This is the second post in a three part series. You can find the first post here.
At the time of this writing, we are in full swing of the Fresh New Look at ASSISTments beta. We asked a few teachers to give their honest opinions as they used ASSISTments in their classroom; this allows us to make the necessary enhancements to optimize the experience of educators and students. It also allows us to share a more complete picture of each feature with you. If you would like more information on any of the features please refer to the Features in Beta user resources.
- ASSISTments: How is the ‘Search by Standard’ Feature?
Cathryn Shupert: Searching by Common Core Standard is like a one stop shop because it has all of the curriculum questions and skill builders in one spot! I can easily select problems across different curriculums in order to satisfy the common core standard that I am trying to assess which is great because I don’t have a textbook or curriculum that I teach from, so this allows me to pull questions from multiple resources. I also like that I can filter by which curriculum I want to search within if it better suits my needs. This feature has simplified and shortened my search time when I am looking for problems to assess my students on certain common core standards.
- ASSISTments: What are your thoughts on the ‘Assign Time Options’?
Cathryn Shupert: I like that I can schedule assignments ahead of time and set due dates. It works a lot like Google classroom when assigning assignments, however you can schedule multiple classes at once but when I do this I have to make sure that they post in Google Classroom at my intended time.
Ajoke Bevans: I love the Student Choice option which allows my students to be able to preview all the questions within a problem set and then gives them the autonomy to choose which problem they’d prefer to work on before concluding the others. Giving students the choice to select which problems to solve first could potentially help build their confidence in math. This support gradually builds momentum in their learning.
Linda LoBue: This feature allows me to adjust times based on my unique circumstances. Even when we go back to a more “regular” or normal schedule, we use a rotating schedule and this feature will continue to make my planning and assigning time more streamlined.
- ASSISTments: How do you feel about the ability to create your own Problem Sets?
Cathryn Shupert: I LOVE This feature. It’s easy to differentiate from class to class. I can mix and match problems across multiple curriculums/problem sets; which helps me personalize my lesson for specific groups of students. In the future I’d like to write out my own problems, but overall, it’s so easy to use and saves a ton of prep time!
Elizabeth Hemphill: This feature is fabulous when trying to come up with review assignments for students outside of what is provided in the curriculum. It’s easy to just click on each problem or simply select them all and then deselect those that I don’t want to include. The ability to assign during class or modify the number of questions quickly before assigning makes efficient use of my time.
- ASSISTments: What are your thoughts on the My Assignments feature?
Cathryn Shupert: This feature is easy to use. It keeps all of my reports in one place which makes it easy to access data. This feature is especially handy when it comes to grading and looking at reports. I’m able to see the student view of the assignments in this feature as well which I use to help me plan.
Ajoke Bevans: As teachers we talk about reviewing the data a gazillion times. However the data most teachers review are from state assessments that are taken 3 times a year. Why wait for that? I love being able to utilize the data that is compiled within ASSISTments every single time the resource is utilized. The students get Immediate Feedback and us teachers get Immediate Data.
Elizabeth Hemphill: Finding the curriculum, module, lesson and problems is now much smoother and quicker. Outside of this feature, but related to the topic, I like that the exit ticket and problem sets for individual lessons are now offered as separate tabs within a lesson, making assigning the work for a lesson more efficient. I can find the problems I want to assign during my class period!
- ASSISTments: Last (but not least) what is your impression of the overall look and feel?
Ajoke Bevans: With the new, more appealing, interface boasting everything within a few clicks, the process of assigning work, locating assignments and reviewing the data afterwards, is effortless.
Ari Gino: With everything in one place a lot of time is saved. In the future, I’d like to be able to flag problems for future use. Overall, not only does it make things faster, but it’s more visually pleasing and organized well!
Linda LoBue: When I look for materials to assign I find that it’s now easier and more efficient. This is important when what I’m assigning is not directly related to a specific lesson. Moreover, when it does relate to a lesson, it is faster to find what I need. I think that my organizational work has been cut approximately in half and for me that’s a big deal!
Elizabeth Hemphill: With the Fresh New Look at ASSISTments, all of my options are presented on one screen. The new waterfall drop down menus for each grade or category allow me to click through multiple lessons seamlessly and finding what I want to assign is much quicker and more efficient with the new layout. Finally, the new fonts, color scheme and layout are much more visually appealing (and almost calming). I’d like to be able to continue to use the bookmarks from the old look in order to find the grade levels and curriculum more quickly but love how now all of my options are presented on one screen.
At ASSISTments, we are constantly striving to improve what we do. We will continue to listen to you, the teachers and educators in the classroom, because we know that this is what needs to be done in order to better achieve academic success in your classrooms. Please note: while the Fresh New Look at ASSISTments is still in beta, it is fully functional and ready for you to use. You can find it here. As you implement it in your educational practice we encourage you to share your thoughts and feedback with us at: email@example.com.