At the crux of Response to Intervention (RTI) is the need to regularly assess students to understand their learning rates, standards-based achievement levels, and progress in relation to peers. Any assessment can be added to Illuminate DnA (multiple choice, open response, rubric, true/false, etc., or a combination of formats), and sharing it (even collaborating on it, if desired) with colleagues is simple. RTI testing and intervention calendars can be housed along with them, as can any other related components (virtually any file format is accepted).
Students “scan” their own plain paper sheets in their own classrooms via the teacher’s inexpensive (e.g., $8) webcam or document camera, so results for student, teacher, and system (including gradebook) are instantaneous. Since the process is so simple and sheets can be laminated and used over and over again, there is no hassle in garnering formative feedback mid-lesson or prior to homework distribution.
While daily formative assessment was already covered (in the Good Instruction section), this section covers more regulated assessment practices.
Post a Clear Calendar
Since you can upload virtually any file types to any assessment you put in the Illuminate system, your calendar can accompany each RTI assessment.
You can even point out exactly where that particular assessment falls.
There many different theories concerning what makes a good testing schedule, intervention schedule, etc. Some of these even conflict, and new research is constantly providing more insight. Nonetheless, this sample calendar (above) provides some of the more popular opinions. Here are notes from it:
1. A key explains calendar terms.
2. Dates are provided for each week on the calendar, as well as the week # of the session. The latter makes it easier to “roll over” the calendar for the next year.
3. While other (e.g., repeated) standards and concepts are also covered, the calendar should connect to a pacing guide that tells teachers what main concepts will be assessed at the end of the week(s).
4. Days of the week correspond with what is scheduled below.
5. Tests are frequent (you want to know right away if/what intervention is needed) and short.
6. Diagnostic only relates to standards students need to “hit the ground running” so teachers can plan according.
7. Assessments used are common/uniform (everyone in similar courses takes the same test) so results can be compared from one class to the next (showing teachers what is working and what is not, to enhance learning and sharing - with colleagues).
8. Color coding tells teachers when to teach a concept, when it is first assessed, when a reteach (e.g., splitting students between colleagues or handled within the classroom) takes place as needed, when teachers analyze results together, and when any “next tier” interventions occur.
9. Common benchmark assessments also occur at regular intervals to catch old mastery that is slipping, gage progress, etc.
10. If teachers garner their own formative feedback regularly, interim assessments do not have to be formative; if not, this will be a formative tool. Even if designed to be summative, results that reveal any glaring needs should render a response.
Here (above) is the same sample calendar without notations.
As long as you upload your testing calendar to an assessment, anyone to which you give access to the assessment will also have easy access to the calendar.
While multiple choice tests make a good start to an assessment program, especially if your colleagues are resistant, Illuminate also supports multiple measures.
For example, your assessment might feature a combination of assessment types. You don’t have to mix assessment types like this; just know the Illuminate sheet design is open-ended to accommodate varied needs.
Align to Standards
To make the most of your assessments, align your questions to state content standards or national common core standards. In Illuminate, this is easier than ever.
Just pick the standards you want to include…
…click to add them to your test…
…then click away on the Alignment tab to indicate which standard(s) align to each question (click, click, click… it’s really that simple).
Align to Question Groups
Illuminate also lets you align your questions to any question groups you want to set up. You may still align the same questions to standards, but this way you can also get results back by groups.
For example, you might want to set up (and thus be able to see student results by):
- Content Cluster or Strand (e.g., Word Analysis, Reading Comprehension, etc.)
- Bloom’s Taxonomy Level (e.g., Knowledge, etc.)
- Question Rigor (e.g., Easy, Medium, Hard)
- Vocabulary (e.g., Low vs. High Academic Vocabulary Used)
- Pacing (e.g., Material Already Covered, Material Not Yet Covered, or Fall, Winter, etc.)
- Anything Else You Want (it’s open-ended)
Any attachments you add to the assessment will also be shared accordingly.
Make Assessments Easy to Find
Associate your assessment with a sub-type (e.g., Intervention), subject (e.g., English), grade level, etc. so users can find it easily by filtering their assessment list. They can also search the assessment list (e.g., for “RTI”), and they can sort it (e.g., by date administered, title, etc.).
Read "Analyze Assessment Results to Determine Student Needs," the next lesson in this "RTI" manual, to help with your RTI implementation.
You might also be interested in other chapters and lessons within the Illuminate Help system for assistance performing the actions described in the "RTI" manual for more help with your RTI implementation. For example, lessons in the "Assessments," "Reports," and "Summary Assessments," manuals might prove especially helpful, depending on the actions you wish to perform.