As mentioned in my last post, the overarching goal for Edmentum’s intervention products is to offer a comprehensive set of tools to aid teachers in student progress checks and planning. Our assessments are designed to be relevant and to help ensure that each student's personalized curriculum is rigorous, yet attainable.
Over the last few months, we’ve been working hard on Edmentum Accucess, our adaptive assessment appropriate for students in 5th grade through adult learners. At Edmentum, we have a research and efficacy team dedicated to ensuring that our products are designed well and work properly. This group has taken a hard look at Accucess and identified areas where the product could be improved. I’m happy to announce that the work is almost complete, and our Accucess users will be receiving the latest version of the product this spring.
The new version of Accucess will create assessments from a pool of over 30,000 items, which includes multiple-choice items, as well as technology-enhanced item types like matched pairs, hot spot, sequencing, and hot text.
Additional changes will improve the flow and navigation of the program for students as they move through the curriculum and assessments. We have updated an algorithm which selects the next appropriate question for students as they move through the test. This allows Accucess to provide students with both a score and a personalized curriculum path. The algorithm has been carefully evaluated and revised to improve accuracy. The scope and sequence of the program itself have also been updated to better align with next-generation standards, making the curriculum prescription more relevant and aligned to grade-level expectations in most states.
Actionable data was a key topic throughout 2014 and continues to be important in 2015. As teachers and administrators look for data to drive their instruction and program planning, it's essential that our intervention teachers be provided with visibility into student progress. A new feature of Accucess which really is resonating with intervention teachers is Edmentum Sensei for Families. This enhancement brings students’ families closer into the network of academic support by providing them with data on their individual students’ progress. In combination with Sensei for teachers and Sensei program view for administrators, Edmentum can now assist schools in creating a documented, supportive, and complete network around students who need intervention.
For schools working with younger students who need additional support, our EducationCity program is a great intervention resource. The goal of response to intervention, and many other models of intervention, is to catch struggling students early in order to provide appropriate instruction based on grade-level standards. This year, EducationCity received an updated standards map to support teachers in finding the appropriate level of instruction and the best lessons to use with their students.
We’ve also made it easier to assign resources to students through MyCity. Now, this can be done when viewing content through the Standards Map, using the search tool or viewing results in SuccessTracker. The goal is to enable educators to spend less time finding and assigning resources and more time supporting those students who need it.
Lastly, intervention programs work best when students have support from teachers, administrators, and staff, as well as from family or guardians at home. EducationCity will be receiving enhancements to allow or limit product use outside of school hours. Administrators will be able to choose to allow full access or limit access to homework, classwork, or specific areas of the site to keep students focused. Accucess will be receiving a similar enhancement to allow or limit the use of the program outside of school.
As product releases are finalized for this year, I'm excited to share more information about new enhancements. We will continue to focus on our commitment to aligning our products to changing standards and new assessments, with the goal of offering educators data they can use to support students. Helping with resolutions, goal planning, and all other intervention-related work that takes place throughout the year, Edmentum's products are designed to support educators in evaluating success and risks and in creating an effective plan for each individual student.
Remember, educators: keep working hard out there! The time spent with your students is making a difference.