Oct 24 2017

Teachers Aid Struggling Test Takers with Real-Time Alerts

New research indicates exactly when students lose interest in tests.

Thanks to tools such as Google Classroom and the G Suite for Education apps, it’s become incredibly easy for teachers and students alike to keep track of progress. But, what about solving students’ struggles in real-time?

An ongoing research project between the Northwest Evaluation Association and the Santa Ana Unified School District seeks to do just that. Education Week reports that during a computer-based adaptive test, the 50,000-student district used real-time alerts to indicate when students were going off-task.

“They play with the keyboard, they may be fidgeting,” says Emily Wolk, the district’s assistant director of research and evaluation, in the Education Week article. “Of course, we are very concerned about that; we know there is a connection between their engagement on a test and how they do in other areas as well.”

NWEA is using its MAP Growth test to measure student response time to hundreds of questions. Education Week reports that generally it takes students 40 to 50 seconds to read and answer questions, so when they start to answer in only two to three seconds, teachers can tell students have disengaged with the test material and have started “rapid guessing.”

The research found that as many as half of students rapid-guess at least once on a given test and elementary students are less likely than others to disengage on a test. NWEA also found that students are twice as likely to rapid-guess on a reading test than a math test.

Using the real-time feedback allows teachers to intervene before a student fails the test.

“A teacher knows the students, knows how to quietly go over and say, ‘Hey, how’s it going? I care about you, and I’m concerned you are moving too quickly here,’” says Wolk.

Real-Time Feedback Tech Reshapes Teacher-Student Relationships

With more and more K–12 teachers turning to Google Classroom and G Suite for Education tools to streamline the education of their students, the grading process itself is changing. With these tools, teachers can now give real-time feedback and engage in constant dialogue with their students.

Using Google Forms, educator Matt Miller blogs that he’s able to give his students feedback in a timely manner so they haven’t moved on to a new topic by the time he reviews home work.

Experts indicate that real-time feedback can help create a better environment for personalized learning and give students self-regulating skills they will need in college.

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