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[Feature Focus] BASEline Assessment

[Feature Focus] BASEline Assessment

Edmentum, partnered with BASE Education, offers social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and assessment in one platform. Rooted in mental health and wellness principles to support the whole learner, SEL helps students regulate emotions and behaviors, develop relationship skills and social awareness, and practice critical decision-making to plan for their futures. Edmentum’s BASE Education SEL curriculum and assessment are backed by clinical research that has shown them to be evidence-based and effective in improving school connectedness. In this blog post, we will unpack the BASEline assessment to understand what it is and how and why we assess SEL.

What Is BASEline?

BASEline assessment is a self-report tool in the style of a survey that 6th to 12th grade students take when beginning their BASE Education journey. Self-report tools like BASEline assessment are common in the field of psychological inventories and are frequently used for SEL. The goal is to measure student perceptions or values, and there is no “correct” answer. In the case of BASEline, students are reflecting how they feel about themselves and their perceptions of connectedness, engagement, and behavior.

The assessment takes about 15 minutes to complete and consists of 25 questions. Students will automatically be prompted to complete the survey every three months for a quick status update, first at the beginning of the school year to help determine which courses students should take. Administering the BASEline assessment periodically throughout the academic year allows schools to gather multiple data points for each student so that growth can be measured over time.

Upon completion of the assessment, educators receive immediate student results to answer: “What’s next in each student’s SEL journey?” BASEline can be used as an effective preassessment to benchmark and track SEL progress over time, efficiently providing data to educators that can be used to implement recommended course assignments.

BASEline Domains Reflect CASEL Competencies

Together, BASEline and BASE Education 6–12 courses are the perfect pair to propel SEL development and ultimately support whole-learner success academically and socially. Let’s take a closer look at the assessed domains and view how BASEline can give you a greater view of your school community’s mental health by individualizing SEL for each student.

The CASEL 5 competencies reflect areas of skills that, when cultivated through effective SEL programming, help students develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. The five competencies are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

BASEline was created to measure SEL growth and reliably assesses students' strengths and needs in three domains of reporting—behavioral infractions, engagement, and protective factors—reflective of the CASEL competencies. Protective factors like internal perception of self and external connected relationships serve to support future success.

BASEline’s questions are structured to measure all five of CASEL’s main competency groups, and many questions assess multiple CASEL competencies. By asking questions reflective of these skill sets, BASEline uses the domains to assess a student's level of perceived strengths and resources in the area. Scores can then be matched to courses that allow for targeted skill building aimed at improving student outcome.  

In addition, teachers, schools, and districts can use BASEline data to look at connections between things like students with low scores in protective factors and their rate of absence and/or behavioral referrals.

Reporting Domains:
  • Behavioral Infractions: Items within this domain assess students’ perception of how often they get in trouble by breaking a rule, disrupting others, or treating people or property poorly. Items within this domain also assess positive/negative elements of self. A lower score in this domain indicates growing need for intervention.
     
  • Engagement: This domain assesses students’ perception of their ability to pay attention, meet norms and expectations related to effort, and their like or dislike of being in school. Higher percentile rankings equal higher engagement and lower intervention needs.
     
  • Protective Factors: Items in this domain assess students' sense of self, as well as their view of internal and external assets, through two subdomains: academic self-confidence and social connectivity. Overall, items within this domain assess if students perceive that they can persist through hard things, set and achieve goals, perform relative to their peers, assess perceptions of connection to others, and gauge if they possess a sense of control over their lives.

Academic Self-Confidence Subdomain Scores: Academic self-confidence is best conceptualized as students’ confidence in and satisfaction with their ability to achieve goals, perform relative to their peers, and control behavioral and emotional responses in difficult situations. Higher percentile rankings in academic self–confidence equals lower intervention needs.

Social Connectivity in School Subdomain Scores: Social connectivity in school is best conceptualized as students’ confidence in their ability to develop social connections within a school environment. Higher percentile rankings in academic self–confidence equals lower intervention needs.

BASEline Answers “What’s Next?”

BASE Education is universally valuable for all students, and the structure and content of the courses means that growth can happen for all students at a tier 1 level of remediation. That said, each learner has a backpack of challenges, and certain skills may already indicate strengths, while others need explicit growth opportunities. The BASEline assessment helps elevate specific focus areas for individualized growth by recommending courses in low-scoring domains.

BASEline provides educators with the ability to track and report on the outcomes of the BASE program. The outcomes reported can support partners in pinpointing areas of student need or strength. BASEline can provide students with insight into their personal growth in the areas of behavior, truancy, engagement, and more. By providing them with self-reporting capabilities, students are given the autonomy and empowerment to own their growth and achievement.

BASEline allows educators to connect with students’ perception of themselves, expanding opportunities for dialogue around their learning. You can collect data around a whole learner and expand the lens of each learner’s strengths and opportunities for growth. Pair this assessment with recommended courses individualized to each student’s individual responses, and you will have a powerful tool to identify specific SEL needs and a plan in place to address the identified needs, all in one platform through Edmentum.

To learn more about BASE Education course and the BASEline assessment, check out our BASE Education Getting Started Resources page and our BASE Education program page.

Sian.Reilly@Edmentum.com's picture
Sian Reilly

Sian joined Edmentum in 2019 and serves as a Marketing Specialist. A former teacher and administrator, Sian believes quality SEL education paired with rigorous, individualized curriculum can powerfully transform students, campuses, and communities. Sian is passionate about connecting educators with content to meet their specific needs in an ever-evolving education environment.