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 Strategic Plan Success - Common Core Assessment Simulator

We have all heard that Common Core Standards are coming, but what about assessing how well students are learning based on these new standards?

That is one of the tasks for the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium, of which California is a member. As Shannon Coulter, of Learning and Leadership Services, attended consortium and assessment meetings and talked with districts, he realized that districts needed help with preparing students to take the new tests. “The new tests are entirely on computers,” Shannon said, noting, “Districts need to be sure that their students have the computer skills to understand how to complete the test successfully.”

Coulter realized he needed web designers and curriculum experts, on top of all the other Common Core preparation underway, to help SDCOE support districts around testing. A team was formed with curriculum experts Debbie Beldock, Sandra Ceja, Jameson Rienick, Sally Bennett-Schmidt and Ed Tech Productions staff Todd Langager, Andrea Casas and Alex Wu. This team created an online pilot assessment test tool called the Common Core Assessment Simulator (CCAS).

The new website launched in February this year. Currently it contains 50 sample test questions with typical computer skills students need to complete a task, including “drag and drop,” highlight words or phrases, or draw a figure on a grid using a mouse. Several districts are working with the site and giving the team feedback. “The response has been positive,” stated Shannon. “They are requesting more items for students in higher grade levels.”

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with assessment and content experts in Learning and Leadership Services and bring our instructional design and web development expertise to the table,” shared Langager. “The test will be ‘real’ in Spring of 2015 and we are excited to be a part of preparing San Diego County Students.”

“Common Core can be a positive change for education,” agreed Casas. “It will be rewarding to see our students succeed, to be 21st Century ready, and to know that we were a part of that.” ​