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MindPlay Universal Screener Uses Adaptive Technology to Assess Students’ Reading Skills and Prescribes Interventions

Posted Jul 1, 2015
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Literacy publisher MindPlay showcased at the National Education Association’s (NEA) Annual Meeting MindPlay Universal Screener, a computerized assessment that tests reading skills and identifies strengths and weaknesses for a single student, a class, or the entire K-12 school population. The results immediately provide the teacher with information to plan strategic intervention and a tool to monitor the effectiveness of the assigned intervention.

This interactive computer-based analysis provides teachers with a way to test, isolate deficiencies, and identify each student’s specific reading abilities. With the MindPlay Universal Screener, teachers can test their entire class at the same time. Since each student’s test is randomly generated, a computer lab setting can be used to test students simultaneously.

Formerly known as RAPS 360, the updated MindPlay Universal Screener now works on any computer platform, as well as on iPads and tablets. The innovative adaptive testing leverages technology to differentiate for all students. Depending on student performance, the student will take as few as one or up to six tests. Students needing more time will automatically get more time. The tests adapt to student performance. Less time is needed to administer these computer-based assessments than teacher administered tests, giving more teaching time back to the teacher.

Adaptive tests and shorter testing times in MindPlay Universal Screener help reduce testing stress for many struggling learners. The program measures student reading behaviors using eight diagnostic tests. The tests include: Comprehension Screening Assessment, Phoneme Segmentation, Word Meaning and Recognition Assessment, Phonics-Decoding/Encoding Assessment, Eye Tracking Assessment, Natural Fluency Assessment, Expected Fluency Screening, and the Pause-Assisted Fluency Assessment (Reading Connected Text Assessment). These assessments are grouped into three test sets that provide either detailed diagnostics or a quick progress check. Depending on the test set and student performance, students may take as few as one or as many as six assessment and diagnostic tests.

MindPlay Universal Screener is an innovative teacher tool designed to specifically identify why a student is struggling. The program meets Response to Intervention (RTI) program requirements. More benefits include:

    • Provides a personal digital diagnostician for every student.

    • Empowers teachers to create individual learning plans for every student.

    • Allows teachers to customize features.

    • Develops student prescriptions for improvement.

    • Generates automatic reports for individuals, classes, schools and districts.

    • Groups students with similar needs.

    • Tests students quickly, requiring minimal teacher time.

A Full Diagnostic Assessment is automatically scheduled in MindPlay Universal Screener by benchmark three times per year. Although there are eight possible adaptive tests, the student’s path through testing depends on his or her skills. A Progress Monitoring Assessment is automatically scheduled every 14 days. Teachers can change the progress monitoring schedule through the management system. The purpose of progress monitoring is to give teachers a frequent and quick way to monitor student progress in both comprehension and fluency.

The reports generated allow teachers to evaluate the learning status of individual students, classes, schools, or even a district. Through automatic reporting, the program identifies underperforming students, groups students who need comparable instruction, and creates individual learning plans.

Tests are administered by the computer or mobile device, not a teacher. Therefore, the results are unbiased, and teacher time is minimized as they can test an entire class at the same time. Data is automatically collected as students are tested so that progress can be instantly reported. The program tracks students’ growth and the effectiveness of any assigned intervention. Administrators and teachers will know which interventions are working with which types of students.

MindPlay Universal Screener has been proven by multiple research studies to accurately predict which students will not pass the reading portion of Common Core State Assessments and other state assessments, such as the STAAR in Texas. Once teachers and administrators know which students are “Critical” and at risk of not passing, they can assign their own intervention or use MindPlay’s MVRC to help those students improve their reading skills.

Source: MindPlay, Inc.,

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