• General Questions

     

    Provide a general summary of Exact Path.

     

    Exact Path is an online program, developed by Edmentum, that includes a computer-adaptive assessment (the diagnostic assessment) that creates an individualized learning path specific to your student.  Edmentum identifies Exact Path as “an assessment-driven math, reading, and language arts instructional tool that is paced to your student needs and aligned to your instruction goals.” Exact Path learning path provides the opportunity for remediation and enrichment of grade-level skills. Currently, all students K-12 have access to Exact Path starting July 2,2020.

     

    Who developed the test? What’s the rationale for the way they did it? Is there research to validate the approach?

     

    According to Edmentum, “The Exact Path diagnostic assessment development process is highly rigorous and iterative. Scale development adheres to AERA (American Educational Research Association) standards and protocol. The ADA is a valid assessment to determine student placement in the learning progression.”

     

    What does the diagnostic measure?

     

    The diagnostic measures a student’s mathematics, reading and/or language arts ability, including real-time progress and academic growth.

     

    Is it a timed standardized test?

     

    The Exact Path diagnostic assessment does not have a time limit for completion.  However, on average, students spend approximately 45 minutes on the reading diagnostic and 40 minutes on the math diagnostic assessment.

     

    Can parents see the results?

     

    Parents and students can access Exact Path at home. Parents are able to see what lessons and activities their child is currently working on in their learning path. 

     

    How does it adapt to mistakes vs. errors in understanding?

     

    The Exact Path Diagnostic is administered as a variable-length computer adaptive test (CAT) exam, which means that students may receive a different number of questions. The reason for selecting the variable-length CAT is the urgency of more efficient testing with uniform precision (reliability) for all learners.  Please view the following video for more information: Making Sense of Computer Adaptive Tests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbuiwdBl8RU Exact Path does not differentiate between types of incorrect responses (whether a minor mistake or a conceptual error).  The program adapts based on incorrect errors.

     

    What steps have been taken to ensure there’s no implicit bias?

     

    Throughout all stages of the development process, internal content experts used processes that ensured the following from the Edmentum Fairness, Bias, and Sensitivity Guidelines:

     

    • The content reflects respect and sensitivity toward people in all their diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, culture, age, physical characteristics, and physical and cognitive abilities.
    • The content is fair to all learners. Content should not impede a student’s success due to the student's personal characteristics, experiences, or emotional responses to details that are unnecessary to meeting the learning objective.

     

    To meet the bias and sensitivity guidelines, content experts used several internal quality steps. Edmentum provides a thorough training to item developers and item reviewers on how to write, review, and edit items for bias and sensitivity. This training includes specific sensitivity examples including, but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender, disabilities, economic status, clothing, images and videos, politics, hand gestures, and stereotypes in gender, people with disabilities, and older people. The training also provides an overview of several topics to avoid. Some examples avoided are accidents, natural disasters, emergencies, advocacy, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, bullying, mocking, or shaming, gun control, immigration, junk food, and slavery.

     

    Do students learn what they are getting wrong?

     

    During the diagnostic assessment, students do not know if they get a question correct or not.  However, once the assessment is done, via the learning path, students receive personalized lessons and activities on areas where they performed poorly.

     

    Where did it come from? How long has it been around? How many states/districts use it?

     

    Edmentum is a leading provider of e-learning solutions. It completed the initial phase of the beta program in 2017 for Exact Path.  During the 2017-18 academic year, 80,000 to 113,000 students nationwide used Exact Path (depending on the subject).  Exact Path is currently used by almost 1000 districts.

     

    Learning Path

     

    What is the learning path?

    Edmentum states that “learning paths are a series of lessons to cover the skills a learner is ready to learn, displayed in a set of four skills at a time in the learning progression. These lessons can be from one domain or several domains, depending on what level a student is working in each domain area.”

    How and why is it being implemented?

    Edmentum’s most recent research study by Century Analytics, Inc., found that when students engage in and show progress through the completion of lessons students do better academically in that subject area than students not using Exact Path. 

     

    Am I able to see what my child is learning or practicing?

    Students are able to access the learning path at home via a tablet or computer.  They can access the program by using their Clever login.  Parents can see what their child is doing and they are encouraged to speak with their child about the work they are doing on the learning path.  

     

    What education specialists/researchers developed the learning path? What was their rationale for creating it in the way that they did? What research did they use to validate this approach?

    Edmentum content experts developed the CCSS-aligned Learning Path by sequencing between 282 and 364 skills per subject within each grade-level, based on typical instructional sequencing within a school year.  For each of the three subjects – language arts, mathematics, and reading – the learning progression or “Learning Path” represents an instructional sequence for skills from kindergarten through grade 12.  Progressions of learning are construct maps that serve to ground the assessments in concrete skills that students can learn and demonstrate. 

    Why did my child have to keep repeating a reading activity even though she got them correct?

    If the student does not retain information from the most recent 3-4 lessons, it is possible to fail the progress check and be asked to repeat a lesson or complete a lesson at a lower level for remedial instruction on a skill.

     

    Why does it have to read everything to my student?

    There is audio on all K-1 diagnostic items in math and language arts.  Audio settings on the reading diagnostic depend on the skill needs.  For example, if the skill is about reading and comprehension, the “read aloud” option is not available. If the skill is about “metaphors”, for example, the audio is available since the skill is not about reading or comprehension.  In the learning path, not everything is read aloud to students.  Students also have options to click the automatic audio feature off.

     

    What is being done to challenge our children?

    The learning path is personalized for every student based on their diagnostic performance.  Many of our students receive above grade level enrichment activities via the learning path. 

     

    Time on Learning Path

     

    Does Exact Path track how long a student stays on a learning path before success is seen?

    We are able to see data on how long a student spends on a specific area of the learning path or any other area of the program.

     

    Can we do Exact Path at home?

    Students are able to access the learning path at home via a tablet or computer.  They can access the program by using their Clever login.  Parents can see what their child is doing and they are encouraged to speak with their child about the work they are doing on the learning path. 

     

    Does Exact Path track how long a student stays on a learning path before success is seen?

    We are able to see data on how long a student spends on a specific area of the learning path or any other area of the program.

     

    Other

     

    Are parents paying for this in technology/textbook fees?

    No.

     

    Is this product used with students who have special needs?

    Students with IEPs follow the same participation requirements as all other students for the diagnostic assessment, including students with moderate/severe disabilities.   Exact Path provides skills from grades K-12.  

    Who should I contact with more questions?

    If you have questions, please email exactpathhelp@qacps.org

     

    How was the decision made to adopt Exact Path? Was there teacher input? Was it beta tested before being used?

    Edmentum completed the initial phase of the beta program in 2017 for Exact Path. During the initial phase of beta testing, over 6,300 students participated, 24,000 assessments were taken, and over 100,000 instructional content launches occurred.

     

    Is Exact Path adaptive and able to take mitigating factors into account for students with special educational issues such as ESL, or learning challenges like ADD-ADHD, or is it “one size fits all?”

    Exact Path utilizes adaptive diagnostic assessment data to form a competency-based progression of skills for students, and adaptive tools that offer targeted instruction paced to your students’ needs.  Edmentum states that, “Extensive psychometric analysis of our adaptive diagnostic assessments ensures that all students receive a unique testing experience that precisely pinpoints their instructional level, strengths, and needs.”

     

    How can parents have access to Exact Path?

    Students are able to access the learning path at home via a tablet or computer.  They can access the program by using their Clever login.  Parents can see what their child is doing and they are encouraged to speak with their child about the work they are doing on the learning path.