Making an impact in the classroom

Plaidypus helped guide an idea into reality for the PARCC Consortium teachers to deliver a tool for Formative Performance Tasks for K-2 teachers.

Helping Teachers in the Classroom.

The Challenge

The PARCC Consortium was developing a K-2 Formative Assessment for teachers to use in the classroom for ELA (English Language Arts) and Math. The individual performance tasks would be used by teachers in the classroom, but PARCC felt they needed a digital version to help teachers be more efficient and get the most from the tools.

There were several things that would have made the manual tools fall short:

  • They were paper-based and could be lengthy (up to 15 pages per Performance Task)
  • Collection and reporting of performance task data to facilitate learning would take longer with the manual tools

“The K-2 formative tool was developed by PhDs for the teachers. Plaidypus extended that tool into the digital space.”

The Solution

Plaidypus worked with the tool’s PhD developers to extend the tool into the digital space. We worked with two separate teams of experts: one on the ELA side of the house, and one on the Math side of the house. While the tool was used in the classroom by teachers, it also included extensive support for Administrators at the PARCC level.

At the end of the project, the system was able to deliver a formative performance task tool that:

  • A teacher could use to inform her lesson plans for groups of students
  • Sped up the rate of administration so that teachers could focus on their time in the classroom
  • PARCC Language Arts Performance Tasks
  • PARCC Math Performance Tasks
  • PARCC Performance Task Authoring
  • PARCC Performance Task Evaluation
  • PARCC Performance Task Radio
  • PARCC Student Report
  • PARCC Math Performance Task Checkbox

The PARCC K-2 Formative Performance Task tool allowed administrators to:

  • Author, edit and manage performance tasks system-wide
  • Allow states to subscribe and have Single Sign-On (SSO), which was enabled via SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language)
  • Alternatively, and eventually release the software as open source to any state or district that wanted it