At Scantron, we believe that assessment and instruction are inseparable. Assessments should reveal important insights about student learning and support your instructional choices.
But many educators say that, while they do a lot of testing, the results of that testing do not necessarily drive curriculum and instruction. They often do not receive results in time to use them effectively, and educators express frustration about their ability to analyze and synthesize what they might learn from assessment results.
That's why Scantron developed Ascensus, a balanced assessment solution that provides multiple assessment metrics with fewer test administrations. Use it to increase your accountability options without increasing your testing time.
Fixed-Form or Adaptive Assessment—Why Not Both?
As you examine your interim, districtwide assessment options, do you feel forced to choose between fixed-form and adaptive assessments? Many providers only offer one or the other.
Scantron believes you shouldn't have to choose.
We offer a comprehensive, balanced solution that makes it easy to use adaptive assessment for diagnostic and placement measures, while still having the flexibility of fixed-form items and tests for benchmarking assessments.
- Ascensus Growth provides computer-adaptive testing you can use to identify student attainment of standards for the cognitive levels that can be measured effectively by an assessment, independent of each student’s grade‑level abilities. Administered over time, these tests provide a longitudinal view of student growth in core curriculum areas (English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science).
- Ascensus Target expands your assessment abilities with a fixed-form approach so you can measure grade-level proficiency. Item and test banks for core subjects available. Includes an item editor to create questions that can support tests for any subject. Use the online testing engine to measure both traditional and technology-enhanced item types.
How can a balanced assessment solution support a comprehensive assessment strategy?
The real power of Ascensus comes from the unified system that enables you to balance both types of tests to provide more holistic results for your multimetric accountability system.
Start with fixed-form, then drill deeper with adaptive
One way to approach a balanced solution is to start with traditional, grade-level-specific, fixed-form assessments to measure all students.
However, these on-grade snapshots only provide part of the picture. While they identify where a student is, they don’t measure significant gains made toward closing achievement gaps. They also don’t identify high-performing students who need more challenge.
In this approach, you would next use Ascensus Growth to help you investigate extremely low- and high-performing students. Those results then drive additional support and help you adjust instructional strategies.
Balancing both test types in this way, you can achieve a more holistic view of student performance in multiple dimensions.
Start with adaptive, then expand domains with fixed-form
Another approach is to use Ascensus Growth adaptive tests two or three times during the school year for the entire student body as a growth measure in the critical core subject areas.
You can then use Ascensus Target to build shared content and fixed-form assessments for other subject areas, such as other languages, arts, social studies, CTE, or any additional curriculum areas.
This approach uses adaptive assessment for all students in the core subject areas (Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science), while leveraging fixed-form tests to target specific standards at any appropriate point during instruction: end-of-unit tests, grading period or semester exams, district interim testing, and more.
Balancing both test types in this way, you can achieve a broader set of subject metrics to identify college and career readiness.
You give assessments—but what do they give back?
In Ascensus, results are available in dynamic, detailed, and readable reports as soon as students complete a test—no more waiting for a centralized authority to receive and process reports into a spreadsheet or static printed report. And those results can be tied directly to your state's chosen educational standards and our selection of instructional resources, making it easy to identify trends and adjust instruction in real-time.
Further, Ascensus results are not just connected to standards or even strands. Our results identify proficiency all the way down to the individual skills that make up a strand and standard so you get the most specific detail possible to close achievement gaps and design individual, personalized instruction.
“Scantron offered a one-stop-shop with resources and reporting so teachers could get the resources they needed as they became familiar with the standards and students could get that just-right instruction based on their individual learning progression"
Coordinator for Assessment & Intervention
Frederick County Public Schools, MD