Dynamic Question Selection to Better Evaluate Individual Students
Track My Progress aims to support instruction and learning in mathematics and reading by combining best practice in educational assessment as defined by the American Educational Research Association (2011), with the latest insights of domain experts in education, psychometrics, developmental psychology, and cognitive science.
Track My Progress uses computer adaptive testing (CAT), which dynamically selects questions targeted to each student’s level of knowledge and understanding of the material. The decrease in testing time gained by computer adaptive testing allows teachers to devote more time to the prime motivator of learning – the instructional time they spend with their students.
Students’ answers are stored, so they can be tracked, even for past school years, and detailed diagnostic reports are provided to highlight students’ strengths, as well as their weaknesses. Other state of the art features include the use of innovative test items that challenge students to demonstrate a deeper level of understanding and provide for a more rich assessment experience.
Track My Progress test items provide students with the opportunity to earn partial credit on certain test questions. Several test item types ask students to select multiple correct answer choices. If a student correctly selects some but not all correct answers partial credit is recorded. If a student selects all correct answers and some incorrect answers partial credit is also recorded.
A New Approach to Testing
Track My Progress test items are designed to measure progress against the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and reading. From concept through design, we relied on the expertise of teachers, as well as Masters and Doctoral level domain consultants, to create large item banks with thousands of items to cover each CCSS standard from kindergarten through grade eight. Items for each level of difficulty are available (e.g., very easy, easy, medium, and hard) so that each student’s strengths and weaknesses can be assessed accurately.
The Track My Progress computer adaptive testing (CAT) approach does away with the assumption that all students learn the same way or are at the same general level of learning. Instead, the different areas and sub-areas in reading and math are assessed per students’ strengths and weaknesses. By targeting the questions to individual students, testing efficiency and diagnostic precision is improved, as fewer questions are needed to obtain valid and reliable scores. Also, by omitting questions that are either too hard or too easy, student motivation is enhanced because students will experience testing as a meaningful activity.
In addition to students’ scores on the sub-areas of math and reading, the CAT engine also computes the fit of students’ responses. A proprietary item selection method is used so students do not encounter any items they have already answered on previous occasions. For piloting purposes, CAT runs can also include new pilot items that are not scored; instead, their results are stored for later analysis.
Implementation of Track My Progress in Your School
You can learn more about score reliability and test validity in our technical documentation here. If you are interested in discussing the potential benefits of implementing Track My Progress for your school, contact us today.