|Using Technology to Make the Link Between Assessment Data and Instructional Resources|
To encourage teachers to make formative use of assessment data, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) developed eCART (Electronic Curriculum Assessment Resource Tool). This web-based system allows teachers to access everything, from lesson plans to assessment tools, all in one place.
eCART's searchable database provides access to district-approved resources and curriculum correlated to specific standards, benchmarks, and indicators. It allows teachers to create assessments using varied combinations of FCPS common assessment items.
The eCART assessment items were developed by district teachers and designed to provide diagnostic information. The assessments are used to reveal student misconceptions and skills that need to be reinforced.
Using assessment results for their students, Fairfax teachers can follow links to a large library of instructional resources including supplementary materials, lesson plans, work sheets, and web links. Students can take eCART assessments online or using pencil and paper (in which case teachers have answer sheets scanned and entered into the system).
According to Mike Foland, project manager for the district's Instructional Technology Support Services, eCART was developed in response to teachers' needs. Foland said, "A need was identified for a single one-stop shop to allow teachers access to resources, standards, assessments, and the results from those assessments, and then the ability based on those results to mine resources and use them to support instruction in the classroom and beyond."
Student eCART assessment results are stored in the district's data system so that classroom assessment data can be viewed along with benchmark assessment data and results from state tests. Having a common set of formative assessments enables comparisons of student performance across classrooms and schools.
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