and the required characteristics for each item component. Specifications might also address such factors as the cognitive complexity intended for items included in the specification class, the appropriateness of vocabulary, and Lexile® measure requirements related to readability levels. Item specifications may also be designed to align very closely to guidelines and released items from statewide assessments and assessment consortia (e.g., Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers [PARCC], Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium [SBAC]). The value of creating specifications as a guide for the item development process is recognized as a critical part of a process documenting that assessments are reliable and valid indicators of the ability they are intended to measure (Haladyna, 2004). Their structure and specificity also afford many advantages for ensuring that item specifications may be readily evaluated for purposes of mapping items to new or changed standards. 

Stage 2: Item Construction
After specifications have been written, items are constructed corresponding to the specifications using the online Bank Builder utility. Bank Builder includes features that promote item quality. For example, images constructed using Bank Builder conform to size and resolution standards that yield items that are visually suited to online and offline administration. Similarly, fonts available in Bank Builder are chosen to work across platforms, for readability both onscreen and in printed material. 

Stage 3: Item Review and Certification
The initial review process for item specifications, items, and item families occurs in-house and is composed of ATI review of the item specification, ATI review of the item (and passage/text if applicable), revision (if needed), and finally item certification. The item review process continues once a certified item is made available for use in an assessment. Items placed in district designed assessments are subjected to review by each member of the district’s review team during the test review process. The district may suggest item changes, if desired. The combination of a multi-material (specification, item, and item family) multi-step internal review accompanied by continuous external review by educators provides a rigorous approach to evaluation producing assessments that meet local needs and that are highly effective in forecasting and guiding instruction toward standards mastery.

Stage 4: Field Testing Items
ATI through Galileo supports multiple approaches to field testing items based on the specific goals for the field test. As one option, ATI through Galileo supports the development and administration of field test assessments including the desired field test items. As another option, Galileo supports the inclusion of new items on district assessments as soon as they are developed (i.e., within the same school year). This approach accommodates district needs related to the rapid development and delivery of new items in response to statewide assessment changes (e.g., deployment of new item types) and district feedback/requests (e.g., wording or formatting changes to more closely match instruction). Regardless of the approach, ATI can conduct IRT analyses to evaluate the characteristics of field tested items (e.g., discrimination, difficulty, pseudo guessing [where applicable]).

Access the Multi-Grade TE Items Sample for a look at some of the items that have made the cut. 

Schedule an overview to learn how Galileo can meet your specific district/charter assessment needs. 

Haladyna, T.M. (2004). Developing and validating multiple-choice test items. Mahwah, NJ. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Clear Choice: The Galileo K-12 Online Instructional Improvement and Effectiveness System

Districts and charters across the country have identified Galileo K-12 Online as their clear choice for a high-quality, standards-based, and research supported instructional improvement and effectiveness system. The system provides an array of curriculum, assessment, instructional effectiveness, and reporting tools. Use of Galileo facilitates advancements in teaching strategies, assessments, and implementation of instructional effectiveness initiatives. ATI offers educators key technology and services including:
  • Standards-aligned item banks for teachers including a large array of technology enhanced (TE) item types
  • Multiple types of classroom and district assessments to both support and measure student learning
  • IRT-based Developmental Level (DL) scale scores that go beyond raw scores.
  • Dashboards for all:
    •  Teacher Dashboard linking actionable data to instruction
    •  Admin Dashboard supporting effective leadership
    •  Student/Parent Dashboard portal increasing engagement and learning
  • Support for intervention/enrichment activities for all students
  • Staff experienced in education, content development, measurement, evaluation research, software programming, and web design

Experience Galileo for yourself. Learn first-hand about Galileo K-12 Online: