The simple act of practicing math problems can become an invaluable learning experience if students receive feedback that allows them to make adjustments and improve in the moment. These formative learning experiences are critical for building student confidence and fluency in the material prior to summative assessments. Providing students the opportunity to practice without penalty so that they feel safe making mistakes and learning from them has been at the core of our mission from the beginning, when my husband and I first developed ASSISTments. Also central is the belief that teachers should be in the driver seat of instructional decisions, and have flexibility in how they use our tool. To that end, we are excited to offer the ability to deliver assignments in Test Mode. We know teachers using ASSISTments appreciate the ability to deliver assignments without feedback to check for summative understanding. We hope teachers enjoy this new feature, while also continuing to embrace the power of Practice Mode, making feedback and growth the heartbeat of the learning process with ASSISTments.
- Cristina Heffernan
ASSISTments Co-Founder and Executive Director
Read below to learn more about the differences between Practice Mode and Test Mode so you can make informed decisions about when it makes sense to use these two experiences in ASSISTments.
Understanding Test Mode
The Student & Teacher Experience When Using Test Mode:
Test Mode and Practice Mode in ASSISTments serve distinct instructional goals.
Practice Mode should be used for daily practice that helps you and your students grow. As ASSISTments teacher Carrie Moy shared:
“The immediate feedback that ASSISTments provides helps students understand if they have mastered the day’s topic or if they need to seek out additional help. Details in the assignment report, such as number of attempts, helps me evaluate the effectiveness of my lesson and plan for the next day, ensuring that I am being responsive to the needs of my students.” Test Mode is a great way to check a student's progress on a standard or topic and to assess what they can do independently.”
As a result of these differences, the student experience and resulting data reports will look different in test mode and it’s important for teachers to understand these differences.
The Student Experience
When completing an assignment in Test Mode, students will not receive any immediate feedback as they enter answers, and will not be able to access any hints, explanations (when available) or the “Show Answer” button. Students will not be allowed multiple attempts. In short, the experience is similar to a traditional summative test.
The Assignment Report
Assigning in Test Mode will also impact the scoring of the assignment. In Practice Mode, in addition to getting it right on the first try (100%), students are given partial credit (67%, 33%) for getting it correct eventually. In Test Mode, students will be limited to receiving a score of 100% or 0%, as there will only be one attempt. In the resulting assignment report, you will see that students either answered correctly (green) or incorrectly (pink). Assignments in test mode will only show orange if an open response is scored less than 100%
Before assigning anything in Test Mode, you’ll want to spend time thinking about when you will use Test mode vs Practice mode, and how you are going to use the resulting scores, and communicate clearly about this. It’s important for students to know if something is for practice or to assess, and also for families to understand which scores are used for what purpose. We are excited to provide our teacher users with additional flexibility to help them maximize the impact of ASSISTments in their classroom.
How to Assign in Test Mode:
To assign in Test Mode, start by locating the problem set you would like to assign. When you choose “Assign to Class,” you will be brought to the Assign-Time options screen. To assign in Test Mode, be sure to click the Test Mode toggle button so that it turns blue. This tells you that Test Mode has been turned on for this assignment.
How to Turn Off the Student Report for Test Mode Assignments
If you do not want students to see the Student Report upon completing their assignment, you can turn this feature off in your account settings. Log into your ASSISTments account, click on your name in the upper right hand corner of your screen and choose “Settings.” Click on “Feature Settings” in the bar on the left and you can unselect “Deliver student report at the end of the assignment.” Note that this will only apply to assignments that were delivered in test mode.
Click here to learn what assessments are available in ASSISTments and where to find them.