By Sally McKeown
Bett 2010 saw the launch of i-Progress an assessment and recording tool from Rising Stars, which offers mathematics assessments coupled with easy to use reporting systems to identify strengths and weaknesses of pupils – individuals or groups, even across a whole year.
It was developed by Professor Fred McBride and Rosaleen Murphy of Adaptive Learning Teaching and Assessment at Queens University, Belfast, and Andrea Carr, chief executive of Rising Stars was so impressed with the tool she commissioned a version for the English schools market. In recent trails in 150 UK schools, it helped extra 35 per cent of learners involved to reach their targets in mathematics."We are not keen on assessment for its own sake," said Rosaleen Murphy. "It needs to improve performance. Our system means that teachers can see what has worked well and which topics will not need extra support and revision."
As a result, teachers can dedicate time and resources to those areas where children are having difficulties. The assessments have more than 100,000 practice questions so children can see what they need to do and have 'a dry run'. There is also a journal and replay function so teachers and pupils can see exactly what pupils did and how they arrived at their answer.
The i-Progress system can be integrated into normal classroom practice and will improve the level of feedback available to pupils as well as to staff. Professor McBride said that trials in Scotland and Northern Ireland showed that the system was proving its worth in re-engaging disaffected pupils. "They can see from the reporting system that they are making progress and although they may be working at the bottom of a group. They all seem to want to improve their own personal best," he said.
Rising Stars is hosting a series of free training sessions during BETT 2010 and a free 14-day trial of iProgress.
January 13-16, Olympia, London
Rising Stars - Stand B25