Over the past several years, the Biology Team at Edsel Ford High School (Lorraine O’Brien, David Mayoros, Christina West, Michael MacPherson, and this author) has been using iLearn, Dearborn’s Moodle Courseware, to assess student understanding and make instructional decisions based on the data.
The team gives nearly all of their assessments on iLearn. Giving quizzes on iLearn enables a multitude of opportunities, including the ability to quickly and easily re-assess. Students who take quizzes on iLearn get an individualized experience, with each student experiencing a different question order, with answers shuffled. Teachers using iLearn get full control over the parameters of the assessment.
The fabulous features of iLearn also enable teachers to gather data on student understanding. Each completed quiz provides teachers with a glimpse at each student’s individual quiz, recording their question choices and other data including the time taken to complete the quiz. Teachers can allow students to review their quizzes by changing the parameters easily, and can easily confer with students and parents after a quiz to address gaps in understanding.
The Biology Team at EFHS uses all of these features, as well as a detailed item analysis of each quiz to guide their practice. This data has served as the focus of discussions in their Professional Learning Community meetings. Assessments on iLearn provide data on the number of students who selected a particular answer, as well as much more complex statistics including the facility index, standard deviation, and discriminative efficiency of each question. All of these allow teachers to meaningfully reflect on the validity of inferences made upon assessment data, as well as the legitimacy of questions in assessing the standards.
There is no end to the amount of useful data that iLearn can provide teachers, and kick-start valuable conversations to make data-informed decisions in the classroom.