Easier, Faster, & More Reliable Assessment: The New Acadience Learning Online (ALO) Platform
by Hannah Irion-Frake on February 22, 2023
In June, I had the pleasure of presenting a webinar with Dr. Stephanie Stollar called, When Accurate Assessment Leads to Excellent Instruction: Aligning Curriculum with the Science of Reading Using Acadience Reading. In this webinar, we shared about the Acadience® Reading K–6 screening assessments and the Voyager Passport® intervention program. We shared examples of how educators can use data from screening assessments like Acadience® to inform instruction.
As we planned the webinar, I noticed the Acadience data reports Dr. Stollar was using looked different from the Acadience data reports I used in my own district. They were sleeker and updated, and I was mesmerized. She said they came from the new Acadience® Learning Online (ALO) platform, a digital platform for administering the Acadience screening assessments.
After sharing the news with my own district about the ability to give our Acadience assessments digitally, we upgraded to ALO for the start of the 2022-2023 school year. I was able to use the new platform for our beginning-of-year assessments, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! ALO has made administering the Acadience benchmark and progress-monitoring assessments quicker, easier, and more reliable.
Using the new ALO platform has saved so much time. On the front end, we no longer have to print and assemble the assessment booklets. Teachers only need one printed set of the student materials to reuse with every student—I keep mine in a binder. Everything else is done on a touchscreen device, like an iPad or a Chromebook. After the assessment has been given, we do not spend time scoring student responses or uploading assessment data. Everything is scored for you in the ALO platform, and you can see student results immediately. It is so helpful to see a student’s score and how they compare to the cut scores immediately after administering a measure. It’s easy to see student and class data in multiple formats and you can print the reports you need all within ALO.
The ALO platform has also helped with reliability and consistency across classrooms, grade levels, and buildings. Within the platform, assessment directions, prompting reminders, and timers are all included at the moment you need them. At the beginning of every measure, the directions pop up for you to read to students. When a student pauses for more than three seconds on the Oral Reading Fluency measure, it reminds you to tell them the word. When third-grade students are taking the MAZE on their own devices, it times the three minutes for them. These are just a few examples of how the ALO platform puts everything you need in one place. And at the end of giving an assessment, you can fill out the checklist for response patterns and type notes about the student to access later. Everything happens in one place.
Although there was a learning curve when switching from paper-and-pencil assessments to the digital platform, Acadience has made it easy to make the switch with teacher-friendly videos and a training application that can be downloaded for practice. You can find those resources on the Voyager Sopris website. I am now halfway through the school year and after two benchmark windows and lots of progress monitoring, I am very comfortable with the digital platform. I can’t imagine switching back.
In my opinion, Acadience Reading K–6 is the best screening and progress-monitoring assessment out there. And Acadience has made it even better and easier to administer with the new ALO digital platform. For more information, visit voyagersopris.com/acadience.
About the Author:
Hannah Irion-Frake is a third-grade public school teacher with more than 15 years of teaching experience in second and third grades. She is a graduate of Bucknell University, Bloomsburg University, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell with Masters degrees in reading and curriculum & instruction. She is a local LETRS® facilitator and is committed to spreading awareness of the science of reading. She shares actively about how she brings Structured Literacy practices into her own third-grade classroom on her Instagram account, @readingwithmrsif, and on Twitter @readingwithmsif. Irion-Frake lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, also a teacher, and their three sons.