By Michel Thibeault (Primary School Principal) & Daiju Vithayathil (Secondary School Principal)
Assessment is central to achieving our aim of catering to individual needs and helping students achieve their personal best. A regular and varied assessment helps teachers identify where a student is in their current learning and where best to direct future learning. The information gathered from the regular assessments is used to adapt learning programs and to scaffold experiences that allow individuals to improve their performance.
Panyaden International School uses the Northwest Education Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth assessment to track individual student growth during their time at PYD. Students in years 2 and above complete MAP assessments three times per year, after which student growth data is shared with teachers and administrators.
MAP Growth is an interactive, computer-adaptive assessment and it is untimed. The first question presented to each student will start out at the norms level for that year level. If the student gets the question right, the next question is harder; if the student gets the question wrong, the next question is easier.
MAP Growth data points are important in identifying areas of strength and areas of focus for each student. As such, MAP forms an important part of the work that we do to support individualized student learning at PYD. The data makes it easy to identify students’ different learning levels, so teachers can engage in differentiated instruction and ability grouping that leads to positive results for every student.
MAP reports lead to teachers sharing with students and parents the information they need to move forward: the areas of strengths and the areas that need improvement. Teachers and students then agree on learning goals for a term. Teachers follow this up with specific learning activities aimed at making sure that all students reach the learning goals set in the curriculum. Involving students in the process empowers our learners to reflect on and take responsibility for their own learning.MAP Growth data have become a key component in assessing the impact of our
programs. It is only one of the many assessment tools we use at school but it consistently confirms our own observations and shows that our students’ academic achievement is on par with other international schools.