How Digital Assessment Tools Make it Easier to Prove Learning Outcomes

Digital assessment tools can be revolutionary in education; the right tools can foster personalized testing, create more engaging instruction and provide holistic insights into what’s happening in the learning environment. However, not all digital assessment tools are made the same. In fact, even some modern EdTech tools can lock up data in silos or offer outdated information, leading to analysis paralysis.

A lack of cohesive data is a great detriment to K12 educational districts who are mandated by law to show both the the effectiveness of their curriculum and their students’ understanding of a particular subject. For many districts struggling to harness their data, proving performance can be quite the undertaking. Often, the proprietary systems being used are not able to communicate, resulting in disparate information that hinders meaningful insight. The solution: interoperability. Educators are now increasingly looking toward open EdTech solutions that work together in a complete digital ecosystem to facilitate the feedback loop between teaching and learning.

Interoperable digital assessment tools, such as those following the IMS Global standards, allow educators to unite data from digital platforms, apps and assessments to help them see how their curriculum is working. This data unification can also help educators understand a student’s mastery of a subject so that they can provide more personalized instruction when it’s needed. The immediacy and richness of data that digital assessments provide is a key value to educators, as they receive quicker feedback, helping them adjust their curriculum or develop specific interventions in real-time.

To learn the basics of setting up the foundation for interoperability with IMS Global standards, read our insights here!

Once a foundation for an interoperable EdTech ecosystem is established, educators can take advantage of data insights to not only prove student outcomes, but drive innovation organization-wide.

How Educators can Prove Student Outcomes with Data

Interoperability-enabled digital assessment tools make it possible to capture and aggregate data and information specific to different learning activities in one place. This data delivers insights on how learning activities compare to student outcomes. Using this information, educators can back instructional and content decisions with direct results.

By leveraging data insights, educators are able to establish concrete methods of measuring activities and outcomes. Additionally, there’s the added advantage of accountability. When needing to defend innovative instructional decisions — especially involving the matters of budget — educators can answer questions and provide data on the effectiveness of their instruction and improved student results.

Create More Effective Assessments and Content

Knowing which instructional approaches work and which don’t is vital to optimal student outcomes. By using the data tracking capabilities of digital assessment tools, like Technology Enhanced Items and PCIs, educators can identify which behaviors, content and learning activities regularly deliver the desired results.

For example, the French Ministry of Education used PCIs in their large-scale science and math exams to collect rich log data like mouse movements, clicks, etc. In doing so, they were able to uncover nuanced observations about how those students approached problem solving. For instance, one question asked students to estimate the circumference of a lake. The log data collected showed that oftentimes students confused “circumference” with “area”, judging by the steps they took to solve the problem.

Comparing the effectiveness of various content and interaction types enables testing — and instruction — to be optimized for the best learning outcomes.

Personalized learning and accessibility are becoming more important in instruction. By leveraging digital assessment tools and learning platforms, educators can personalize their curriculum and content in real-time based on student patterns and instructional needs. And with predictive measures and early warning systems in place, the desired outcomes can remain consistent across all personalization efforts.

Caliper Analytics by IMS Global

To reap the benefits of digital assessment tools, schools must take advantage of widespread collection and display of data collected by online environments. For this to be possible, EdTech ecosystems should not only be interoperable, but take advantage of various data and analytics frameworks offered by IMS Global.

For example, the Caliper Analytics framework allows schools to collect data from online environments for deeper insight and visualization of learning activity and tech usage data. The framework also allows educators to present this information in meaningful ways to inform curriculums, course design and student intervention measures.

As students work in various learning environments, apps and testing platforms, the Caliper Analytics framework consolidates all of that data for a single view or cross-provider analysis. In addition, the Caliper Framework enables the following capabilities:

  • Capture and present learning activity outcomes, enabling more effective development of curricula and learning activities
  • Define a common language for labeling learning data, setting the foundation for an ecosystem of higher-order applications and building upon existing IMS Global interoperability standards
  • Provide a standard for measuring learning activities and effectiveness to compare and improve quality of instruction and assessment

With standards-based digital assessment tools enabled by IMS, every student has the optimal opportunity to learn and thrive on their educational journeys.

Once schools enable data to flow seamlessly between every platform, app and digital resource, they’ll be able to easily correlate data, usage and student progress without having to develop custom integrations for seamless data exchange. By learning on the IMS Global data and analytics standards, schools can take advantage of flexible and innovative instruction and testing methods that drive optimal student outcomes — and prove them to stakeholders at every step.

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