The Importance of Student Reflection

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Student Reflection When I do professional development for teachers and administrators on how to incorporate Naiku into their formative assessment practice, the part that gets them most excited is when I talk about student reflection. Merriam-Webster.com defines reflection as “a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation.” Here, I define reflection as a process by which students engage in metacogntive thinking about what they have done, what they are doing, and what they will do in the future. This type of thinking helps students … Read More

Should Formative Assessments be Scored and Graded?

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Scoring Formative Assessments Often, when I do trainings or demonstrations on how to use the Naiku Platform for formative assessment purposes, I am asked how the assessments are scored and exported to grade books. Essentially, the question boils down to “Should formative assessments be scored and graded?“ This is a good question. However, I am hesitant to answer the question right away. Rather, I often answer the question with another question: “What feedback are you trying to give to your students and yourself when you grade that assessment?” To me, … Read More

Interview with Dr. Beach – What problem is Naiku solving for you?

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This is a video interview Adisack and I did with Dr. Todd Beach.  We’re always talking to our users to see what we can do to make Naiku work better for them.  Dr. Beach was kind enough to let us record some of the conversation. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/21086522 w=398&h=224&frameborder=0&color=98C93C]   Tweet

Exciting Enhancements to Naiku

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We have added question-authoring enhancements to Naiku. Today, I wanted to highlight some of those new features. Rich Text Formatting We’ve added a rich text editor. Now you can add many of the common formatting features that you are probably used to with many word processing applications. For example, you can bold, italicize, choose the font type and size,  and much more. See the image below for the formatting options. You’ll see this new Stem box when creating a new test question. Formula Builder By now you have probably noticed … Read More

Students Using Naiku

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We took a trip out to Dr. Todd Beach’s classroom to check-in and see how it is going using Naiku.  Adisack does a nice job with the voice-over, don’t you think? The student feedback was fantastic – we’ve already planned to add a few features to the product based on their requests. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/20383163 w=398&h=224&frameborder=0&color=98C93C]   Tweet

How Item Statistics Can Help Your Formative Assessment Practice

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When I worked as a psychometrician for large testing companies, I would always conduct an item analysis on the test questions to ensure that they were good and reliable.  And when I often met with teacher groups to explain and discuss their statewide accountability test results, the teachers would always ask for the item analysis results. They wanted to know how their students did on each question. They wanted to know how hard or easy each question was and how many students selected each of the response options.  Invariably, I … Read More

Formative Assessment

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In recent years, formative assessment has been the “it” topic in education. It is what everyone is talking about. It is what everyone is trying to implement. It is what many have hailed as the way to save our schools. Why is it so important? In the simplest of terms, it works! Students learn! The practice of formative assessment is shown to produce substantial learning gains for students. Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam in 1998 brought about this re-emergence of formative assessment as an effective instructional practice in their review paper on the practice and effectiveness of formative … Read More

The Testing Effect

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We all knew that learning is not a passive mechanism – the learner (i.e., the student) must be an active participant in the process. But who knew that taking a test is also not a passive mechanism for assessing how much students know? Cognitive psychologists (learning and memory experts) knew, and they have been studying the benefits of testing for decades. What they’ve found is that test taking actually helps students learn. This phenomenon, called the testing effect, has been observed in a wide variety of materials, including word lists, … Read More

Tablets in the Classroom

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How long before your classroom is full of tablet computers? 2011, at least at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is being called “the year of the tablet.” If you have used an iPad for more than 10 minutes at the Apple store or Best Buy, you know that if it isn’t 2011, the tablet’s year is certainly coming soon.  What is most striking about the tablet form factor (and the iPad interface) is that non-techies are generally comfortable with it in about a day. Contrast this with the months or … Read More

TIES Conference – Hope We Engaged You!

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We had a great time sharing the Naiku Platform at TIES conference December 6th & 7th. The conference was appropriately named “Engage Me”; and had over 2,700 attendees representing administrators, teachers, technology personnel, and many other education professionals from across the country. See the following links for more information on the TIES “Engage Me” conference: (http://tchlrn.ties.k12.mn.us/ties2010/main/details.asp , http://wiki.ties.k12.mn.us/) Monday’s keynote speaker was Sir Ken Robinson. He made an impassioned plea for all attendees to think differently about how we deliver education and search out ways to help students find their … Read More

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