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Jessie Karr

EDU 225
5/22/2015
Instructor Clark
http://instructionaltechjkarr.weebly.com/

Part 1: Assessment Technology


The Snowy Day assessment at https://b.socrative.com/teacher/#my-quizzes is a formative
assessment designed to measure students reading comprehension skills. The teacher will read the story
aloud to students, pointing out key elements of the story and and allowing students to make predictions
about the story. Students will access the quiz and answer ten true/false questions about the story. The
teacher will use this data to determine which students understood the story and which students need more
help. The teacher will develop strategies to improve reading comprehension using the data from this quiz
as well as other assessments.
(Provide the link to your online assessment and a description of how to use it. Be sure to state if you are
intending the assessment to be formative or summative. Also, include a component of how you will use
the data to change or inform your instructional practices.)
(Post the rubric or answer key to the assessment in this document and in your website).

Part 2: Blog Post


Introduction
Utilizing technology to support assessment allows teachers to document more easily,
monitor learning progress more efficiently, and improves instruction. Technology provides a
wealth of tools to help teachers differentiate instruction and many software programs are easily
adaptable to fit a variety of student needs. Many technology-based assessments also align to
state and common core standard (Salend, 2009). The following paper will explain how
technology can be used to facilitate student assessment, provide descriptions of three assessment

tools, explain the pros and cons of using technology-based assessments, and explain the
difference between formative and summative assessment.
Technology to Facilitate Ongoing Efforts to Assess Student Learning
Teachers can use technology to facilitate on-going efforts to assess student learning in a
variety of ways. There are many software programs that can be used to assess student
knowledge through games, essays, and questions. Research shows that students learn most when
they receive immediate, meaningful feedback on their performances. Assessment software
provides this type of feedback to improve instruction (Landauer, Lockbaum, and Dooley; 2009).
Secondly, technology assessments are adaptive. Some are even able to form the next
question based on the answer given to the previous question, thus covering the students
knowledge and expanding it. In other words, they teach as they test. Also, research shows that
teacher-designed assessments are more meaningful and produce more learning than standardized
or curriculum-designed tests. However, teacher-designed tests can be extremely timeconsuming. Assessment software allows teachers to create assessments more efficiently
(Landauer, Lockbaum, and Dooley; 2009).
Finally, assessment software provides students with extra practice in specific skills and
domains without requiring much extra time or planning from the teacher. Students are able to
work independently, monitor their own progress, and receive real-time evaluations of their work.
Technology-based assessments have been proven to encourage students and improve instruction
and learning by guiding instructional strategies and curriculum choices as well (Landauer,
Lockbaum, and Dooley; 2009). The following section lists three types of assessment software
that teachers can use to meet these goals.

WriteToLearn: WriteToLearn is a web-based program that incorporates assessments into


natural reading and writing activities in order to promote learning. This program features a
segment called Summary Street that instructs students to read sections of books or articles and
then write a summary of what they read. By comparing the students writing with the sections
that were read, Summary Street can gage how well students understood the reading.
The second section of WriteToLearn is called Intelligent Essay Assessor. This section
encourages students to write a topic-related essay. IEA measures grammar, sentence structure,
semantics, and spelling while comparing writing styles to hundreds of other peer-reviewed
writings to provide adequate feedback. Both sections provide immediate, specific feedback that
encourages students and promotes learning (Landauer, Lockbaum, and Dooley, 2009).
Teachers are able to view the feedback and see each students progress. Students are able
to revise their work and view their progress with each assignment. Teachers can use this
technology to promote literacy by providing children with extra practice and they can use the
results to inform instruction to improve lessons as they gain knowledge of students needs
(Landauer, Lockbaum, and Dooley; 2009).
Star 360: Star 360 is a comprehensive software program that includes assessments for
reading, math, and literacy. This program helps teachers monitor student progress by providing
instant data on assessments, and predicting student scores on future assessments. Teachers can
use this data to inform instruction and target students individual needs (Renaissance Learning,
2015).
Teachers can use Star 360s formative assessment tool, Star Custom to create assessments
by using data banks for reading, math, and science. This tool makes creating customized
assessments simple and efficient, giving teachers more time for instruction and research. This

tool also provides tools to help teachers build lessons that comply with state and common core
standards. Students and teachers can monitor progress on the dashboard (Renaissance Learning,
2015).
iWalkthrough:
One of the greatest tools to assess student learning is teacher observation; however, trying
to remember every observation and keeping track of tedious notes can be difficult and timeconsuming. The iWalkthrough software program has made it possible for teachers to not only
make and record quick observations, but also to collect data using those observations
(iWalkthrough, 2015).
Using a hand-held device, teachers are able to record three to five minute observations on
students throughout the day simply by filling out information on a pre-designed form. The
program collects this information to provide a data-driven, comprehensive profile of teaching
and learning trends within a classroom, school, or district. Teachers can use this information to
collaborate with colleagues in order to develop improvement plans and create a learning culture.
Formative and Summative Assessments
There are two basic types of assessments teachers can use to inform instructional
practices within the classroom. Formative assessments are assessments that take place while
learning is happening and measures a students on-going progress. Information from formative
assessments help teachers determine a students knowledge before a topic has been completed,
giving the teacher the opportunity to re-teach the material if students are struggling. Summative
assessments take place at the end of a unit or period of time and measure the learning that has
already taken place. These usually do not offer the opportunity for revision unless the teacher
decides to use them as a formative assessment and revisit material (Gunter and Gunter, 2015).

The software programs listed above can be utilized for both formative and summative
assessments. Using WriteToLearn, students can summarize articles or topics as they are learning
about them and revise them to improve knowledge for a formative assessment or they can write
an essay about an entire book or unit as a summative assessment (Landauer, Lockbaum, and
Dooley; 2009). With iWalkthrough, teachers use on-going observational data to inform
instruction. Observation is primarily a formative assessment; however, the information gathered
can also provide a summative view of learning at the end of each unit or school year
(iWalkthrough, 2015). Finally, teachers can use the Star 360 Custom to create any type of
assessment they want. Again, this software is primarily used for formative assessment, but
teachers can also use it to create unit tests and final examinations (Renaissance Learning, 2015).
Pros and Cons of using Technology to Facilitate Assessment
There are many benefits to using technology to facilitate assessment, many of which have
already been listed in this paper. Technology provides students with multiple ways to learn and
present their knowledge, thus improving learning. Most of these assessments can coincide with
learning and are easy to integrate into the curriculum. Quick feedback informs instruction for the
teachers and allows students the opportunity for revision (Tomlinson, 2007).
The downfalls of using technology-based assessments are similar to those of using
technology-based instruction that was discussed in an earlier paper. On-line assessments require
a reliable internet connection that can handle multiple users at once. Many schools are not
equipped for this type of use. Also, students who do not have access to technology at home may
be at a disadvantage to students who do have technology access because they may spend to much
focus on trying to maneuver through the technology rather than being able to focus on answering
the questions correctly (Burgess, 2009).

Should a teacher only use technology to assess student learning? Why or why not?
Technology is an excellent resource to facilitate assessment; however, it should not be the
only type of assessment used. A teachers job is to prepare students for the future. Jobs will
require multiple skill sets, not just technology skills. Also, the fine motor skills that are acquired
through writing and painting are different from the skills developed though typing or using a
mouse. Furthermore, there are multiple intelligences to assess in order to provide a well-rounded
education. Many students produce music or artwork that cannot be measured electronically.
Furthermore, one of the purposes behind using technology is to provide varied ways for students
to present knowledge. Making technology the only means of assessment would defeat this
purpose.
What is the importance of assessment technology in connection with the ISTE standards?
Assessment technology is important to the overall integration of ISTE standards in that
the feedback provided by these assessments informs how effective the technology integration
actually is. In addition, using assessment technology connects with the ISTE standards
themselves by helping students learn to operate various technology programs (ISTE-S,6), use
creativity and innovation in presenting their knowledge (ISTE-S, 1), and improving critical
thinking and problem-solving skills (ISTE-S, 4).
Furthermore, using technology-based assessments connects to the ISTE standards for
teachers as well. Technology-based assessments allow teachers to design formative and
summative assessments and collect data to inform instruction (ISTE-T, 2). Also, technology
helps teachers to facilitate learning and inspire creativity in her students (ISTE-T, 1).

Concluding Paragraph for Software to Support Assessment


A solid academic paper always ends with a conclusion to summarize what was discussed
in the paper and why it is important. This should be in your own words with no citations.

References

Burgess, M. L. (2009). Using WebCT as a Supplemental Tool to Enhance Critical Thinking


and Engagement among Developmental Reading Students. Journal of College
Reading and Learning, 39(2), 9-33.
Gunter, G. and Gunter, R. (2015). Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating Technology in a
Connected World. Cengage Learning.
ISTE Standards for Students. (2015). ISTE. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTEstandards/standards-for-students
ISTE Standards for Teachers. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTEstandards/standards-for-teachers
iWalkthrough. (2015). Great Schools Partnership. Retrieved from
http://www.iwalkthrough.org/tools
Landauer, T. K., Lochbaum, K. E., & Dooley, S. (2009). A New Formative Assessment
Technology for Reading and Writing. Theory Into Practice, 48(1), 44-52.
doi:10.1080/00405840802577593. Retrieved from http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?
url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=ehh&AN=36039103&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Renaissance Learning. (2015). Renaissance Learning. Retrieved from
http://www.renaissance.com/assess

Salend, S. J. (2009). Technology-Based Classroom Assessments. Teaching Exceptional


Children, 41(6), 48-58. Retrieved from http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?
url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=ehh&AN=42514998&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Tomlinson, C. A. (2007). Learning to Love Assessment. Educational Leadership, 65(4), 8-13.
Retrieved from http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?
url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=ehh&AN=27984940&site=ehost-live&scope=site