After using another solution for a year, the district made an entire pivot to Edulastic. Since then, they haven’t looked back. With Edulastic, Chagrin has a platform that ties questions to standards, provides instant assessment results, increases rigor, and is intuitive.
An Easy Switch
Chagrin Falls School District had finally found an assessment platform, planned for a three year contract, but at the end of the first year made a complete switch. Why? Because they had found something better: Edulastic.
“The original platform we had tried was too cumbersome and so it was unusable. We needed a tool that would allow our teachers to create a high-quality assessment with tech-enhanced item types.” recalls Mike Daugherty, Director of Technology & Information Systems. “Edulastic is intuitive. It fixed a lot of holes that were lacking in other programs.”
Education technology decisions at Chagrin are a group effort. After finding Edulastic, the district’s tech coaches ran a pilot with teachers. “We got feedback from our teachers. They know their students and they know what tools they need in order to successfully support their students.” says Nancy Kevern, Tech Integration and Instructional Coach. From their testing and small pilot, they realized that Edulastic not only had the features that the district needed, but it also was very simple to use.
Their switch officially began at a professional development meeting when a question arose: How many of you would be willing to ditch all of our work on this first assessment platform to switch to Edulastic? The response was unanimous and it was an easy switch. The district moved full steam ahead with Edulastic.
Teachers felt both excitement and relief as they rolled out Edulastic according to Daugherty, “They were excited about how easy it is to use, and they were relieved because of how quickly and easily they can use it in their classroom.”
Eliminating headaches for the IT director
“[Edulastic] has been a gamechanger for us,” says Daugherty. As a “Google district,” the integration between Edulastic and Google Classroom saves him from headache because with single sign-on there are no additional log-ins that need to managed. The Google Classroom integration makes things easier for teachers, too, who can share their assessments directly into Classroom. With one click, students enter the Edulastic assignment and can begin to work through the questions.
If a teacher or administrator happens to get stuck, the Edulastic support team is readily available to help. “You have your chat button in the corner, you get immediate feedback on when the message has been received and when you are getting a response,” says Kevern. “You know you are being listened to.”
It’s not just these features alone that has helped the district’s teachers and coaches. “Edulastic has provided us with a way for our teachers to collaborate, to choose questions and customize questions, get immediate feedback from those questions, tailor their instruction, tie to standards, choose depth of knowledge questions, and mirror the state assessments that students are going to take.” says Kevern. Across the district, students and teachers grades 2 through 12 are using Edulastic and at the same time are able to prepare for Ohio AIR state testing in the spring. Each question on Edulastic is tied to a standard, which helps track mastery, and the assessments resemble the state test, which helps students can feel comfortable when they enter the official testing day.
Teachers weigh in on digital assessment in the classroom
“I am using Edulastic here at Chagrin for formative and summative assessments,” says Cory McNamara, Grade 5 Science and Social Studies Teacher. “And also engaging the kids in everyday practice for the state testing.”
McNamara enjoys having the variety of questions for assessment because it provides rigor. The options to choose questions from the item bank, make your own, and focus on depth of knowledge or different technology-enhanced questions such as multiple choice, matching tables, fill-in-the-blank, or matching, all give varieties of ways to challenge students.
McNamara recently created a fun game called the “Science Bowl” where students compete via Edulastic and the winners earn a prize. The gamification adds a dash of fun to the learning.
Edulastic also is providing teachers with a regular understanding of where students are at with their learning on a daily basis. “Predominantly I use Edulastic as an entry tool/exit slip,” says Todd Thombs, Mathematics teacher, “It gives me a good foundation of knowledge about what students leave my class with or what they enter with the next day after they have time to practice.”
“Usually I give one or two questions that are shorter in nature and I let them work on that on their own. I like the present mode feature that gives students anonymous names so we can take a look at a correct answer or incorrect answer and as a class, have a discussion about the thought process behind each one of them, the common mistakes, and the correct method as well.”
The immediate feedback, the ability to find questions by standards, and the ability to share content with co-workers are some of the top reasons why Amy Acton, 4th Grade Math and Science Teacher, enjoys using Edulastic. “When students are working on an assessment you can immediately see the results on your screen and it’s easy to read,” says Acton.
“Edulastic is a time saver, a quick way for students to get immediate feedback, and a good way for me to tell how students are doing,” says Marissa Ausperk, Middle School ELA Teacher. “One of my goals with Edulastic is to create summative assessments that I can work on and continue to modify over the years so I can have a bank of tests I’ve created that I can use whenever I need them.” As teachers create and adjust tests, their work is saved in the online library so they can access, edit, or share the assessments or test questions whenever they need it.
A solid way to track progress and quickly make informed decisions
After giving assessments, results populate in Edulastic and both teachers and administrators are able to work with the data they get to help guide the next steps for instruction. The data helps personalize education. It shows them what areas students are strong in and what areas they’re not so strong in. They use the Edulastic reports during building level and district level team meetings to analyze data, get insights into students, and adjust curriculum accordingly.
“I see how it impacts teachers and how they use it to inform instruction. I also see how it impacts the students as well.” says Kevern. “They learn from the feedback which is really important.” With the instant feedback, students are able to see the positive results from their hard work or can identify their mistakes and learn from them right away. Teachers have a solid way to track progress and quickly make informed decisions for instruction.
A phenomenal fit
Chagrin is a district that consistently is paying attention to technology trends in order to secure the best solutions for their school leaders, teachers, and students. They needed a tool for teachers to create high-quality assessments with technology-enhanced items, and standards-tied questions. When they discovered Edulastic, which they realized was intuitive and easy for teachers to navigate, within a few months they knew it would be a great fit.
“Chagrin saw a need and Edulastic was a way to fill that need.” Says Daugherty, “Truly it’s a phenomenal solution… It’s really everything we can ask for in an assessment platform.”