Formative Assessment tool with built-in instruction Allows for a better measure of student progress Provides immediate feedback to students What is the Difference Summative- assessment of



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Training Overview

  • Presented to:
  • State of South Dakota
  • Sept. 13th – 17th, 2010
  • Presented by:
  • Sue Ann Towle
  • Pearson

Agenda

  • WriteToLearn™ Overview (30 minutes)
    • Why use it
    • Who uses it
    • What’s in it
    • How to use it
  • Demonstration (1 hour)
  • WriteToLearn Scoring (30 minutes)
  • Hands-on with Workbook Exercises (1 hour)

Why Use WriteToLearn?

Why Use WriteToLearn?

  • SD DOE heard the concerns of SD educators with regard to the Writing Test
    • Summative assessment does not meet the needs of teachers in measuring the writing process
      • Timed test
      • Feedback not immediate
      • No practice opportunity
      • No flexibility in prompt selection

Why Use WriteToLearn?

  • WriteToLearn is a Formative Assessment tool with built-in instruction
    • Allows for a better measure of student progress
    • Provides immediate feedback to students

What is the Difference

  • Summative- Assessment of learning
  • Generally taken by students at the end of a unit or semester to demonstrate the "sum" of what they have or have not learned
  • Formative- Assessment for learning
  • Taken at varying intervals throughout a course to provide information and feedback that will help improve

Why Use WriteToLearn?

  • WriteToLearn also provides:
    • Opportunity for students to improve on their writing skills during classroom instruction
    • Immediate, easy-to-understand feedback for both the teacher and the student
    • Online suggestions on how to improve writing and reading comprehension
    • Essay writing and summary writing activities across the curriculum
    • Self paced advancement

Why Use WriteToLearn?

  • WriteToLearn helps:
    • Focus teacher time on curriculum, not testing
    • Support overall student literacy
    • Become better writers

Who Uses WriteToLearn?

Who Uses WriteToLearn?

  • Over 350 Schools…
  • Over 5000 Classrooms…
  • …adds up to nearly half a million tests!

What’s In WriteToLearn?

What’s In WriteToLearnTM?

  • It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
  • Immediate, automated feedback
  • Essay writing and summary writing activities
  • (1)
  • (2)
  • (3)

What’s In WriteToLearn?

What’s In WriteToLearn?

  • 2. Immediate, automated feedback and suggestions for improvement
    • Easy student interface for self-paced classroom work
    • Reliable as skilled human scorers
      • Using KAT (Knowledge Analysis Technologies) scoring engine
        • Research based scoring that understands the meaning of text

What’s In WriteToLearn?

  • At-a-glance reporting
    • Visually appealing
    • Allows teacher to monitor progress at the student and classroom level
    • Allows teachers to target students who need further instruction or to challenge those advancing students

How Will SD Utilize WriteToLearn?

    • 2010-2011 School Year
      • Students in Grades 5, 7 and 10 must submit a minimum of three essays for statewide participation requirements each year, but not limited to three
        • There will be three testing windows
          • Oct. 1st, 2010 thru Nov. 30th, 2010
          • Dec. 1st, 2010 thru Feb. 28th, 2011
          • March 1st, 2011 – May 31st, 2011
  • **Each student is required to submit a single response
      • SD DOE will monitor how many students have participated during each testing window

What Counts for Participation

  • Students writing essays in response to the prompt that is assigned by the teacher

Roles and Responsibilities

  • School Administrators:
    • Create teacher accounts
    • Upload student roster
    • Establish initial teacher classroom relationships (optional)
    • Update classroom-student relationships
  • Teachers:
    • Create classes and enroll students
    • Create sub-classroom environments (optional)
    • assign activities/prompts
    • Become trainers for their individual schools
  • Students:
    • Receive immediate feedback with suggestions on how to improve their writing skills

How Do I Use WriteToLearn?

  • Now we’ll show you how to use it

WriteToLearn Scoring

How Does WriteToLearn Score Summaries?

  • Measures students’ writing by comparing it with the actual text and providing feedback on how well the students have captured the main ideas of the text in their summaries

How Does WriteToLearn Score Essays?

  • Trained on hundreds of student essays scored by professional human scorers
  • Measures the quality of writing by determining
    • The language features that human scorers evaluate when scoring a response
      • Including content in addition to writing quality
    • How those features are weighed and combined to produce Overall and 6- Trait scores
  • WriteToLearn agrees with professional human scorers as well as they agree with each other

How Does WriteToLearn Score Teacher Created Essays?

  • Teacher created prompts, and for others scored only for an Overall Writing score… WriteToLearn evaluates an essay for general writing ability only and not for content WriteToLearn's scoring model for these types of prompts was derived by analyzing thousands of human scored student essays across hundreds of prompts

Before Scoring An Essay

  • WriteTolearn first evaluates if it can score the essay accurately
    • Is it long enough to evaluate the student’s skill level?
    • Is it a good-faith attempt?
    • Is it on-topic?
    • Does it match expectations for essays written to this prompt?

When does WriteToLearn not score? Length

  • Your essay could not be scored. It is shorter than expected for this prompt.
    • The student has not written enough (fewer than 50 words) to evaluate his or her skill level. The student should write a longer response.
  • Your essay could not be scored. It is longer than expected for this prompt.
    • The student has written far more than expected (more than 1200 words). The student should edit his or her work to be more succinct.

When does WriteToLearn not score? CAPS, Repetition

  • Your essay is written in all or mostly capital letters. Please rewrite using standard capitalization.
    • The student should revise to use appropriate, formal writing style
  • Your essay is too repetitive. This could be a copy and paste error. Please revise and remove the repeated content.
    • The student should revise to remove extra copy/pasted material and/or sentences that are repeated in their entirety three or more times

When does WriteToLearn not score? Unusual Language

  • Your essay could not be scored. Your choice of topic, style, vocabulary, or organization is different than others written in response to this prompt. Please review your essay with your teacher.
    • The essay may be a refusal to write – The student should respond to the prompt
    • The response may not be an essay, but rather just a list of words or phrases with little to no punctuation – The student should write an essay.
    • The response may demonstrate a skill level that is very different from the expected skill level. For example, when a 6th grade student responds to a 12th grade prompt and vice versa – The teacher should consider assigning a prompt closer to the student’s skill level

When does WriteToLearn not score? Unique

  • Your essay could not be scored. It differs from others written in response to this prompt. It may be off-topic, highly original or creative, or use language that is different than expected. Please review your essay with your teacher.
    • The essay my be off-topic and not in response to the prompt – The student should make sure that the essay addresses the prompt.
    • The essay may be highly creative and so not look like a response that WriteToLearn has seen to this prompt – The teacher should evaluate the response.

WriteToLearn’s Grammar Scoring

  • WriteToLearn’s grammar checking capabilities works to provide students with:
  • Q. What can teachers do about the grammar errors that WriteToLearn misses?
  • A. Using the Teacher Comments feature, teachers can add personalized feedback to their students, including flagging particular grammar errors for correction

Wrap Up

  • Questions and Answers


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