Next Generation Student Assessment

Common Core State Standards: 
English Language Arts

How can assessment improve both teaching and learning?

A critical goal of student assessment is to improve teaching and learning. Beyond offering ways to collect and analyze data, educational technology can play an important role in enhancing and transforming teaching and learning. Technology-assisted assessment brings us a step further towards realizing a valuable tool for next generation student assessment.

In this blogpost, we describe three online or app-based platforms that have the ability to both collect data and improve teaching and learning. They all align to the Common Core State Standards, seek to be comprehensive, and use strategies to engage students in the assessment proces. Only the first one is free, the other two are not. 

Common Core Quest

Common Core Quest is a free app that can be downloaded to iOS or Android devices. It is made by OpenEd, which boasts the largest collection of Common Core aligned videos, games, assessments, and courses. With this app, students (grades 6 and up) can take quizzes to improve mastery on Common Core Math and ELA skills. The app provides students with feedback and support on problems they don’t understand, the opportunity to share progress with peers, parents, and teachers, and teachers can monitor student progress using the “mastery charts” generated by the app.

Check out the video below for an introduction to using Common Core Quest:


Naiku is an online, fully-integrated student learning and assessment platform. It provides teachers, schools, and/or districts with a flexible data management system, assessment development platform, and a library of benchmark assessments, aligned to the Common Core. Naiku focuses on engaging students more actively in the assessment process. It does this by leveraging the effects of student motivation and self-assessment in order to encourage a more mindful, intentional, and formative assessment process. Teachers are, in turn, given a window into this process for each student, so that they can respond not only to the test score, but the students’ whole learning and knowledge application process.

You can try out a basic version of Naiku for 30 days without cost, purchase a teacher account, or obtain a school/district license. See pricing details here. Additionally, Naiku will be presenting webinars on 9/25, 9/26, and 9/29, which you can register for, here.

Check out the video below for an introduction to Naiku: 


i-Ready is the most comprehensive assessment program of the three mentioned here. It has won awards from EdTech Digest and other organizations, and is currently being used in school systems across the country, including large districts such as Dallas and Chicago. It provides Common Core aligned assessments in English and math for grades K-12 that are responsive to individual students’ strengths and weaknesses. The assessments are “adaptive,” meaning that the content adjusts based on student responses, in real time. Through these formative assessments, reports are generated, along with data, which guide teachers on what areas to focus on for improvement. The system recommends learning modules and teacher-led instruction to address student needs in groups or individually. The program costs $6 per student for a 1-year math or reading assessment subscription, or $30 per student for assessment and instruction support. Additional pricing options are available for whole schools and districts.

Check out the video below for an introduction to i-Ready:

You can use these tools alongside PowerUp WHAT WORKS!

Whichever assessment program you may use, pair these with the valuable resources within PowerUp WHAT WORKS.  Check out the 20 ELA and MATH Instructional Strategy Guides.  Explore the materials on ELA and Math Formative Asessment. And to create a school-wide approach to using technology for teaching, learning, and assessment, review the Technology Implementation Practice Guide in PowerUp Your School.

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