Q & A – DesCartes vs. Learning Continuum

Q & A – DesCartes vs. Learning ContinuumThis post comes courtesy of a recent SPARK Forum, where a user needed some help related to the availability of all DesCartes statements since the implementation of the MAP Learning Continuum.

This educator liked to print a hard copy of the DesCartes statement, but when she went to print it off it was not including RIT ranges greater than 230. When looking to access this information in the Learning Continuum she was having difficulty viewing the data and finding it near impossible to print. Her question: Where do I find printable DesCartes for reading over 230 RIT range? Are there any plans to make the Learning Continuum more usable and user-friendly?

It’s likely that other folks have this same question, so we thought it would be a good idea to share our response from Product Manager, Mike Harris:

You are far more likely to find learning statements in upper RIT bands in Learning Continuum than in DesCartes. Learning Continuum learning statements for MAP: Reading 6+ Common Core 2010 V2 at this moment in time stops at a 270 RIT for reading. These learning statements are newer and are different from the learning statements in DesCartes.

When Learning Continuum was first released, there was initially no way to print. Printing from the browser printed what was shown on the screen, and a significant amount of text did not appear. During the fall an update to Learning Continuum was released that makes it possible to print Learning Continuum.

When you now use the browser to print Learning Continuum, what is printed is formatted specifically for printing, and looks more like the older DesCartes than what is displayed on the screen.

How to Print Learning Continuum

  1. Go to the test view for the test you wish to print. You can print in any supported browser, however the page layout is most accurately printed in Firefox.
  2. Select the desired RIT band.
  3. Open all goals and sub goals that you would like to print, select your desired grouping and filter options, and begin printing using the browser’s print command.

In the near future we will be making this more intuitive by adding something you can click on to begin browser printing.

How to Print the Entire Learning Continuum Test View for a Test

One of the reasons Learning Continuum was released with the user interface it has now is because there are several thousand additional learning statements. Combined with the ability to group by standards, a static PDF with this content would be considerably larger than what is currently present in DesCartes. This is why we provide the ability to group and filter and drill down to learning statements on the fly while using Learning Continuum, and move up and down among the RIT bands.

In addition, while DesCartes was a static document that did not change during the life of a test, Learning Continuum is dynamic – as new items calibrate, we may add new learning statements several times during the year, making printed versions obsolete to a small degree.

While Learning Continuum does not provide a one-click way to print all the learning statements for a test, it is possible to do so.

  1. Go to the test view for the test you wish to print. You can print in any supported browser, however the page layout is most accurately printed in Firefox.
  2. Select the lowest desired RIT band.
  3. Open all goals and sub goals that you would like to print, select your desired grouping and filter options.
  4. Print. If you are indeed printing every RIT band represented, I recommend using hotkeys to print. On a Windows computer, the shortcut to print is holding down the Control key and the P key at the same time. On a Mac, the hot keys are Command and P.
  5. Click the right arrow on the screen to move to the next RIT band, or every other RIT band from the selector, if you wish to save paper and not print RIT bands twice. On the test MAP: Reading 6+ Common Core 2010 V2, you would then print 7 times to print every learning statement for every RIT band, goal and sub-goal for the test.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all desired RIT bands are printed.

We hope this helps. Over the summer of 2016 we currently plan to retire both DesCartes and PGID (in Web-based MAP only, not Client Server MAP) and simply provide Learning Continuum. Until that time we want to make the transition a positive one.