We Went to the Future and Brought Back the Assessment Tools Everyone's Using

Contributed By

David Wolpert

Director of Product Marketing at Schoology

We Went to the Future and Brought Back the Assessment Tools Everyone's Using

Posted in Schoology | April 28, 2017

Not all that long ago, devices were introduced to the classroom and have since dramatically changed the ways students learn and teachers teach. The impact of technology in an industry always accelerates, so it's no surprise that the next major wave of innovation is already on the horizon. We're looking through the binoculars, and we want to tell you what we see.

Here at Schoology, we are working on something big–something that's going to transform how students learn and how teachers assess students. We're overhauling how you create assessments as well as the questions teachers can use and how those can be created.

We started a process years ago looking into the many ways students are assessed throughout their education. It started with the most common examples—teachers giving quizzes in the classroom, department heads wanting to assess students to guide their curriculum, administrators wanting to make it easier to give out state/federally mandated assessments. But as we delved into it, we realized that this is just the tip of the iceberg for what you can do with assessments. You can use them to kick off discussions, offer ungraded activities to help pass along knowledge, or even use them to help ensure a student isn't falling behind. Encompassing all of these use cases and stakeholders is why we are pushing the boundaries of our LMS—by moving beyond Test/Quiz with a new assessment workflow and integrating our Assessment Management Platform (AMP) into the solution.

When we released AMP, a lot of our investors assumed this would be a brand new product. Something we could sell outside of the LMS. But that would not have actually helped our users. That is why AMP is part of the LMS. We know that the Curriculum Director who is leading a team of teachers over the summer, building banks of questions, and working on multiple assessments to push across schools doesn't care about how the back end systems talk to one another. They want to ensure the students getting the tests have a seamless experience, that the data is easily captured, and the reporting is intuitive for all involved. That is why building a separate product would never have worked. To truly encapsulate that experience everything needs to live in the same platform.

Now we have announced our new assessments. The replacement to Test/Quiz. Most people had assumed we would keep building on Test/Quiz but that is not how you make major leaps forward. Test/Quiz was a great way to digitize tests but it is still based off paper-and-pencil. Our new assessments features will truly bring assessments into the 21st century by leveraging everything technology has to offer. The enhanced questions will make learning much more interactive by allowing teachers to build questions the same way they teach—with interactive pictures, graphs, infographics, videos, and everything else.

Assessments are just the first the step we are taking along a journey. The goal of that journey is to help educators, administrators, parents, and students use technology to the fullest to advance what is possible in education. We don't know what all the steps are on that journey right now but we are excited to be on it.

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