Pearson Puts Naglieri Online, Updates WriteToLearn
In several announcements last week, education publisher Pearson unveiled new online offerings, updates to a Web-based learning tool, and confirmed a new partnership providing exclusive rights to a widely used education survey.
According to the company, Pearson is making the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, Second Edition (NNAT2), available online. The test, used to identify students with the potential for "advanced scholastic achievement," can be administered to children in grades K-12, by a variety of education professionals.
According to Pearson, moving the test to an online format will allow for automated capture, real-time scoring and reporting, and will cut down on the time and cost associated with distribution, shipment, and storing of paper booklets.
Similar to the physical test, Pearson says the online assessment takes 30 minutes, with items presented on-screen, one at a time through a secure browser. The company also notes minimal computer requirements, as well as system tools that assess the readiness of the computer to be used.
The company has also announced updates to its Web-based WriteToLearn tool, expanding its content library, improving essay feedback, and providing additional resources intended to improve classroom integration of the program.
Used to help student with essay writing and summarization, the platform uses Pearson's Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT) engine to evaluate student performance and comprehension. Additionally, the upgrade comes with a new curriculum guide that includes practical, hands-on ideas for classroom integration of the material.
"Today's students need to continue to develop critical writing and reading comprehension skills in the upper grades," said Lynn Streeter, president of the Knowledge Technologies group of Pearson, in a prepared statement. "With its new high school history and science passages, enhanced essay feedback and curriculum guide, WriteToLearn now gives teachers an even more powerful tool for helping students build literacy skills while learning subject-area content."
New titles to be included in version 5.1 include, "Exploring Life," "World History," and "Forensic Science: Who Did It?" Upgrades to the new version will be available in August of 2008, and are being offered free of charge to all current WriteToLearn subscribers.
In other Pearson news, the company has announced a partnership with Aspirations Unlimited that give the publisher exclusive rights to the My Voice Surveys and related products.
Offered to students in grades 3 through 12, the surveys were developed by Russell Quaglia and provide a multi-dimensional perspective on achievement, school environment, and learning engagement, among other things.
"We are delighted to be the exclusive publisher of the My Voice Survey," said Deloris Flint, director, Educational Assessment group, Pearson, in a prepared statement. "This is a powerful tool for helping teachers and administrators gain a better understanding of how students, parents, and other teachers and administrators perceive their school and learning environment."
My Voice is a 15-minute survey given to teachers, students, and parents that provides the school with valuable information about their individual school environment. Accompanying resource guides offer plans and activities that help make improvements, based on information uncovered in the survey.
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Chris Riedel is a freelance writer based in Illinois. He can be reached here.