Learning Resources

Pearson Introduces Upgrades to Assessment, Writing Programs

Pearson has introduced upgrades to two of its flagship software programs, one designed to help teachers with assessment, aimsweb, and another, WriteToLearn, designed to aid students with their writing skills.

AimswebPlus is an advancement on the company's 15-year-old aimsweb learning assessment, data management and reporting system. The latest version has a new suite of assessments that are more closely aligned with standards and a battery of measures designed to give teachers more reporting information than in the past. Teachers and administrators should be able to share more and richer information in easier-to-digest formats than before.

Also, with aimswebPlus, beginning with the second grade, assessments will be online, making them easier and more convenient to administer.

Dottie Critchlow, executive officer for instructional support services with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, which uses aimsweb, said, "AimswebPlus will streamline the effort and time that we currently spend with various measures to assess students’ demonstration of standards."

The latest version of the nine-year-old WriteToLearn has a new interface that allows students to review their own progress with their writing skills on the same screen they are working on. At the same time they are viewing drafts of their own writing assignments, they can see scores and feedback, along with an assignments dashboard that shows them where they need to focus their attention.

Ellie Johnson, a teacher at Old Adobe Elementary School in Petaluma, CA, who uses WriteToLearn, said, "It is great that so much feedback is provided to each student and they can use it to improve their writing."

The new WriteToLearn also has capabilities that make district-wide management of students' writing skills easier. It features a new teacher roster upload that will make it possible to incorporate student information more quickly.

Both upgrades to existing Pearson products were introduced during the ISTE 2015 conference held June 28-July 1 in Philadelphia.

"This year, Pearson is focused on the ways that learning must be reimagined to prepare students for the careers of the future," said Alistair Van Moere, head of Pearson's assessment product solutions group.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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