In case you missed it among all the fireworks and summer barbecues, there’s been a lot going on with our flagship assessment, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). One exciting development is that MAP recently won Best of Show at ISTE 2016. (If you will forgive a quick brag, this is our second consecutive Best of Show award – last year, Skills Navigator earned the honor.)
The Best of Show award looks at how product innovations impact classroom learning and improve education. Interestingly, the judges anonymously evaluate products at the ISTE conference. Thanks to a large team and its mission-driven efforts, we had a lot of MAP developments to put in the judges’ hands at ISTE. These are the 4 recent MAP innovations making news:
- Accessibility and Accommodations – We have integrated accessibility and accommodations capabilities into MAP, removing barriers for kids with visual disabilities from taking the test. Beginning this fall, any student with visual disabilities or impairments and a JAWS screen reader will be able to take the MAP test online. There are about 60,000 visually impaired students in the U.S. who could benefit from this technological breakthrough. Some assessment companies would not invest in a product innovation serving a relatively small student population, but it was important to us as a not-for-profit to apply technological capabilities where we knew we could make a difference. It is a great example of our mission in action – partnering to help all kids learn. To see what an incredible difference it makes for visually impaired students, check out this short video.
- The College Explorer Tool – College readiness is a topic on everyone’s minds, and this year, we released an innovative tool to help students, parents and teachers in this area. For students in grades 5-9, the College Explorer tool links MAP scores to the median ACT scores of students accepted to and enrolled in hundreds of colleges and universities around the U.S. You simply input a student’s MAP score to see what colleges could be a match. College Explorer is free and can be embedded and featured on your school’s own website.
- Next-Generation MAP Reports – Based on teacher input about their data needs, we developed new MAP reports designed for straightforward interpretation and application to classroom instruction. The reports better coordinate and present data to make it easier for educators to make decisions based on MAP results. We demonstrated the reports, which are automatically available for MAP users, at the conference – see what this teacher thought after reviewing them [VIDEO]. We integrated a “feedback” button into the report itself, making it easy for teachers to continue to tell us how they use the reports and how they can be improved.
- iPad App (MAP) – This spring, we launched an iPad app that enables students to take MAP and MAP for Primary Grades (MPG) using touchscreen technology. The app provides a user experience that is ideal for children in primary grades, as they are better able to use touch devices than a traditional mouse and keyboard. Much like Next-Generation MAP reports, this product innovation came to life as a result of listening to our partners.
We are excited for all of our partners, along with the ISTE judges, to have these new MAP features in their hands. We appreciate our true partnership with MAP users and look forward to continuing to work with them on how we can innovate together to help all kids learn. For more information on the new MAP features, check out https://www.nwea.org/assessments/map/.