Sunday, February 2, 2014

Where Have You Been All My Life?

OK, I have to be honest here. For the past year or so I have turned up my nose to some of the blog posts about online assessment programs. I kept thinking that they were just being paid to give a positive review. Then I started doing my research and I was amazed by what I found.

Over winter break I was looking for a way to make my assessments do more. I wanted them to do more for my students, my families and more for me! I needed something to help guide my instruction. Everything that I found led me to ESGI.

ESGI (Educational Software for Guiding Instruction) is an online assessment tool that not only assesses the students on what they know, it also analyzes the data and creates reports for parents, teachers, interventionists, etc. I signed up for the free 60 day trial and haven't looked back since!

The time saved using this assessment tool is worth every penny! I can easily assess my entire class in under 20 minutes. I simply choose an area to assess and call them over one at a time. They know our routine now. They stand right next to my computer and I start the test. The items are displayed on the screen. I simply press "Y" if they know the item/concept or "N" if they don't. The data is instantly recorded and the results are displayed at the end of the test. The kids absolutely love to see the pie chart at the end. They actually ask when they can do it again. I can't help but smile knowing that they are holding themselves accountable for their learning, but they don't even realize it! :)

This is an example of what the results look like after I have tested a student. The gray pie charts show areas that I haven't assessed yet with this student. I can click on the "Details" tab and see what items they do/don't know.

After I have completed the assessment there are a number of options. 

I can send home parent letters, letting them know what skills their child still needs to work on. I can  even print off flash cards for them to take home. It really is THAT easy! 

ESGI offers a variety of pre-made tests that you can use, or you can create your own. I created one to assess the sight words in our reading series in less than 5 minutes. If I want to, I can opt to share the test with others, or I can make it a private test only available on my account. The possibilities are endless!

One other feature that I have found to be extremely beneficial is the bar graph option.

I can choose any area of assessment and bring it up on the screen. I can click on the green area to show which students have already mastered the skill. I can also click on the gray area and it will tell me which students still need practice. There are many ways to utilize this feature. I can print out the names of students to work with in a small group. I can give the list to a parent volunteer or an interventionist and know that they are working on specific skills. When I wanted this done before, I would have to dig through papers to find the data I needed. Now, one click does it all!

The best part of ESGI is that I can access it from anywhere. I can see my data at home. I can test students on my computer. I can use an iPad or tablet for assessments. I can share the information with co-workers. I can even have more than one person logged into my account at one time. If I have an interventionist working on reading skill assessments and I'm working on math assessments, we can both be using it at the same time. I absolutely love it!

Oh... I guess that isn't the best part. 
The best part is that if you try it out and like it you can get a reduced rate for $159/year. If you want to receive the discount, you will need to follow the link below.

Check it out for yourself! I shared the program with my co-workers, principal and assessment coordinator. All of the Kindergarten teachers are going to be using the program next year! It has made my life so much easier and I can't wait for you to try it!

Just a note... if you sign up now, your subscription will last for a full year, not just until the end of the school year. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review, Anna! And NO - we haven't ever had to pay anyone to write a review! We are fortunate that our bloggers have all had similar positive experiences using the program. Thanks again, and have a great day! Melinda @ ESGI