To highlight how members shape our cyclical development priorities, we launched the WHY (We Heard You) initiative. WHY communications highlight significant function and feature updates, with an emphasis on what these improvements mean to you and your students.
Recently, we have prioritized EdReady development related to the improvement of student-facing messaging and the expansion of user experience customization. We know that students who have a better understanding of how EdReady can help them achieve their academic and career goals are more likely to engage with the platform in an authentic and effective manner. Much of that meaningful context setting is introduced and reinforced through the messages students encounter as they interact with the application.
With a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, you can now customize the EdReady welcome message students see when they first log in to EdReady, as well as the instructions provided on the Study Path dashboard. To create a more inspiring experience, complement text-based messages with graphics and multimedia. Use these initial student touchpoints to orient students to promote a learning mindset. We have prioritized EdReady development related to the improvement of student-facing messaging and the expansion of user experience customization.
EdReady was designed to be a low-stakes learning and readiness tool. As such, the system explicitly discourages student guessing. While guessing answers in a high-stakes scenario may result in a score gain that “benefits” the student, guessing in EdReady could lead to inaccurate Study Path personalization. Originally, embedded tests included the option to answer the assessment question or skip the assessment question. Members reported that some students wished that they had additional response options and other students were confused about the meaning of ‘Skip.’ With additional funding from our North Carolina members, we improved the experience.
There is a new option (that can be activated or deactivated for any study path) that allows students to ‘Hold’ a question for later. Specifically, if a student is not sure of an answer, but feels that additional time and thought might help them arrive at the correct answer, a student can choose to ‘Hold’ that question. Upon reaching the end of the Initial Diagnostic (having answered, passed, or held every question), the questions that were held will be shown again, and this time the student needs to answer or click ‘Pass’ (the ‘Skip’ button was relabeled to ‘Pass’). This new feature reinforces the idea that EdReady is designed to help students improve their readiness, not simply evaluate where they happen to be at a particular moment in time.
The EdReady platform captures a lot of useful information about student activity and study path progress; however, some administrative users find the breadth of data overwhelming. Now, when someone filters or sorts a table and then navigates away to another view, the original filter or sort is retained when they return (solving the problem of having to repeatedly re-filter in the same manner).
Through the EdReady English interface, students can now easily locate and access supporting materials that will enrich their English Language Arts comprehension. These learning resources were automatically added to all EdReady English study paths.
In the First Draft Review, we added the ability for instructor- and peer-reviewers to comment on every section of the writer’s draft. Reviewers will now see either “Explain” listed for a review box (this prompt means a comment is required) or "Optional comment" for all other review boxes. This enhancement allows reviewers to provide more specific and comprehensive feedback during the First Draft Review.
When the installed NROC English course was originally published, it included two summative assessment forms (Form A and Form B). In collaboration with our members, we created three additional forms: Form C, Form D, and Form E. Each form includes 20 questions for each of the 10 units, resulting in a total of 200 questions per form. These new forms are beneficial for instructors who have multiple sections and want different test instruments for each class. Multiple assessment forms can also help decrease the risk of students sharing answers to a single test. These new assessment forms add a total of 600 new summative assessment items to the NROC English course.
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In service to education leaders and students, we are wholeheartedly committed to a cycle of continuous improvement. If you have ideas about how NROC tools and courses can be refined, please drop us a note.