Pearson Intros New Online Assessment Tool

Citing the need for improved student assessment to determine individual instructional needs, Pearson has announced a new assessment for learning tool designed to help teachers, administrators, and assessment coordinators develop the best possible course of instruction for both entire classes and students with specific educational needs. The announcement was made at last week's National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington, DC.

Using the tool's interface, teachers can create quizzes and assignments, targeted to individuals or an entire group or class, for students to complete online. Users can choose from existing assessment items or create their own, and apply the results toward preparing the most effective group or individualized instruction plans.

Pearson has partnered with e-learning specialists LearningStation to develop the assessment system because of the latter's record of developing evaluation and assessment tools that successfully address individual students' needs. LearningStation is best known for its own integrated instruction tool, Action Test Builder.

In addition to providing an effective assessment tool, Pearson aims to offer the most efficient and easily accessible technology for using that tool. To this end, the company has partnered with Promethean, which specializes in whiteboard and learning device technology, to give the tool the capability of connecting to Promethean's ActivBoard interactive whiteboard and its learning devices ActivExpression and ActiVote.

The new assessment tool will also be integrated with Pearson Inform, a data analysis and reporting tool. The two products working in conjunction will offer results applicable to grouping of students based on individual needs, response to intervention tracking, and academic improvement planning and monitoring.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.