Preparing Students for Ohio End-of-Course Exams

This week we are sharing stories from Ohio teachers who use Edcite for AIR®-alignment. Read our Q & A below to learn how a biology teacher in Bellefontaine, Ohio has been using Edcite.

What is your name?

Joslin Lee

What is your job title? Where do you work?

HS Biology teacher, Benjamin-Logan High School

How long have you been using Edcite?

Edcite had only [been around] for a year, and I heard about it at a professional development meeting for the upcoming biology AIR® test. I started creating questions and tests that summer to use in my class so that my students would be prepared for the Biology End-of-Course Exam given by Ohio. I am going on four years using Edcite, and I love it.

Pre-test 17-18 question 15

What problem does Edcite solve for you?

Edcite allows me to quickly see what questions students are having trouble with. I can then check whether it was how I wrote my question or whether it was their knowledge. I also use Edcite for pre-tests to get pre and post data.

Pre-test 17-18 question 18

What else would you like to share?

Edcite has allowed me to reach my goals for students scoring higher on end-of-course exams without “teaching to the test.”

Thank you, Joslin, for your Edcite Story! Teachers, you can check out some of Joslin’s assessments below. Make copies for your class or use them as inspiration to create your own assessment on Edcite!

Assessment Links:

Pre-Test 17-18

The Cell

Genetics

Interested in using Edcite for assessments across your school or district? Joslin’s team uses Edcite Schools to give assessments with an AIR®-aligned assessment viewer. Learn more by visiting www.edcite.com/edcite-schools-assessment-platform.

chalkboard-620316_640Joslin shared her Edcite Story with us, and so you can you! We publish Edcite Stories so that educators can learn about different ways Edcite is used in schools and school districts. If you want to submit your own Edcite story, fill out our form.

Passing the District Report Card Standard in Ohio [Online Assessments]

This week we are sharing stories from Ohio teachers who use Edcite for AIR-alignment. Read our Q & A below to learn how a social studies teacher in Berea, Ohio has been using Edcite in his department.

What is your name?

Kevin Braaten

What is your job title? Where do you work?

Teacher; Berea-Midpark HS in Ohio

How long have you been using Edcite?

[I have been using Edcite for] about a year; it was introduced to us last year by our Curriculum Department as a way to prepare our students for the Ohio End-of-Course-Exam in American Government.

Highlight Text - Government

What problem does Edcite solve for you?

Edcite allows us to focus on content and allows our students to practice similar test items that they will see on the state test.

Drag into Categories - Amendments

What are your goals for using Edcite this school year?
  1. Create more formative assessments.
  2. Create our own questions.
  3. Continue to develop skills in using Edcite.
What else would you like to share?

We were the only subject area to use Edcite last year, and consequently, we were also the only subject in our entire district that passed the standard on our district report card!!

Thank you, Kevin, for your Edcite Story! Teachers, you can check out one of Kevin’s assessments below. Make a copy for your class or use it as inspiration to create your own assessment on Edcite!

Assessment Link:

Unit II (Constitutional Amendment) Assessment

chalkboard-620316_640Kevin shared his Edcite Story with us, and so you can you! We publish Edcite Stories so that educators can learn about different ways Edcite is used in schools and school districts. If you want to submit your own Edcite story, fill out our form.

Start the Second Semester off Right: Vision to Assessment Success

If only they would release more assessment items! If I just knew what the test looked like. It’s always a moving target—it always changes! Who are those writers anyways? They are just biased and don’t know anything about kids. If only the kids had a way of practicing….

Have you figured out what I’m describing yet? Those statements are all complaints that I have heard regarding Ohio’s Assessment system, all within the last week. While I believe there to be no state system out there that is flawless, and while ours, perhaps arguably, has issues that need to be addressed, there is one thing that I am positive of. It’s time to get on the proverbial professional development school bus and adjust that mindset…you can conquer the test.

1Before I show you how, I want to remind you about the heart of what we do as educators—student learning—which is anchored around three interrelated areas. Curriculum / assessment / instruction always exist in relationship to one another; they are not separate from one another, and they can’t exist without each other (Pelligrino, Chudowski, & Glaser, 2001). For any Deweyian scholars out there, this is the transactional relationship at best (Ryan, 2011). For the non-nerds out there, it’s the concept of a store without customers. The store does not exist because it has no customers and the customers don’t exist because there is no store. The same exists in the classroom—we can’t teach without finding out what kids know and if we don’t know what kids know, we can’t teach. Assessments, no matter what their form (an oral question for example), are proof that somebody (a student) knows something (that the teacher has taught).  

Since assessment is integral to what we do in classrooms, we must have a vision for it— in other words, if we want to conquer the test, we need to start first with vision (that’s Step 1 to conquering the test). Vision as Manasse (1986) describes it is the force that gives meaning and purpose to the work of an organization. It inspires commitment for the future as it explains who is involved and what they plan to accomplish, and explains the importance for the growth. As Pejza (1985) cogently stated, it’s a “hunger to see improvement.”  

I remember this like it was yesterday. It was almost four years to the day. I was walking with one of my thought partners (Stanny, 2012) down the Short North in Columbus during a lunch break on one of the coldest days ever that winter. We were shooting the breeze about everything educational, and I remember that this friend and colleague was challenging me on my thinking process about where I wanted my district to go. I was shopping for assessment products, as we had had a bit of an assessment crisis in my district, and I realized very quickly that I needed to envision what it was that I wanted our team to accomplish. What was going to be the purpose of our assessment system? How would it relate to curriculum? What instructional strategies did we as a district value that would align to our assessments? What did I want teachers to do with the data? It really, of course, wasn’t about the platform, but rather the vision we had for how we were going to work systematically across our district to improve student learning (see this entry for additional information). In other words, my goal was (and still is!) to help teachers understand how to write and analyze good assessment items, as by teaching a teacher to fish, I feed them for a lifetime.

It isn’t until late that I’ve really come to understand how crucial that conversation was and how important the envisioning process is. We say it in Admin 101 classes all the time that vision is gold, and we teach teachers on a regular basis that there must be clearly defined learning targets (their vision for a lesson). The same is true for our assessment systems within our districts. No matter what role you play in your district (curriculum director, principal, or teacher), start with a vision that addresses the relationship between your classroom assessments and state assessments and then the relationship between your formatives and summatives within your context. What is your goal by assessing? What are you hoping your assessments show? How do you know that your assessments prove what students should know and are able to do?

2.pngStep 2 in conquering the test comes through group discussion and utilizing the plethora of resources that exist out in our state. For starters, I encourage everyone to review the blueprints for what we are hoping our students can do. Test blueprints are outlines of the content and skills that are to be measured. They specifically help teachers understand what the test looks like and also helps reassure us that the target isn’t moving. Our blueprints have stayed the same for the last three years and it’s a great exercise to compare these in relationship to curriculum maps and lesson plans and in relationship to state standards (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies).

Next should come analysis of released items; these released items come out on a regular basis per Ohio Revised Code and provide insight into how different concepts can be assessed. (A caution to note is that released items are different than practice items. A practice item is designed to practice technology skills. In other words, a Grade 8 math practice item might not be aligned to Grade 8 math but does show students how to manipulate technologies that they will see on the test). Once you’ve analyzed those items in relationship to your standards, start to create your own items, items that measure the depth that is required in the standards.

Speaking of depth, my favorite tool is to utilize the performance level descriptors to start to move students forward (this becomes the intersection of curriculum / instruction / assessment). PLDs are, as ODE describes, the “link between Ohio’s Learning Standards and performance standards and help to define what students should know or be able to do at each performance level.” The power in this tool comes in when we start to look at a collection of student work over the course of a unit or a month or week and start to compare this student’s work to the PLDs. For example,  a 3rd Grade Basic student can “Determine the main idea of a text and identify key details to recount the main idea;” this is different than the Proficient student who can “Determine the main idea of a text and recount key details and explain how they support the main idea.” Now we know that we have to teach the student how to explain how details support the main idea. This can become the vision (i.e. learning target) for instruction.

3The last step comes in learning more about assessments. Learn how Ohio writes its assessments — interestingly enough, they are not individuals in fedoras, but rather teachers and administrators like you and me (see this to learn about the item development process). Learn about other myths that exist in relationship to Ohio’s testing system.  

Then learn how to write your own items that will help support the instruction and curriculum happening in your classrooms.  

Now, if only if there was a place to learn more about all of these concepts, and ways to get more examples….

Ohio educators can see Dr. Drost present at the Ohio Assessment Literacy Conference on January 27, 2018 at Summit ESC.

Bryan Drost_Edcite BlogBryan R. Drost is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Summit ESC, Ohio. He holds a Master’s of Education in Educational Foundations with an emphasis in Standards-Based instruction as well as a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and Assessment both from Kent State. Bryan holds a variety of roles at the state and national levels: an ODE Network Regional Leader, a member of ODE’s Fairness and Test Use Committee, Content Advisory Committee member, NAEP assessment member, a steering committee member of the Northeast Ohio TALK Network, a RESA master coder, a national supervisor for edTPA, a consultant for the National Board, part of NCME’s Standards and Test Use Committee, the mathematics lead for Ohio’s Core Advocates, and Regional Data Lead for State Support Team Regions 4 & 8. He has presented throughout the state and country on various topics related to instructional shifts, assessment, and technology integration.

Top 10 Question Types in 2017 (Teacher Tools)

Edcite offers 60 technology-enhanced question types that align with online state assessments such as SBAC (Smarter Balanced), PARCC, AIR, ACT Aspire, and FSA (Florida State Assessments). Teachers can use these question types to create their own formative and summative assessments. This year we also improved our question type designs to make it even easier to create questions on Edcite.

Read on for the top 10 Edcite question types teachers used in 2017!

1. Free Response

Free Response was our most popular question type this year! Our Free Response question can be used across subjects, and teachers are able to add digital rubrics to make grading easy. You will find this question listed as #101 on our Create Question page.

Free Response

2. Fill in the Blanks

Teachers love our Fill in the Blanks question type, which is found on online state assessments. You can differentiate this question type by setting it as a drop-down, drag and drop, or type in answer. All options will be autograded. You will find this question listed as #002 on our Create Question page.

Fill in the Blank Drop-Down 2

fill-in-the-blank drag and drop

3. Math Keypad

This question type is always a popular one for math teachers looking for state assessment alignment. It is also autograded! You will find this question listed as #062 (Multiple Answers) or #063 (Single Answer) on our Create Question page.

Student is entering the sum of the fractions using a math keyboard technology-enhanced question type.

4. Essay Response

Teachers can add multiple passages, videos, or audio clips to Essay Response questions. Digital rubrics can also be added for fast grading on Edcite, and teachers can incorporate annotations and comments for students to see on their grade report. You will find this question listed as #100 on our Create Question page.

Essay Response

5. Numeric Answer

The Numeric Answer question type asks students to enter their answer in the box, with the option to write in units. Answers will be automatically graded! You will find this question listed as #066 on our Create Question page. Edcite also offers a Randomized Numeric Response Question (#068). Teachers choose a variable, set a range for it, and then set the answer algebraically so that the question will grade automatically, even though all students will see a different problem.

Need a text version of this question? Check out Edcite’s Short Text Answer question type (#027), which is also autograded!

numeric answer - response

6. Drag and Drop – Text / Drag and Drop – Math

The Drag and Drop – Text question is engaging for students and gives teachers a lot of freedom in how they want to set up the question. Images and tables can be embedded, making it a valuable question to use across subjects. It is also an autograded question type. You will find this question listed as #021 on our Create Question page.
drag and drop

The Drag and Drop – Math question type is very popular because it aligns with online state assessments. Students can drag integers, expressions, images, or text. Teachers can also select an optional grid layout or background image. This autograded drag and drop question is listed as #022 on our Create Question page.

Math Drag and Drop Example.gif

7. Grouping Drag and Drop

Teachers and students love this question type, and it can be used across all levels and subjects. Teachers have the ability to set up answer choices as text or images. This is an autograded question type. You will find it listed as #041 on our Create Question page.

Drag into Categories - Amendments

8. Select Box Response

This multiple choice question type uses larger boxes for answer choices. Teachers can set multiple correct answers and include images or graphs as answers. This autograded question type is listed as #004 on our Create Question page.

American Government - civics practice - multi-select

9. Match Text-to-Text

Students have a lot of fun with this question type as they show their learning! Students match items from two lists, and Edcite autogrades their answers. You will find this question type listed as #041 on our Create Question page.

matching text to text

10. Tabular Checkbox Answer

This question type appears on many online state assessments. Teachers can set up the table with multiple questions or problems and answers. You will find this autograded question listed as #010 on our Create Question page.

Elementary Math Tabular Choice

 

pexels-photo-356079

What is your favorite question type on Edcite? Share on social media with the tag #EdciteQuestionType!

Top 10 Assignments in November (Teacher Resources)

Image is a green background with light wood table; blue and yellow eyeglasses on table in front of orange, yellow, blue, and red books; green apple; tablet; Edcite logo in white, orange, green; 'Most Popular Assignments' written on green background; 'November 2017' written on tablet

In November, students submitted almost 300,000 assignments! Listed below are the top ten assignments (click on the assignment name to view them). You can make a copy of any of these assignments and customize them to fit the needs of your students.

1. Nonfiction Article: The Kudzu Plant: 1050 submissions

Student is selecting the correct meaning of the word in an informational text.

 

2. American Government: Basic Principles of the Constitution: 1015 submissions

basic principles of constitution - grouping.gif

 

3. 7th CFA Expressions and Equations 2017-2018: 744 submissions

simplify math expression - math keyboard.gif

 

4. 6th Grade 2017 FALL AIR Readiness Assessment: 741 submissions

AIR math practice - candies - array.gif

 

5. Grade 3 Fable: The Lion and The Mouse: 724 submission

lion and mouse

 

6. American Government: Civic Participation and Skills: 712 submissions

American Government - civics practice - multi-select.gif

 

7. 4th Grade 2017 Fall AIR Readiness Assessment: 655 submissions

4th Grade AIR Math - reorder.gif

 

8. Figurative Language Practice – RL.6.4, L.6.5: 646 submissions

figurative language assignment

 

9. Nonfiction – Overcoming Adversity – Paired Texts: 480 submissions

drag into groups - categories

 

10. GW Regions: 432 submissions

geography - drag into groups - categories.gif

 

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Do you have a great assignment that you’d like to share with our community? Share your assignment in our Edcite Assignment Library or share on social media!

Engaging Colorado Students with Edcite Question Types (Online Learning)

a woman with brown hair smiling

Bri Chittenden, an Education Technology Specialist in Eagle County Schools in Colorado, has been impressed with what Edcite offers teachers and students. Bri was previously a science teacher in various other districts for ten years, and during that time a colleague recommended Edcite as a tool to help students prepare for the state tests (Colorado Student Assessment Program), as well as a tool that could be used for formative assessments.

Now Bri is excited to pass on that same recommendation to the teachers in Eagle County Schools. She said that “[Edcite] allows teachers to assess students at a much higher skill level than basic recognition or basic comprehension. Questions can be set up that have students compare/contrast, analyze, evaluate, and more!” She also explained that Edcite is easy to use, allows teachers to know exactly what students have mastered, and helps teachers assess students’ depth of understanding.zoom number line

Bri said, “Edcite has been an amazing tool for all teachers, and math teachers have especially liked it.” Her math teachers love the graphing and autograding capabilities on Edcite. She noted that on Edcite there are advanced question types that can be auto-graded — something that is not possible through paper and pencil assessments. She appreciates that the question types are engaging and students can practice continuously with different math functions on Edcite.

A student is graphing points and line segments on an xy graph ranging from 1 to 18.

Bri also explained that assignments can be customized for ELL students by embedding videos and pictures, making Edcite a more robust tool than other programs. ELA teachers in her district have also appreciated the PARCC-aligned question types on Edcite and the ability to incorporate higher-level question types that go beyond multiple choice and true or false.

A student is clicking on the central idea in a table.

Bri hopes that more teachers in Eagle County Schools continue to use Edcite. Her goal is for teachers to create question/assessment banks that can be shared with others. She emphasized, “Edcite can be used with all K12 students. It really engages them.”

 

chalkboard-620316_640Bri shared her Edcite Story with us, and so you can you! We publish Edcite Stories so that educators can learn about different ways Edcite is used in schools and school districts. If you want to submit your own Edcite story, click here.

 

Top 10 Assignments in October (Teacher Resources)

Image is a green background with light wood table; blue and yellow eyeglasses on table in front of orange, yellow, blue, and red books; green apple; tablet; Edcite logo in white, orange, green; 'Most Popular Assignments' written on green background; 'October 2017' written on tablet

In October, students submitted over 300,000 assignments. That’s an increase from the 176,000 submitted in September! Listed below are the ten assignments with the most submissions in October. Click on the assignment name to view them. You can make a copy of any of these assignments and customize them to fit the needs of your students.

1. Grade 3 Fable: The Lion and The Mouse: 1035 submissionsStudent is highlighting the paragraph which supports the question in the plot using a technology-enhanced question type.

 

2. 6th Grade FWCS Quarter 1 Assessment: 1012 submissions

Student is dragging and dropping the character trait using a technology-enhanced question type.

 

3. Sam – Characters, Literal Comprehension, and Text Evidence: 1000 submissions

Student is dragging and dropping events in the plot using a technology-enhanced question type.

 

4. Nonfiction Article – The Kudzu Plant: 920 submissions

Student is selecting the correct meaning of the word in an informational text.

 

5. 7th Grade FWCS Quarter 1 Assessment: 880 submissions

Student is dragging and dropping character's point of view using a technology-enhanced question type.

 

6. Unit 3 Review: 860 submissionsStudent is entering the sum of the fractions using a math keyboard technology-enhanced question type.

 

7. Geography Skills: 690 submissions

Student is typing the name of the continent, Africa, on a world map.

 

8. Timelines: 670 submissions

Student is dragging historical events into the correct order of a timeline using a technology-enhanced question type.

 

9. Too Much Soda – ELA.RI.5.2 – ELA.RI.4.2: 600 submissions

Student is highlighting the sentence that supports the answer to the question using a technology-enhanced question type.

 

10. Industrialization and Progressivism: 525 submissions

Student is dragging and dropping answer into a table using a technology-enhanced question type.

 

share-buttonDo you have a great assignment that you’d like to share with our community? Share your assignment in our Edcite Assignment Library or share on social media!