MAP Wins – New Reports Help Boost Differentiated Instruction

MAP KidsWe were pleased to recently learn that MAP® received the 2016 Award of Excellence from Tech & Learning Magazine. For 34 years, Tech & Learning Magazine has recognized the best new and upgraded education tools that help educators in teaching, training, and managing using technology.

MAP was specifically cited for its Next Generation Reports, including the interactive Student Profile Report, which better visualize, consolidate, and coordinate data to make it easier for educators to interpret and apply the rich information they get from MAP assessments in implementing differentiated instruction. All entries for this recognition are rigorously tested by qualified educators across several rounds of judging. Criteria include quality and effectiveness, ease of use, creative use of technology, and suitability for use in an educational environment.

From the judges:

MAP from NWEA provides interim assessments that create personalized test experiences for every student, while also ensuring stable scales and data. Judges liked that reports are detailed and broken down in many different ways, making it easier for teachers to create differentiated instruction. They also appreciated the program’s numerous accommodation and accessibility features, including color contrast, magnification, highlighting, keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, and refreshable braille assistive technologies.

One new offering that is part of MAP Next Generation reports is the Student Profile Report, which features an easy, visually-compelling way for teachers to use results to differentiate instruction, set growth and performance goals, and enrich conversations with peers and parents. In addition, the MAP Insights Report provides individual schools, districts, and systems with targeted and actionable insights from MAP growth and achievement data. A narrative format with top line results and clear charts and graphs, the MAP Insights Report highlights a school’s or district’s strengths and opportunities and helps educators answer key questions about student academic growth, college and career readiness, and the trajectory of future student growth and performance.

As our CEO Matt Chapman states:

As we enter our 40th year, NWEA remains as committed as ever to making assessment a valuable tool for educators in the teaching and learning process; our goal is to use technology to guide instruction so that it can be personalized for each student. We are honored that our hard work to innovate and stay on the cutting edge of education technology is being recognized by Tech & Learning.

MAP was also the recipient of the Best of Show award at ISTE 2016 this past summer. Along with the Next Generation Reports that were cited by Tech & Learning Magazine, MAP innovations that helped move the needle include:

  • Accessibility and Accommodations. We have integrated accessibility and accommodations capabilities into MAP, removing barriers for kids with visual disabilities from taking the test. Beginning last fall, any student with visual disabilities or impairments and a JAWS screen reader was 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.
  • The College Explorer Tool. 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.
  • The iPad App (MAP). Last year, 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 look forward to sharing more MAP innovations to come!