Introduction to Assessments

In DnA, any items used to assess students' progress and/or mastery (e.g., a classroom quiz, district benchmark exam, unit test, homework assignment, rubric-based essay, project or portfolio, etc.) can become an assessment in DnA. You may also record and track demographics and other data in this area, as described in the "Where to Start" step (below).

Where to Start

Where to Start

Click the Assessments tab near the top of your screen.

General Options

General Options

You have a variety of options under the General sub-navigation tab:

1. List Assessments allows you to view any assessments you've created and any assessments that others have shared with you so that you have permission to view them. An "assessment" can be anything described in numbers 2-4, below.

2. Create a New Assessment allows you to create any assessments used to assess students' progress and/or mastery (e.g., a classroom quiz, district benchmark exam, unit test, homework assignment, rubric-based essay, project or portfolio, etc.), for which you can assign correct answers and scan student responses. In other words, these assessments are typically ones where students get points/scores question by question, or task by task, that then add up to one single score. For example, if you give a student a multiple choice test, you don't just want to know that he earned an 85% on the whole test; rather, you also want to know how he performed on each question, how he answered each question, how he performed on standards and clusters the questions were aligned to, etc. You can create an assessment with or without camera and GradeCam (meaning you may scan answer sheets where students have bubbled answers to each question, or you may enter numbers or letters in the system to indicate how students answered or how you scored them in any rubric areas). Assessments automatically and instantly generate robust reports helping you to analyze the data. Their data can be pulled into any custom report you create, as well.

3. Create a New Summary Assessment allows you to create a location for entering and tracking scores and information on numerous assessments. For example, you might have 1 column for the date the test was taken, 1 column of scores for "District Initial/Diagnostic Test" scores, 1 column for "Phonemic Awareness Check" scores, 1 column for the goal set for the student, and so on, with one row of scores/values per student. These are appropriate for cases where you don't want feedback on how students answered each question (or performed each task) that led up to the score in each area. These are often used at the elementary level where teachers score kids on a task like how high they can count, and they don't want to have to enter details like, "Yes, he/she correctly counted 1, yes he/she correctly counted 2, yes he/she correctly counted 3, etc.). Summary assessments can also serve as a "bridge" for districts who are moving away from turning in scores on hard copy forms and trying to get their teachers used to using the technology. Summary assessments will not automatically generate reports to help you analyze the data, since the nature of their scores can be anything - e.g., date a test was taken, notes on goals for a student, scores that aren't out of 100 and thus not appropriate for percents, etc. (this is why DIBELS and DIBELS Next assessments are housed as actual "assessments" - they act more like summary assessments, but we need them to automatically populate reports since their nature is known). However, summary assessment data can be pulled into any custom report you create and often (depending on the data) charts can be made for the custom report.

4. Create a New Demographic is just like Create a New Summary Assessment (#3, above) except that you would use it to track non-assessment information. For example, a teacher might want columns to track "Earned Behavior Points" or "Turned in Field Trip Monday," or a school-level team might want to track "Turned in Cans for July Fundraiser" or "Resolved Peer Conflict via PALS Program." It operates the same as a summary assessment, except that it isn't called an assessment because that would be confusing (e.g., "What do you mean I need to open the summary assessment for the 'Donated Books" list?"). The term demographic is more open-ended. However, like summary assessments, demographics data can also be pulled into any custom report you create.

5. Create a New Assessment View allows you to select multiple assessments and combine them as one assessment view so that when you view its reports you will see consolidated information (i.e., performance on all of the selected assessments in one place). An example of this would be as assessment view that combines multiple benchmarks and progress monitoring assessments so you can report on them all in one place. You might think of it as akin to building a custom report with multiple assessments, with the advantage to using an assessment view being it will automatically include all the data from each assessments (without you having to manually select every data-set, such as % correct, points, performance level, etc.). Note: you do not enter scores in an assessment view; rather, scores are entered for assessments, and the assessment view displays these altogether.

If you are missing one or more of these links, it simply means your access to them is set to "no" under Permissions, which your District system administrator has access to change if needed.

GradeCam Options

GradeCam Options

You also have a variety of options under the GradeCam sub-navigation tab:

1. Click Print Answer Sheets (Blank/Pre-Slugged(Pre-ID)) if you want to print answer sheets that any student can use.

2. Click a Print Multiple Answer Sheets per Page option if you want to squeeze multiple answer sheets on a single page (to cut up).

4. Click Settings if you want to adjust your GradeCam Scanning (including camera) settings. This link is also available on the scanning screen whenever you are scanning answer documents.

3rd Party Vendor Options

3rd Party Vendor Options

Illuminate also works with 3rd party vendors (e.g., Action Learning Systems, Curriculum Associates, Intel-Assess, and Key Data Systems) who supply assessments and/or question/item banks. If your site is working with one of these vendors, you will see a sub-navigation tab with the name of the vendor(s), as shown in the example above, which a link to related assessments.

Next Steps

Next Steps

Now reference the lesson (e.g., "Create Manual Assessment") that pertains to the task you'd like to accomplish.