The LinkIt! Team
One of the driving forces behind the passionate team at LinkIt! is the acknowledgment of one plain and true fact: Children are our future. We understand that in this rapidly changing world we must do everything we can to ensure each child has access to quality education. Therefore, it is our highest purpose to develop all the support structures and technology tools necessary in order to advance student education; and by doing so, we know we are helping to propel our society forward towards a more equitable and prosperous future.
Technology has always played a vital role in education, from the days of blackboards and chalk to the modern use of laptops and tablets. But with the widespread adoption of online assessments in K–12 education through platforms like LinkIt!, educators are finding new and innovative ways to integrate technology and data into their teaching methods – and are playing a vital role in the evolution of education around the world in the process.
Let’s take a look at how the use of online assessments is changing education for the better, and what this means for students and teachers everywhere.
At a high level, when we speak about online assessment in education, we are talking about tests that are administered via computer or other internet-connected devices. However, there is certainly more to unpack when we get beyond this superficial description. Inherent in the process of using technology to capture performance metrics is the ability to provide immediate feedback to students on their educational journeys. It allows teachers to measure the knowledge and skills of their students in a more efficient and accurate manner and much of this analysis occurs in real-time. For many online assessments, scoring and results tabulation are instantaneous, so teachers no longer have to spend days or weeks grading a classroom’s tests and students no longer have to wait to get valuable feedback.
By administering online tests, teachers can also pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of their students and adapt their teaching methods accordingly. Additionally, online assessments typically provide students not only with overall results, but also with granular feedback on their performance, helping them to identify content domains where they have achieved a high level of proficiency as well as areas in which they need to improve. For online assessments delivered via LinkIt!, this detailed and immediate feedback typically includes a comprehensive analysis of specific skills and curriculum standards and this information is accessible to multiple stakeholder roles, including teachers, administrators, parents, and of course, students themselves. In short, online assessments are an invaluable tool for both educators and students alike.
It is one of the main responsibilities of educators everywhere - to arm students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in an ever-changing world. With LinkIt!’s help, teachers are providing their students the tools they need to thrive in any situation.
When using online assessment tools in your classroom, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure all students have access to the internet and computers. You may also want to give them time to become familiar with the tool before beginning assessments. Secondly, be sure that you select appropriate tools for the task at hand. Not all assessments should or can be administered online. Next, make sure that you have configured the online assessment appropriately and enabled the right tools and accommodations for students that may have special needs. Though the availability of such tools will differ from platform to platform, LinkIt! supports over 100 preference settings, including the ability to enable accommodations like text-to-speech audio, color contrast, text and image zoom, additional time as well as tools like on-screen highlighters, rulers, protractors and even standard and scientific calculators. Only a subset of these tools are likely to be relevant for any given assessment, so it is important to become familiar with options that may be available that will help your students perform at their very best.
Additionally, it is also important to note that administering online assessments should not be limited to once per year as a summative measure of student achievement. Instead, best practices would suggest that such assessments be used on a regular basis to measure student progress throughout the school year. This helps teachers to identify which students are struggling and needing extra assistance, as well as which students are excelling and might benefit from more challenging enrichment work. More frequently even, administering assessments at the beginning and end of a unit of study helps teachers to see how much their students have learned over the course of the unit.
LinkIt! is a comprehensive and powerful platform that is helping to drive both technical and service-based innovation in the field of online assessment and data analytics for the K–12 education sector. Over the past decade, we have seen schools accomplish remarkable things by making a commitment to collect, analyze, and ultimately, utilize assessment data to inform their implementation decisions regarding policies and programs. While such commitment goes beyond merely implementing online assessments, rapid and efficient data capture is undoubtedly one of the foundational elements of this change. Imagine how a series of small changes could improve educational outcomes for students across the country, or even around the world, when applied on a large scale.
With LinkIt!, teachers have support for formative and summative assessments, progress monitoring, quarterlies, midterms, finals, and other exam types. Our platform supports a large library of existing assessments in core subjects areas, but it also empowers educators to author their own assessments from scratch across all grades and subject areas. For those teachers that prefer to write the assessments and send them to LinkIt! for uploading to the platform, we offer a unique test digitization service model with pre-loaded standards and the option to associate questions with topics, skills, DOK, and other tags specific to the district. This service was the first of its kind in the industry and enables districts, schools and even individual classrooms to get up and running with online assessments, both seamlessly and cost-effectively, by migrating legacy print content to an online assessment format capable of immediate scoring and feedback.
Beyond great features like advanced test security (browser lockdown mode), support for technology-enhanced item types, and robust online testing tools, LinkIt! offers industry-leading support for algorithmic scoring, interactive rubrics, adaptive delivery and detailed analytics. We have even developed a powerful and dedicated module to support the rapid collection of observational performance task data called Data Locker. This set of spreadsheet-driven tools extends the data capture capabilities of our online assessment solution and supports the direct entry of data from other assessments or tasks, including, but not limited to the documentation and recording of rubric based evaluations of Reading Levels, Writing, Literacy, Speaking/Listening, SEL, and much more.
We owe a debt of gratitude to educators around the globe for all of the dedication and commitment they pour into our children. We believe that it will take both this level of commitment and the right technology tools to improve the prospects of future generations on a global scale. Although online assessment tools have been around for a while, their use in the classroom is still growing. This growth can be attributed to the many benefits that these tools offer teachers and students. By using online assessment tools in your classroom, you can help your students learn more effectively and efficiently. You may also find that these tools make it easier for you to modify your instruction and identify areas where your students may need additional support.
So, whether you ultimately use LinkIt! or another platform, don’t underestimate the value of establishing a regular and consistent process of administering online assessments in your schools or classrooms. We strongly believe that you will be glad that you did and your students will be more prepared for what lies ahead as a result.
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