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Predictive Assessment Series

By Sally Finley - Posted Jul 1, 2005
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REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Located online: at http://www.thinklinklearning.com/.

Source: ThinkLink Learning, 2424 21st Avenue South, Suite 102, Nashville, TN 37212; Phone: 866/814-6685; Fax: 866/814-6687; Internet: http://www.thinklinklearning.com/.

Access Fee: $7 per student using online tests. Additional charges apply if using paper assessments.

Audience: Grades 1-12, matched to state requirements in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Format: Web site with online testing. Paper-based testing is also available.

Minimum System Requirements:

Computer with Internet access and an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Description: The Predictive Assessment Series offers state-specific tests aligned with benchmarks and standards to assess student mastery, proficiency, and adequate yearly progress.

Reviewer Comments: 

Installation/Access: The home page loaded easily. The educator log-in requires a user name and password. A top menu bar makes the site easy to navigate. Installation/Access Rating:  A

Content/Features: The Predictive Assessment Series from Vanderbilt University's ThinkLink Learning examines student learning throughout the school year, improving intervention opportunities prior to high-stakes testing.

The series offers three assessments. The first assessment provides baseline data. The second test, administered midyear, measures progress toward year-end expectations and identifies learning objectives that need attention before the actual state assessment. The final assessment is given 6 weeks before the state assessment, allowing time for re-teaching and remediation.

Each test requires approximately 45 minutes for Reading/Language Arts and Math assessments. The company describes these tests as mini state assessments with an 80- to 90-percent reliability in predicting results.

The online program provides access to a variety of features through links via a top menu bar.

The Report Manager displays teacher reports, school-wide reports, individual student reports, and classes. Objective reports assist the teacher in planning additional class instruction for a whole group, small group, or individuals. Answer reports show which questions were answered correctly by each student, as well which questions were answered incorrectly.

The Teacher Account Manager includes access to new teacher additions and teacher class reports that confirm teachers and their class details. The Student Manager provides access to new student additions and includes the ability to browse student records by grade or name.

The Practice Test Manager enables educators to start, edit, or delete a test. A random set of questions is selected each time a test is created. The tests may be displayed online or may be printed.

The Resources feature provides a data bank of questions related to specific state benchmarks and standards. Links to useful resources for each objective are included.

A Help section provides Frequently Asked Questions, a Test Calendar for each state, teaching strategies worksheets, and instructions on using the ThinkLink data and Web site.

The teacher documentation provides extensive research explaining the fundamentals of the program. The information on predictive assessment, including content validity, reliability, difficulty levels, and predictability was impressive.

The report section is very easy to read and interpret through the extensive use of colors and codes. I liked the feedback provided for teachers and parents in easy to understand language. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: The home page offers an easily navigated screen interface that provides straightforward access to each of the site's features. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: A Help section supports the online user. Help is also available via a toll-free phone and fax line, as well as an e-mail address. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: The strong emphasis on state testing makes this a worthwhile program for educators looking for a way to predict student success on yearly state assessments.

One of the program's most impressive features is the online item bank that contains thousands of additional test items organized by objective. Teachers can use these to create their own customized tests to target specific problem areas.

The tests can be saved online; students may take them at school or at home. In addition, the tests can also be printed and used off-line. When taken online, the tests are scored immediately, with hints for additional instruction.

I was particularly impressed with the Resources section that offers a variety of links to support each of the tested standards. The links were attractive and provided engaging student activities to reinforce concepts in both reading and math.

Key to the usefulness of this product is its effectiveness in helping schools meet NCLB requirements for adequate yearly progress. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Sally Finley, Gifted/Technology, Country Hills Elementary School, 10550 Westview Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33076; 754/322-5950; sallyfinley1@yahoo.com.


 
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