In a recent practice guide, Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making, the Institute for Educations Sciences confirms the need to “make data part of an ongoing cycle of instructional improvement.” New Century is one of the few technology based solutions designed with Individualized, Interim Assessments to confirm mastery of concepts, even when the student is functioning significantly below grade level. Individualized, Interim Assessments, including Pre-Tests and Mastery Tests, as well as the items at the end of each lesson, generate the data that is used by the software to automatically and dynamically adjust individualized lesson paths and to report student needs to teachers.
Among other reasons that Individualized, Interim Assessments are important, students who fail a lesson sometimes memorize the correct answers (especially when the lesson is merely repeated over and over, as with many other software products). When the student “passes” the lesson, the software may believe that the student has mastered the learning objective, when in fact he or she has not. Individualized Assessments embedded within the lesson path thus help teachers confirm a student’s real progress. The reported results of these tests are detailed by tested objective.
Interim Assessments also include items to confirm proficiency in other strands of learning in the curriculum. These short assessments (typically a few minutes to complete) therefore act as formative assessments to confirm the development of student skills toward mastery of all standards at his grade level.