Measuring Learning

Measuring Learning

The Measuring Learning consortium is developing ways to assess STEM competencies that are often not evaluated in school.

These skills include innovation, higher-order thinking, global collaboration, and the ability to tackle big, open-ended challenges. Despite the universally acknowledged importance of these 21st-century abilities, education systems rarely measure student

performance in these areas. Technology can change that. This consortium is led by Carnegie Mellon University (USA).

Measuring Learning in Action

Collaborative assessment platform

An ambitious pilot project in India is showing some very positive signs of success.

By using an innovative virtual teaching and experiment platform, Amrita University, a member of the HP Catalyst Initiative’s Measuring Learning consortium, is helping rural students improve their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills.

The University is testing a new Collaborative assessment platform for teaching practical post-secondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills, using the university’s cloud-based eLearning Network.

More than 90% of teachers report that the platform is effective, and 75% of the students agree that it helps them understand more about STEM subjects.

The multilingual platform can be used to promote the use of computers in schools and colleges, and run virtual experiments. It also features an assessment function that allows teachers to monitor students’ processes and test results, and give feedback. This enables students to concentrate on the areas they need to master.

More than 90% of teachers report that the remote teaching and virtual experiment platform is effective, and three-quarters of the students agree that it helps their understanding. Both teachers and students are enthusiastic About using the donated HP mini notebooks and tablet PCs to run their virtual experiments and watch simulations and animations on key concepts.

Amrita University’s next step is to validate their research on a large scale, with the ultimate goal of delivering high-quality STEM learning resources to millions of students under age 25 across India. Amrita University is also eager to collaborate with other organizations around the world to extend education everywhere there’s a need.

Tablet PCs - real time assessment

Teachers are using HP technology to provide their students with real-time assessments and feedback --- boosting achievement as a result.

Most people believe that technology can improve teaching and learning. But how exactly?

Which methods of assessing knowledge provide immediate and relevant student feedback? Do students perform better when technology gives them immediate feedback, and does this hold true for every student despite differences of gender, socioeconomic status, and learning disabilities?

Math and science teachers at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly, New Jersey, USA are asking these and other essential questions as they explore real-time assessment of knowledge. Funded by the HP Catalyst Initiative, and as a member of the Measuring Learning Consortium, they are hoping to boost student performance with new ways of using technology to provide immediate feedback on classroom activities.

The aim of the project is to go beyond basic recall of facts to develop critical thinking skills.

The aim is to go beyond basic recall of facts to develop critical thinking skills – the Rancocas Valley teachers want to see students interpreting information contained in graphs, charts, and diagrams, generating original content, using models and simulations to explore concepts, collecting and analyzing real-time experimental data, and collaborating with other learners beyond the classroom setting to solve problems.

Preliminary results from one math teacher show a near 20-point improvement between the target group using HP technology and a control group. Other science teachers have more mixed assessment results, but the overall impact is positive, and everyone is enthusiastic About using technology in classrooms. This highly collaborative project has already connected the Rancocas Valley team with teachers in other departments.

Teachers are using HP tablet PCs and netbooks, HP TouchPads, and math and science kits to create simulations and online assessments, while their students use individual laptops to search the web, take surveys, and respond to assessments.