Paper and pencil assessments have, traditionally, been a widely used method of testing throughout education, but limitations on flexibility, lengthy processes, and high costs have led educators to look for better solutions. Many state Public Education Departments have migrated from paper and pencil to online End-of-Course (EOC) exams to better support districts and improve assessment capabilities throughout the state.
During their initial phase of online testing, one Public Education Department utilized a 3rd party Learning Management platform. Poor testing experiences and compromised results resulted in the termination of the
contract. With another school year quickly approaching, the state needed a reliable EOC assessment solution and an experienced partner to help them develop and implement it.
In 2016, the state Public Education Department partnered with LearningMate, a services company with success in implementing white-labeled assessment authoring and delivery solutions. With the ability to leverage an existing PARCC-like (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessment framework, LearningMate provided the necessary speed-to-market required to quickly customize and implement an assessment platform for statewide EOC examinations.
A state Public Education Department needed a centralized platform featuring item authoring and management, item templates, scoring models, reporting, and the ability to deliver EOC assessments to over 500 districts. They also needed to ensure integration with state systems to deliver seamless data transfer and reporting, while retaining full ownership and control of the solution roadmap.
Using QuAD, an all-in-one assessment authoring, management, and delivery framework, as the base technology, LearningMate developed the state department’s assessment platform. This platform allowed the state department to centralize authoring and item management and securely deliver assessments in a branded interface featuring built-in reporting capabilities.
LearningMate’s content services team quickly converted and aligned 62 paper assessments to state standards, then imported 3,500 legacy assessment items into the assessment. The platform also enabled test developers to create test banks and store items in a comprehensive content repository and created the ability to search, manage, analyze, and reuse assessment items and test banks.
Custom item types, scoring models, and customized templates were also developed per state requirements. The assessment platform included a provision for administrations to create exams, assign instructors and students to classes, and enable rostering imports using their internal reporting structure. LearningMate also enabled integration with the state for data points around rosters and student results, then created customized reports at the state, district, and school levels.
Additional features included a locked-browser during exams, answer eliminator, accessibility capabilities such as integration with Texthelp for text-to-speech, instructor grading, and the ability to update information through a bulk upload.
LearningMate’s two-tier project management structure provided on-site project management for customer support and training and off-site project management for solution development and delivery. Extensive training was provided to all state and district leaders, administrators and teachers, and LearningMate operated a dedicated support desk during the testing window.
Value to the Client
Following development and training, the Public Education Department successfully delivered EOC tests to more than 60 of its public school districts using its new all-in-one assessment authoring, management, and delivery platform. District Test Coordinators created 76 EOC assessments and more than 1,000 exam sessions. During the 2016-2017 school year, over 269,000 exams were completed by more than 113,000 students, a 50 percent increase in usage compared to their prior system.
The assessment platform saved school administrators thousands of operational hours through increased efficiency and significantly decreased costs when compared to previous methods.
Going forward, the state Public Education Department plans to leverage the assessment platform for additional online assessments, including summative, interim, and formative testing, and quickly develop standards-based assessment items using its embedded templates.
Through an ongoing partnership with LearningMate, the state Public Education Department will continue to enhance reporting capabilities, resulting in improvements in curriculum and item development and timely insights to students, instructors, and districts across the state.