Originally published in the January 2014 edition of "Classroom Connections."
Carmen Larrinaga is a teacher in the Melba School District, and has found meaningful use of the Assess Admin module in Schoolnet to create paper tests, quizzes and online programs for her students. She explains, "Although tests previously followed the curriculum text we were using, they did not always correlate specifically with the required standards," Carmen said of life before Schoolnet. "I was able to judge how well my students learned the content in the material covered in class, but tying the information back to the standards was a lot more difficult. The amount of time required in identifying the standards, as well as finding ways to organize and analyze the student results, could quickly become overwhelming."
Carmen continues, "I appreciate that the assessments in Schoolnet are correlated to specific Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In implementing the new standards, there is always a fear of the unknown, i.e., am I teaching everything I should be, and do I understand the standard correctly? But now using the express test option, I am able to look at previously created tests and aligned standards to identify areas of misunderstanding as well as reaffirming where I am on target. This provides an opportunity for me to learn, but not at the expense of my students."
"Through Schoolnet my students' results are compiled and available for analysis immediately," Carmen said. "It is wonderful to be able to look at an assessment and see how students succeeded on specific test questions, as well as their overall understanding of a standard for all assessments given to date. Having all of this information available with the click of a button, in a teacher-friendly format, is refreshing. It provides me an opportunity to use my time more efficiently and effectively."
Carmen also discussed how Schoolnet can provide assessment results quickly to support data-driven decision making in her classroom. "Schoolnet provides me with instantaneous results and information. Each standard can be taught and then assessed using both formative and summative assessments," Carmen stated. "My students are able to login to Schoolnet easily, find and take assessments. Taking tests and ?exit tickets' on Schoolnet is a daily occurrence in my classroom. This gives me the opportunity to see how well I have taught the standard we were working on, identify any misconceptions, and determine whether we need to readdress information or move on to new content."
If you would like to learn more about Carmen's great work at the Melba School District, please contact the State Department of Education at (208) 332-6923 and ask for your Schoolnet coordinator.