MN Cup: Lessons Learned

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Last week, we completed the last round of competition in the 2011 MN Cup. We had won the High Tech division the week prior. In this last round, we competed for the overall prize against other division winners (Clean Technology, BioSciences, Social Entrepreneur, General, and Student). The overall cup was awarded to the BioSciences division winner AUM Cardiovascular, a company that has developed a handheld device capable of detecting coronary artery disease. Congratulations to AUM Cardiovascular founder and CEO Dr. Marie Johnson! Although we did not win the overall prize, we learned … Read More

Naiku Wins MN Cup High Tech Division

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Yesterday, the Naiku team gave the presentation of our lives. We expressed our passion for making a positive impact on education. We explained our plans to do that with Naiku. Afterwards, the Minnesota Cup judges selected Naiku as the winner of the High Tech Division. We are honored that the judges recognized the importance of education and the work that Naiku is doing in educational technology. Next week, we will compete against the other division winners. It will be a fun and exciting competition. We aim to bring home the coveted … Read More

Naiku Selected as Finalist in MN Cup

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We received some great news last Friday. The Minnesota Cup selected Naiku as one of four finalists in the High Tech Division. The Minnesota Cup is Minnesota’s largest business competition, seeking to find the next great business innovation in Minnesota. This is an annual competition that drew more than 1,000 submissions this year. Naiku is proud to be selected as a finalist. We do what we do at Naiku for the teachers and the students. Like other educators, we aim to improve the education of our students. We are so … Read More

Common Core State Standards

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This is a guest blog from Takeshi Terada. Takeshi’s interests are in educational policy and assessment. He is particularly interested in data-driven educational evaluation, policy-making & analysis, and decision-making systems in K-12 education that apply both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, mostly using assessment test scores. Takeshi is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and can be reached at tera0026@umn.edu. Starting in October, Takeshi will be a Program Associate providing program and research support to the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) at Achieve, … Read More

Focus on Effectiveness

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As we move toward the start of the 2011-12 school year educators across the country are looking to improve their skills. Last week I attended a conference in Moorhead Minnesota titled: “Teaching & Learning: Focus on Effectiveness”. This daylong conference was attended by over 250 educators from the Fargo – Moorhead area. It included the following three keynote speakers: Dr. Mike Schmoker, a former school administrator, teacher and coach, is an author (FOCUS: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning) and the national consultant who looks at clarity of … Read More

Importance of Affective Assessments

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When one thinks of educational assessment, one often thinks of cognitive measures.  We teach students important concepts, how to problem solve, and how to think critically. Then we create tests to determine whether the students can do or know those things. In this blog, I’ve written a lot about how to go about doing that. I’ve discussed validity, reliability, and item writing guidelines. Today, I’d like to write about the importance of affective measures. What are affective measures? These are assessments that focus on students’ attitudes, interests, and values. For … Read More

Writing Short-Answer Items in Naiku

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This week’s class focuses on the topic of item writing. All assessment items can be categorized either as a selected-response or a constructed-response item. I will be going over the advantages and disadvantages of each of the item type (i.e., true-false, multiple-choice, matching, short-answer, and essay items) in my class.  For this blog, I want to focus on short-answer items. Short-answer items require a word, short phrase, or a number response. There are three different varieties of short-answer items. The question variety asks a direct question. The completion variety presents an … Read More

Professional Responsibilities when Scoring Assessments

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The topic in my class this week is Professional Responsibilities and Assessment Bias. To prepare my class lecture and activities for the week, I’m reviewing the Codes of Fair Testing Practices, Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement (CPR), and The Standards for Psychological and Educational Testing. There’s so much here. Educational measurement professionals and teachers have so much responsibility to ensure that the assessments are absent of bias, the results are reliable, and the uses, inferences, and interpretations of the assessment results are valid. I don’t want to overwhelm the students with all these codes … Read More

Reliability Concerns for Classroom Formative Assessment

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This week, I started teaching a course called Assessment: Theory and Practice to graduate students in the Leadership program at Saint Mary’s University. More than 70% of the students in the class are K-12 teachers. In a course like this, reliability and validity are of course big topics. In fact, next week’s class (5 hours of class time) will be spent on these two topics. So, I guess it’s the right time to return to these topics on this blog. My last blog post on this topic was on May … Read More

Turning Technologies + Naiku = Real-time Analytics for Every Classroom

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We have had an exciting few weeks here at Naiku! You’ve probably already seen from our Twitter messages that we advanced to the semi-finalist round in the Minnesota Cup, the nation’s largest business competition as well as part of Project Skyway, a start-up accelerator in Minneapolis. While all of this was going on, we continued to work hard on lowering the barrier for teachers to use Naiku in their classroom. In addition to supporting desktops, laptops, netbooks, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Blackberry and Android, (as well as scanned paper tests), we now support … Read More

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