Innovation for K12 Assessment

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The Benefits of Formative Assessments

Until recently, K12 assessments have been used to measure benchmarks-—what the student has learned up to a certain point in time—to determine if students are meeting standards set by the school district, the state or by the teacher.

Equally as important are formative assessments that assist learning during the learning process.

Because formative assessments are considered part of learning they are typically not assigned grades. Rather, they function as practice for students, providing feedback so that the can improve their performance.

Another goal—and benefit—of formative assessments is that teachers can modify their instruction based on information gained through the assessments.

The formative assessment can help determine which students need a different approach, which students need immediate attention and which students are not learning as a result of not being challenged.

From this point the teacher can provide corrective activities and enrichment activities as appropriate. Corrective activities must present information in a new way and engage students in different types of learning experiences; changes in format, organization, or method of presentation can all be beneficial.

When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized it included a requirement that educators use the Response to Intervention (RTI) model, a new (and still developing) way of delivering intervention based on evidence-based practices. The RTI model calls for "alternative assessment…coupled with formative evaluation to obtain data over time to make critical educational decisions."

A3 Virtuoso™ is a leading provider of customizable K12 student assessment software that allows administrators and staff to create and distribute Benchmark and Formative Assessments to all the schools in the district, in a simple and effective manner. These assessments can be delivered to students via iPads, iPods, or iPhones.

The A3 Virtuoso Insight system makes it easy for the district to monitor student achievement and progress as well as teacher performance at the click of a mouse. The many benefits of Insight include ongoing remediation and differentiated, data-driven instruction that is created every day; progress reports that are available anytime throughout the year; and tests, results, and data are saved to a central repository for access anywhere at any time.

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