Schools roll out remediation software for standardized tests

Schools across the country are looking for the best ways to bring children up to speed on standardized testing materials.  All too often, there simply isn't enough time in class to address remediation needs for students who perform poorly.

Schools across the country are looking for the best ways to bring children up to speed on standardized testing materials.  All too often, there simply isn't enough time in class to address remediation needs for students who perform poorly.  Given that the stakes on these tests are so high (covering everything from graduation requirements to state and federal funding and even determining if schools and districts fall under state management), schools are looking to technology to improve student skills, particularly in math and English.

Here in Massachusetts, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have developed customizable software tied to state frameworks (guidelines for what Massachusetts educators are supposed to be covering by subject) that not only provide immediate feedback and help to students, but also provide data to teachers on student preparedness in real time.  This system has been used successfully at several schools for mathematics remediation.  FAQs and papers are available at: http://www.assistment.org/.  According to Dr. Neil Heffernan, who leads the research on this software at WPI,

"Essentially, the program is an assessment tool that will recognize and highlight procedural errors as students move through the various stages of solving a math problem.
As a result, the program will be able to quickly predict a student's score on a standardized test, provide feedback to teachers about how they can adapt their lessons to address gaps in students' knowledge and provide individualized tutoring to suit each student's needs."

Many other schools at least list "TestWiz", a piece of software for analyzing individual scores and aggregating student data, in their improvement and technology plans, while quite a few also list specific software products like Assistment.

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