(BEDFORD) – Every year, spring brings several certainties in the state of Indiana – rain, tax day and standardized tests.
This week will bring the biggest shake-up in the last 30 years to one of those sureties. Today Bedford North Lawrence students began the four-week statewide testing window for the Indiana Department of Education’s ILEARN exams.
ILEARN, of Indiana Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network, is a new series of assessments being offered this year in place of the state’s former ISTEP exams.
The new exams test the same core subjects for grades three through eight, but bring welcome changes the state hopes will streamline the spring standardized testing window — the first being everyone will test during the same April 22 to May 17 exam window.
Within that window, administrators can elect to test all at once or space it out, but the goal is to have all testing statewide fall under a uniform testing window,
students will take their exams on computers in modules developed by nonprofit educational software provider American Institutes for Research, or AIR.
This year, exams like ILEARN English/Language Arts and ILEARN Mathematics will feature computer-adaptive technology, responding to students’ performance in real time and adjusting in difficulty to meet an individual’s ability level.
ILEARN Science for grades four through six and ILEARN ECA Biology, a high school end-of-course exam, are slated to adopt this technology in the future, while the state’s two remaining exams — ILEARN Social Studies for grade five and ILEARN ECA U.S. Government, an optional high school end-of-course exam — will remain as a “fixed-form” exam still taken on a computer.
The computer-adaptive exams draw questions from a wide-ranging pool personalizing exams to each student and reducing opportunities for students to cheat.
The computer-based exams will allow for more descriptive assessment responses returned more quickly so teachers can more easily identify a student’s proficiency and work with them on their needs even before the end of the academic year.
While teachers once waited until the following fall to receive ISTEP results, ILEARN will return responses within about a dozen days. Although results will likely be returned in August this year for the first iteration of the test.
Information, Newsbug, http://www.newsbug.info