|I do not have to pay for this, as my district has purchased it. They do have a free option, however, not all these features I'll share in this post are accessible. You can purchase a yearly membership for individual teachers.|
It is an amazing resource! I'm still trying to use it to it's full potential, but it's a learning process. One of my favorite resources includes the mastery tracking spread sheets. You can track your students' progress on each and every standard- that means for math, ELA, health, science- you name it! The best part for me is that they include all sorts of standards. Minnesota has adopted the Common Core for ELA, but not for math. However, I can track the Common Core in ELA, but pick a different set of standards for math (our 2007 standards). You get student results in real time! It's amazing and totally engaging for students!
I print off bubble sheets and have them laminated. That way, I can do little assessments whenever! It allows you to pre-fill the bull sheets with student IDs so that the answers scanned will be linked to the correct student.
Here's how it works. You give an assessment. You plug it into mastery connect- give it a title, link each question to a standard, and select the correct answer. I've been giving these on the SMARTboard, meaning, I have 3 questions projected on the board, students solve them and fill in their answers on their bubble sheet. I don't even have to print off extra copies and students can show work on their whiteboards or on scratch paper to turn in.
As students finish, they walk up to my computer (some teachers in our have school doc cameras that work as well- but mine does not). I select the assessment that I created and click assess. They hold their bubble sheet up to the camera and it instantly collects their answers- which numbers they got right and wrong, which is then linked to standards as well.
After students take the assessments, you can view reports. Here I had an assessment (labeled 3 Spree- and it was the 4th one given). I can look to see the distribution of the scores and again, each question is tied to a standard.I can click on a particular bar on any of the graphs to see which student chose that answer.
So what does this have to do about interactions. Well, my students take these very seriously, knowing that they will get to see their score instantly! The first time we took one, some rushed through and got low scores. You could see some disappointment on their faces. The next time, students took their time and performed much better. Most would walk away from the camera with a big smile and excitement. Talk about the importance of immediate feedback! I didn't necessarily like to see their disappointed faces, but it did have a larger impact on their work and helped them improve. Not to mention, I get instant data myself. I love how I can integrate technology into my assessments to really gauge my students understanding of certain skills and it takes time out of my day in terms of correcting/grading. Check out how others are making learning more interactive through Lovin' Lit's blog!