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‘One-stop shop’ helps teachers build, use formative assessments

By Matthew Tungate
matthew.tungate@education.ky.gov

Fourth-grade student Cole Williams whispers his score from a test to his teacher Debbie Craft at Hindman Elementary School (Knott County). Craft likes how quickly she can design a test with CIITS. At right is 4th-grade student Maston Hicks. Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb 8, 2012

Fourth-grade student Cole Williams whispers his score from a test to his teacher Debbie Craft at Hindman Elementary School (Knott County). Craft likes how quickly she can design a test with CIITS. At right is 4th-grade student Maston Hicks. Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb 8, 2012

Debbie Craft and Amber Stewart first learned of the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS) when it launched in August last year. At that time, it linked standards and KET EncycloMedia: Discovery Education videos, and that was about all.

The two 4th-grade teachers at Hindman Elementary School (Knott County) didn’t find out until December how the system had grown and how they would come to appreciate the online resource. It was then that they learned how to create formative assessments from an item bank of standards-based questions, give students the tests online, receive almost immediate feedback on how the students performed and then use that data to differentiate instruction.

“CIITS does make teaching easier and more efficient,” said Craft, a 25-year teaching veteran. “With CIITS you don’t have to worry if the questions are worded correctly, if it meets the standard or search for available resources because CIITS provides it for us. It is very efficient to know you are using standards-based questions that have been aligned to the state standards. Also, the data collection is very efficient. By being able to frequently assess our students, we hope to see them be successful.”

The pair agreed that CIITS has changed their instructional practice because now they can easily assess students to determine their individual learning needs.

“The information we receive from the assessments is used to help the students that are below the standards. We are able to place them in small groups to reinforce the needed standards to help ensure they can master the content,” said Stewart, who has taught for four years. Read the full story

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