We’ve been investigating performance assessment tools so we were interested when we heard that CTB McGraw-Hill had added performance-based items to its widely use Acuity platform. We call CTB President Ellen Haley for the scoop.

The Acuity diagnostic assessments is aligned to Common Core and was designed to be used 4 times a year. Tests can be easily modified by teachers or be aligned to a common pacing guide. Haley outlined two big advances on the Acuity platform this year–playlists and performance assessments.

Personalized resources. In October, McGraw-Hill announced the addition of 1,600 new digital instructional resources to Acuity. The all new K-12 reading and math instructional content was developed for the Common Core. After a diagnostic assessment, the content is delivered in the form of a personalized resource list of 10 minute units that include interactive projects and exercises. Instructional resources can be automatically or manually assigned to the students–both above and below grade level. Almost all of the content runs on any browser and any device. Each unit has a brief assessment, the results of which are reported to the teacher.

Acuity is used by more than 1,000 districts across the country including Arizona’s largest district, Mesa Public Schools ( read a case study). The instructional materials are bundled with the assessment for subscribers.

Performance assessments. CTB added about 400 new performance tasks to Acuity this year. Most of the multi-step tasks can be completed within a hour.

Teachers will appreciate the task and rubric creation tool. They can assign a playlist based on a set of selected and created performance tasks.

The math tasks were developed with the Mathematics Assessment Project, directed by Hugh Burkhardt, at the MARS Shell Center team at the University of Nottingham. ELA tasks were authored by CTB.

Haley anticipates that the performance assessment will be more teacher driven, while the diagnostics are often district driven.

Acuity tracks diagnostic and performance task scores and reports are accessible all year online. Growth reporting can be accomplished using prior year data.

The combination of Common Core resources and performance assessment are a big advance for Acuity.

For more on McGraw-Hill Education see: Cohen Bullish on Path Forward for McGraw-Hill

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