Education-Demo & Testimonials | OSC World
Formative tests and standardized assessments are invaluable tools used to determine each student’s progress. One of the many challenges faced by school administrators and supervisors is to find a fast, fair, reliable, easy to implement and cost-efficient system to expedite scoring. That’s why OSC has developed the EASE™ suite of applications that provides practical solutions to these scoring challenges.

As exceptional as our software is, it is just one of the key elements that contribute to our clients’ success. OSC remarkable team of software designers, technical experts and educational assessment specialists work hand in hand with our clients every step of the way. It is their dedication and commitment to the success of every scoring project we undertake that distinguishes OSC from every other company in the field.
Written Testimonials

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EASETM – EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT SCORING ENVIRONMENTTM

OSC’s EASE™ suite of applications features a unique combination of patented software and customized tools that facilitate the scoring of every type of assessment. No matter what the challenge, EASE™ delivers the unique combination of tools, patented software and scoring support needed for classroom tests and quizzes, standardized assessments, Regents exams and other types of educational assessments. With the extensive technical support and customer service that OSC provides, challenges are overcome quickly, scoring is expedited efficiently and the entire process runs smoothly and cost-effectively. No wonder EASE™ is the scoring solution of choice.

Optimum Solution Corporation’s Regents Scanning Solution Continues to Score High Marks with NY Educators

Innovative Regents Test Scoring Tool Sees

Outstanding Growth in NY School Districts

 

LYNBROOK, NEW YORK, March 20, 2012 – In the year since the New York State Board of Regents issued a mandate that all student Regents answer sheets be scanned, recorded and maintained electronically, Optimum Solutions Corporation’s (OSC) Regents Scanning Solution (RSS) has seen extraordinary growth in the number of New York State schools utilizing the scoring tool.

Based on the same technology and concepts as the company’s advanced market research and business software for data capture, OSC’s innovative RSS software is an integral part of the company’s EASE™ suite of tools that specifically address the needs of educational testing.

Last year, OSC’s RSS won high marks from a number of New York State Regional Information Centers, including those located in the Mid and Lower Hudson counties, Albany, Broome/Tioga counties, as well as Nassau and Suffolk county. These centers and their participating school districts relied on the solution for scoring the June and August 2011 Regents exams, and the recently completed January 2012 exams. Based on feedback from participants, the solution’s benefits were enormous, providing unprecedented speed and accuracy in the scoring process. It was reported that scores were provided back to the district sometimes in as little as one hour. Since then, OSC’s solution has been steadily making its way into an increasing number of school districts.

Jeffrey Schneider, EVP Research & Development at OSC, explains, “The Regents Scanning Solution offers schools many advantages over hand scoring. For instance, RSS eliminates human error and the time-consuming and tedious task of calculating raw and final scores. With our RSS tool, with quality control of the capture process built in, results are accurate. Not only that, the solution is customizable and fast. In the end, this all results in huge cost savings while meeting the new state scanning requirements.”

OSC’s RSS offers several advantages over hand scoring and other software scoring options. For example, RSS eliminates the high percentage of human errors associated with hand scoring, the upfront cost is minimal and OSC guarantees a fast turn-around, so the time and staff required to complete scoring at the district level is minimal. All of this results in an extremely cost-effective solution.

With RSS, there is no need to purchase pricey, cumbersome software programs designed to read and decipher students’ marks. Personnel do not have to be trained to learn and implement programs.  Instead, OSC processes the images scanned by the school districts, captures the intended marks, reviews and verifies multiple responses and disseminates the raw data to be tabulated and scored. All marks are automatically detected, and any questions with multiple answers are ferreted out and evaluated by two operators.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the amount of schools using our RSS,” says Michael Kerr, President, OSC.   “With that kind of growth, we are understandably excited about the success of our scoring solution and how it is addressing the needs of educators. We are equally as enthusiastic about how it can continue to be an invaluable tool for instructors, school administrators and supervisors. We’ve created a solution that is fast, fair, reliable, easy to implement, customizable and cost-efficient and we are committed to continuing to develop solutions for the education market and further build solid relationships with a growing number of schools.”

 

About Optimum Solutions Corporation

Founded in 1990, and headquartered in Lynbrook, New York, Optimum Solutions Corporation (www.oscworld.com) is an industry leading manufacturer and marketer of the world’s most advanced automated scanning and data capture systems for both corporate and educational market applications.  The company’s clients include leading K-12 school districts, BOCES and RICs in New York State as well as the United States Census Bureau for the 2010 Census, Kantar Media, Experian, Synovate, Young & Rubicam, Maritz Research, Scarborough Research, the Gallup Organization, and other leading Fortune 100 and multi-national corporations.

EASE™ System Scores Big With Educational Professionals on Long Island.

Deployed by Nassau and Eastern Suffolk County BOCES, OSC’s Electronic Scoring Expedites Processing of NYS ELA and Math Assessments.

 

LYNBROOK, NEW YORK, June 13, 2010 —New York State school districts have once again successfully utilized electronic scoring with OSC’s EASE™ System (Educational Assessments Scoring Environment) to expedite scoring of New York State’s Grades 3-8 standardized assessments.

 

From May 10th through May 23rd, certified New York State teachers utilized electronics scoring to help score ELA and Math Assessments for Grades 3-8. A management team from OSC oversaw the entire process, providing extensive support from OSC’s technical staff, which set up the hardware and software, managed the workflow and provided group training and individual instruction as required. Holistic instruction and scoring was administered by educational professionals from the schools or by OSC, who provided accredited New York State teachers with extensive scoring experience to supplement the team as required. The data was sent to BOCES immediately after the scores were processed.  New this year to Long Island and the first in the State is the use of electronic scoring of the NYSESLAT (New York State English Second Language Achievement Test ) for Grades K-12 and the Grade 4 & 8 NYS science test . Eastern Suffolk BOCES  is a trailblazer once again for the state for scoring these assessment electronically.

 

Scorers who had previously hand scored assessments were impressed with the user-friendly software. Even those particular teachers who were not especially technically savvy were proficient with ease after just a few minutes of training and use. Citing the advantages of electronic scoring, several teachers commented on the ease of viewing the answers onscreen in an organized fashion instead of wading through hundreds of cumbersome answer booklets. As Michel Richez, Director of Technology and Information Services for the Long Beach Public Schools said, “We knew from our experience in 2009 and 2010 that OSC’s electronic scoring was the way to go, and, if anything, the scoring process in 2011 once again proved itself an invaluable tool.”

 

A comparison of hand scoring vs. electronic scoring verified that the EASE™ solution significantly increased the number of tests scored per hour, per scorer. For Grade 3, the number of math tests scored per hour increased 218%; the number of ELA tests scored per hour increased 531%. Even assessments from grade 6, which historically require more time to score, showed dramatic increases in the number of tests scored per hour per scorer – 50% for Math; 49% for ELA. (Data based on 2009 – 2010 assessments. Data for 2011 is not available at this time.)

 

EASE™ was developed by the Education Division of Optimum Solutions Corporation (www.oscworld.com), designers of the patented, state-of-the-art data capture technology that was used by the United States Census Bureau for the 2010 Census as well as by Young & Rubicam, Maritz Research, Scarborough Research, AXA Financial, the Bank of New York, Lockheed-Martin, the Gallup Organization, Simmons, and other leading Fortune 100 and multi-national corporations.

 

“It’s important to understand,” explained Jeffrey Schneider, Optimum Solutions Corporation’s Vice President of Research & Development, “that while electronic scoring is relatively new, the technology that underlies EASE™ has been tested and refined over a 20-year period. In fact, it was the data capture technology used by the Lockheed Martin-led Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) team for the 2000 and 2010 Census, and has been utilized consistently by several Fortune 500 market research companies to capture data for their most extensive paper surveys.”

 

Electronic scoring with EASE™ couldn’t have come at a better time for school administrators.  “School budgets are under attack everywhere.  Teachers are being challenged to do more inside and outside of the classroom.  Parents want more information, faster, about how their children are performing relative to their peers.  And the State is demanding higher levels of measurement, information, and evidence of progress.  EASE™ addresses all of these concerns, for any size school district in an extremely cost effective way.”

 

“Long Island districts are pointing the way to the future for all schools throughout the state and, indeed, the country,” Schneider added.  “EASE™ is the only package available from a single solutions provider that delivers the unique combination of user-flexibility, tools, patented software, and scoring support needed for all phases of electronic scoring.  New York State is now in the vanguard of educational test technology.”

 

Amplifying this point, Joan Flig, an Educational Assessment Consultant who has been involved in New York State test scoring for years noted that, “OSC’s electronic scoring solution enables school districts to rapidly convert their traditional manual scoring systems into a completely automated system that functions faster and better, involving fewer teachers, while reducing costs.  It is precisely the solution budget strapped schools need.

 

Electronic scoring enabled scorers to view constructed responses on laptops. Workflow was organized by batches, with the answers from students to a single question appearing on-screen one at a time. Scorers were able to adjust the image easily, scroll down or link to another area to view the entire response onscreen, utilize electronic tools such as rulers and protractors to score math tests and readily score that response in a designated box before proceeding to the next answer. The program’s built-in features blocked the scorers from moving to the next answer if they failed to mark any boxes or marked more than one box, preventing ‘No-Scores’ or ‘Double Scoring.’ Should a scorer require assistance, the table leader and other support personnel were consulted. Additionally, a percentage of answers were automatically tagged as read-behinds to ensure the accuracy of the scorers’ marks. Administration tools enabled personnel to supervise and expedite the entire process in real-time.

 

Founded in 1990, and headquartered in Lynbrook, New York, Optimum Solutions Corporation (www.oscworld.com) expanded into the education market in 2007 when it began scoring tests for the Long Beach, New York school district. Since then OSC has added several other programs to its educational assessment offerings including the Regents Scanning Solution™ (RSS™), a service that expedites the scoring of New York State Regents and GradeIT™, a scoring service for formative testing. The company originally served the market research industry by launching the world’s most accurate automated scanning and data capture system called FACTS™ (Fast and Accurate Capture Technology System).  FACTS™ captures and interprets data automatically from all forms, even damaged or torn surveys. It is capable of distinguishing cross-outs, erasures and stray marks from “real marks.” Embedded OCR/ICR technology can read most handwritten numbers and alphanumeric fields automatically. FACTS™ patented “Mark Sense” technology offers better than 99% accuracy in the capture of data from any form, even tightly spaced, poorly marked and heavily abused documents.  

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SUPPORT SERVICES
OSC’s team of educational professionals and technical specialists work hand in hand to develop scoring solutions that are accurate, practical and cost efficient.  Whether you require some, or all of our educational assessment scoring services, OSC can help make the entire process stress-free and highly successful.

Advanced Scoring Solution Receives Warm Welcome from Long Island Schools

Optimum Solutions Corporation

Helps New York’s East End Educators Score with EASE

Advanced Scoring Solution Receives Warm Welcome from Long Island Schools

Optimum Solutions Corporation (OSC) continues to make serious inroads in New York State as six more schools choose the company’s EASE™ (Educational Assessment Scoring Environment) test scoring solutions for their standardized assessments. Montauk, Amagansett, Springs, Tuckahoe, Sag Harbor and Southampton recently clustered and relied on the company’s EASE suite of tools to score ELA, math and science tests, for grades 3 through 8, with great success.

“As past participants in Eastern Suffolk BOCES (ESBOCES) Regional Cluster Scoring, the six South Fork districts were excited to be able to participate in the electronic scoring; while in the comfort of our own location,” says Karenann Volinski, District Data Coordinator (Southampton) and Network Team Member.  “ESBOCES was willing to work with us to ensure that we were able to do this. Along with support from OSC, the entire process, from training through scoring, was as smooth as it could possibly be. Every teacher involved in the scoring process was thrilled.  I never saw people after two days of scoring walk out with smiles on their faces.”

With an increasing number of schools scanning, recording and maintaining tests electronically, OSC specifically addresses the needs of teachers with its EASE suite of tools. The company’s suite of applications features a unique combination of patented software and customized tools that facilitate the scoring of every type of assessment. With the extensive technical support and customer service that OSC provides, challenges are overcome quickly, scoring is expedited efficiently and the entire process runs smoothly and cost-effectively.

While Volinski says the time, cost savings and ease of use were huge, it was the anonymity features that were key. “Out here, it’s a very small community,” she explains. “Everybody knows everybody else. So, it was really important to all of us that there was a degree of anonymity involved with the scoring process. With OSC’s EASE system, it was not only fast and accurate, but totally confidential. The teachers scoring didn’t know what district a student was from or which student they were scoring. It was wonderful. But we also definitely saved money and time. The teachers were all very pleased.”

Volinski says that the OSC team was also extremely helpful right from the get-go, in the early stages of the process, working closely with the district’s IT department to help ensure the computers would be up and running, as well as seeing to it that the scorers would have the proper training.

“The teachers were familiar with the old-fashioned way of scoring but they just never did the computer scoring before,” she says. “So, the first part of each day, the teachers would train on the rubrics for two hours and then get on the computers, sign in and send in the responses through the computer. That was much faster and much more accurate than the traditional way of scoring.”

According to Volinski, the real-time monitoring was also an outstanding tool. ”I was given access to this a couple of days in and it allowed me to watch the scoring process as it progressed. I was able to see how many of each question was getting answered, whether certain areas were getting bogged down, or if people were getting bogged down, so then I could address it.”

Based on the same technology and concept as the company’s advanced market research and business software for data capture, tabulation and analyzing, the EASE software suite:

Enforces anonymity to ensure impartiality: The identity of the student is hidden from the scorers. In a regional scoring environment, the student’s school and district are also hidden.

Minimizes document handling: There is no need to move stacks of tests and flip through pages and pages of test papers, because all tests are scanned electronically, sorted and organized.

Minimizes manual score reporting and quality control: Because the scoring is done on a computer there is no need to manually record the score. Manual scoring is inherently error prone and requires significant quality control to ensure accuracy. Both of these time consuming tasks are eliminated with electronic scoring and reporting.

Integrates Workflow enabling quick & simple distribution of work: Questions can be easily assigned and redistributed to respond to any change in the scoring environment.

Features real time monitoring: Enables supervisors to monitor the speed and capabilities of scorers in real time. Questionable data is automatically reviewed, and questionable answer patterns are reported.

Enables scorers to remain focused: The same question appears on the screen repeatedly so the scorer becomes familiar with the question and focuses on the answers to that particular question.

Organizes multiple page responses: Questions that are answered on multiple pages are viewed onscreen in one combined image.

Features tools that speed scoring: Ruler and protractor functions are readily accessible. New features to aid the scoring process are constantly being developed and added.

Eliminates missing or multiple scores: Scorers cannot proceed until they have scored the question that is currently on screen. They are prevented from advancing if they choose more than one score.

Is easy to use: After just 5 – 10 minutes of demonstration, even scorers who are not computer savvy are comfortable using the system.

 “We are extremely pleased with how smoothly the test scoring process went for the teachers in New York’s South Fork schools,” says Michael Kerr, President, OSC. “We have specifically developed our software so that we could help facilitate the scoring process of every type of assessment and help schools overcome the various challenges they face. With our EASE suite of applications, we not only help districts save money and time, but also offer a fast, fair and reliable solution. We look forward to continuing to grow our relationships with the various schools across New York State and welcome the opportunity to bring new schools on board.”

Kerr adds, “It was a pleasure working with the districts.  They understood how to prepare and did everything necessary to ensure the scoring was a huge success.  Understanding the process and working closely with OSC contributed to how smoothly everything went.”

Volinski says the entire process was so successful, that one more district, East Hampton, is prepared to participate next year.

“I was blown away by how this all worked,” she adds. “The whole process just amazed me. OSC was amazing. Every one of them was so helpful. They always made me feel comfortable with what I was doing. I was very pleased. I highly recommend OSC to anyone.”



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QUALITY CONTROL & SECURITY­­­­­
Quality control and security are a top priority for our Educational Assessment clients. Background checks are run on all OSC personnel and our offices are accessible only to authorized staff and visitors.

GradeIT-EASE

GradeIT™


Throughout the school year, formative tests are routinely given by teachers to gauge the progress of their students. Grading these exams is a time consuming, tedious, costly process. In this tight economy, with teachers being asked to do so much more, it’s time to find a system that frees up teachers to do what they do best — teach.

GradeIT ™ is the easier, faster, more accurate and cost-efficient way to grade formative tests.
With GradeIT™, students fill in their answers on OSC’s pre-printed forms that are easy to follow and complete. The teacher simply fills in the answer key, places it on top of the batch of tests and scans the batch, which is then transmitted to OSC for processing. Within minutes, OSC returns the grades via email.


How does OSC do it?
The tests in the scanned batch are compared to this answer key. GradeIT™ automatically distinguishes the student’s intended answers from erasures, cross-outs, straight lines and other stray marks. The process is so fast that hundreds of answer sheets can be scored in minutes. That’s why OSC can generate scores more quickly, accurately and cost-effectively than any other test scoring technology.


Constructed Responses
GradeIT™ includes a constructed response option. Tests which feature written responses, or a combination of written and multiple choice answers, are graded just as quickly, accurately and cost- efficiently as simple multiple choice answer tests.


Insight to Course Instruction
GradeIT™ also provides insight into the areas students find most challenging. In addition to the scoring option, GradeIT™ generates item analysis reports for the entire class on a question by question basis, highlighting areas that students excelled and struggled with. Teachers can use that information to provide additional classroom instruction as necessary.

New York State Schools Utilize Revolutionary Onsite Electronic Scoring System

Breakthrough Educational Assessment Scoring Environment (EASE System™) from Optimum Solutions Corporation promises to transform the way both large and small school districts use state-of-the-art technology to capture and score tests.

 

Introduction of the EASE System™ puts the capabilities of state-of-the-art technology directly in the hands of the teachers who score the tests.

 

EASE System was used in May and June by the Yonkers School District, Nassau and Eastern Suffolk BOCES, and the New York City Charter Schools.

 

LYNBROOK, NEW YORK, September, 2010 — Several New York State school districts made history in May and June with the deployment of the world’s first on-site electronic scoring system as part of their Grades 3-8 standardized test programs.  The revolutionary Educational Assessment Scoring Environment (EASE System™) was developed by the Education Division of Optimum Solutions Corporation (www.oscworld.com), designers of the patented, state-of-the-art data capture technology being used by the United States Census Bureau for the 2010 Census, Kantar Media, Experian, Synovate, Young & Rubicam, Maritz Research, Scarborough Research, the Bank of New York, the Gallup Organization, and other leading Fortune 100 and multi-national corporations.

 

According to John Harrison, Executive Vice President of Optimum Solutions Corporation, the introduction of the EASE System makes highly customizable, state-of-the-art data capture and scoring technology available to all size school districts for the very first time.  “EASE is totally flexible and completely customizable to meet the unique needs of each individual school district that uses it.”

 

“It is the first customizable electronic scoring system for on-site, regional, or remote deployment. With EASE, schools continue to use their own staff to score the tests, which are now read on computers. This change makes for a smoother, faster, and more efficient process, resulting in scoring data being sent to the state faster and more efficiently.  School officials and teachers are more empowered to use test score data quickly to address individual student needs, as well as areas that need district wide attention.  It’s a true ‘win-win’ for everyone.”

 

Throughout May and June the EASE System was utilized by the Yonkers School District, the Nassau and Eastern Suffolk BOCES, and the New York City Charter Schools for the grading of the New York State Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics and the Grade 8 Social Studies assessment tests.  In doing so, these schools became the first in the state to use any form of electronic scoring system in standardized testing programs.

 

“These school districts are pointing the way to the future for all schools throughout the state and, indeed, the country,” Harrison asserted.  “While other states have certainly implemented electronic scoring in their standardized test data collection, none have been able, until today, to offer the EASE suite of applications that provides a totally customizable scanning, closed end processing and constructed response scoring solution.  EASE is the only package available from a single solutions provider that can function on-site or remotely and deliver the unique combination of user-flexibility, tools, patented software, and scoring support needed for all phases of electronic scoring.  Furthermore, this package retains the use of New York teachers and trainers who have extensive experience in grading New York State tests.  New York State is now in the vanguard of educational test technology.”

 

Amplifying this point, Joan Flig, an Educational Assessment Consultant who has been involved in New York State test scoring for years and who presently supervises the scoring site of 25,000 New York State ELA and Math constructed response test booklets for the New York City Charter Schools Collaborative noted that, “This day marks the culmination of a multi-year effort to identify and deploy the very best performing, most flexible and cost-effective electronic reporting solution that can be easily rolled out to school districts statewide in system configurations that are scaled perfectly to meet the needs of every size school district.  The EASE System will enable school districts to rapidly convert their traditional manual scoring systems into a completely automated system that functions faster and better, on-site or remotely, involving fewer teachers, while reducing costs.  It is precisely the solution budget strapped schools need.”

 

Four Key Components Make EASE Cost-Effective, Turnkey, and Productive:

Under development for the last three years, the EASE System is actually comprised of seventeen integrated components, with the four most important being a Scoring Environment that provides a powerful set of tools that makes scoring fast and easy, a Workflow Interface that provides a unique combination of tools for assessment processing that assist in managing the scoring process, patented Closed End Mark Sense Processing Software, and embedded Data Cleaning, Formatting and Reporting ‘C’ like Programming Language that allows for unprecedented customization.

 

The Scoring Environment features an embedded ruler and protractor tool that eliminates the need to handle devices required for scoring certain math questions.  On-screen highlighting enables scorers to quickly focus in on sections of questions where student responses are expected.  Image controls allow easy modification of contrast, background, image size and position settings.  On-screen comments quickly direct scorers to focus on certain requirements for the displayed question.  Finally, a simple to use point and click system to assign scores and advance quickly to the next student response completes the scoring task.

 

The Workflow Interface allows for real-time monitoring to track the rate of scoring, which allows for estimates of the time left in the scoring process.  This monitoring helps ensure that state timelines for grading are met.  The system also manages the routing of specific questions to specific scorers trained in those content rubrics and directs read-behinds of tests scored to specific table leaders to assure that all scorers are following the state identified rubrics and will determine if any scorer needs additional training.

 

The patented Mark Sense Software, documented as one of the world’s most advanced mark sense software by Advanced Document Imaging, is based on the idea of finding answers to questions rather than individual marks.  The Answer Recognition Engine discriminates between erasures, cross-outs, and real marks with an accuracy rate better than 99%.  The quality, reliability, and robustness of the Mark Sense software is what has made it the de facto standard for excellence in data capture technology and the one relied upon by the United States Census Bureau and leading Fortune 100 corporations.

 

The embedded data cleaning, formatting and reporting Programming Language allows schools to easily add instructions to the EASE System that can clean data based on user-defined rules, provide for the review of key or questionable data, format data to match additional output formats, archive images and question snippets in varied formats and naming conventions, as well as report questionable answer patterns.

 

Optimum Solutions Corporation even provides a management team that oversees the entire process.  In addition, OSC is able to provide a team of accredited New York State teachers to complete the test scoring.  The company’s system for recruiting and training scorers guarantees the highest levels of scoring reliability and validity including providing value-added analyses documenting scoring quality.

 

According to Harrison, OSC plans to initially concentrate the introduction of the EASE System in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.  A nationwide expansion of the marketing program will begin in 2011.

 

Founded in 1990, and headquartered in Lynbrook, New York, Optimum Solutions Corporation (www.oscworld.com) introduced and marketed the world’s first patented automated scanning and data capture system called FAQSS (Fast and Accurate Questionnaire Scanning System).  FAQSS captures and interprets data automatically from all forms, even damaged or torn surveys. It is capable of distinguishing cross-outs, erasures and stray marks from “real marks.”  Embedded OCR/ICR technology can read most handwritten numbers and alphanumeric fields automatically. FAQSS’ patented “Mark Sense” technology offers better than 99% accuracy in the capture of data from any form, even tightly spaced, poorly marked and heavily abused documents. Widely regarded as the fastest most accurate full-featured automated data capture system, FAQSS (Fast Accurate Questionnaire Scanning System) has evolved into the next generation, FACTS (Fast Accurate Capture Technology Solutions), reflecting the many enhancements developed during its 20-year history. Optimum Solutions Corporation clients include the United States Census Bureau for the 2010 Census as well as by Kantar Media, Experian, Synovate, Young & Rubicam, Maritz Research, Scarborough Research, the Gallup Organization, and other leading Fortune 100 and multi-national corporations.

EASE™ System Receives a District Administration Magazine 2010 Top 100 Award Citation

Click here to view pdf of aricle published in District Administration:EASE™ System Receives a District Administration Magazine 2010 Top 100 Award Citation

 

Breakthrough Educational Assessment Scoring Environment (EASE System™) from Optimum Solutions Corporation promises to transform the way both large and small school districts use state-of-the-art technology to capture and score tests.

 

LYNBROOK, NEW YORK, December 1, 2010 — Underscoring the immediate impact its Educational Assessment Scoring Environment (EASE System™) is having in the K-12 educational community, Optimum Solutions Corporation (www.oscworld.com) today announced that District Administration magazine had named the EASE System a 2010 Top 100 Product Award winner, just four months after the system was deployed for the first time in New York State school districts.

 

“To be recognized by a magazine of such influence so soon after the market introduction of our EASE System is a testament to both the system’s performance capabilities and the New York State school districts who have put the EASE System to such great use so quickly,” Optimum Solutions Corporation Executive Vice President John Harrison said today.  “We are proud to accept this honor and we look forward to bringing the benefits of the EASE Systems to K-12 school districts throughout the country.”

 

According to Harrison, the EASE System makes highly customizable, state-of-the-art data capture and scoring technology available to all size school districts for the very first time.  EASE is totally flexible and completely customizable to meet the unique needs of each individual school district that uses it. The EASE suite of applications provides a totally customizable scanning, closed end processing and constructed response scoring solution.  It is the only package available from a single solutions provider that can function on-site or remotely and deliver the unique combination of user-flexibility, tools, patented software, and scoring support needed for all phases of electronic scoring.

 

Readers of District Administration are the top public school administrators in the country, and they know from experience what works and what does not work within their districts. As part of its annual Top 100 award program, District Administration asked its readers to nominate the hardware, software, books and materials, Web sites, or facilities products that have made a positive difference in their districts in 2010.

 

The winning products were determined by the quantity of nominations received per product as well as evaluating the quality of readers’ nominations and explanations. The 2010 winners were selected from hundreds of nominations received over the last six months, a significant increase in participation from the previous year. “These product recommendations included extensive descriptions from school administrators of how these products are used in their districts, making it very challenging to choose the top 100 products. We hope these products, and their accompanying testimonials, will act as a valuable resource for our readers,” says District Administration’s editor in chief, Judy Faust Hartnett.

 

Founded in 1990, and headquartered in Lynbrook, New York, Optimum Solutions Corporation (www.oscworld.com) is an industry leading manufacturer and marketer of the world’s most advanced automated scanning and data capture systems for both corporate and educational market applications.

The company’s clients include the United States Census Bureau for the 2010 Census as well as by Kantar Media, Experian, Synovate, Young & Rubicam, Maritz Research, Scarborough Research, the Gallup Organization, and other leading Fortune 100 and multi-national corporations, as well as leading K-12 school districts in New York State.

 

 

 

Newsday LI Buisness – They Know the Score

Newsday LI Buisness – They Know the Score

 

Press Release

NY School Districts Find An EASE-ier Way To Score Tests

Click here to view pdf of aricle published in Tech & Learning:  NY School Districts Find An EASE-ier Way To Score Tests

 

It’s not easy out there: state and local school district budgets continue to decline due to the recession, and federal aid to states is slated to expire before state revenues recover. However, some school districts are applying new technology products to increase teacher and administrative productivity.    

                In June 2009, Michel Richez, director of technology and information services for the Long Beach Public Schools district in New York, oversaw the launch of a pilot program to reduce the amount of time teachers spend scoring New York State student assessments. Using Optimum Solutions Corporation’s (OSC) (oscworld.com) Educational Assessment Scoring Environment (EASE), Long Beach teachers electronically scored the constructive responses and essays for 300 eighth-grade social studies exams in just a few hours, versus what used to take a full day or more.

                The process involves scanning student  test booklets and uploading images of their responses into the EASE scoring software. Scorers view the images online and assign scores electronically. The images are then stored and are retrievable using electronic archiving. The EASE system, which is fully turnkey, has 17 integrated components, the key ones being a scoring envirohnment that facilitates faster, more efficient test scroing; a workflow interface for assessment processing that assists in manageingg the scoring process; OSC’s proprietary Closed End Mark Sense Processing software; and embedded data cleaning, foramatting and reporting C-type programming language that allows for user customization.

                The pilot project went so well that it was significantly expanded to include the Nassau BOCES, which serves the county’s 56 school districts on Long Island. Nassau BOCES then parntered with 14 other districs to score 5,000 fifth-grade social studies exams. In May 2010, the program was successfully expanded once again, to score several thousand English Language Arts (ELA) and math exams for grades 3 through 8.

                “(The EASE) system expedites and increases the accuracy of scoring, reducing district costs for hiring substitute teachers and keeping teachers in the classroom educating their students,” Richez declares. “Ulimately, I’m hoping we move into electroinc scoring throughout New York State using EASE as the resource for local districts. It’s a much more focused and effective way to get scoring accomplished.”

 

Electronic Scoring-EASE

Electronic Scoring


An essential key to education is the quality and quantity of the time teachers spend in the classroom teaching. With EASETM, fewer teachers spend less time scoring assessment tests, leaving more teachers with more time to instruct their students. That’s why OSC’s Educational Assessment Scoring EnvironmentTM, EASETM, the first customizable electronic on-site scoring system, is revolutionizing the way assessment tests are scored.

Electronic Scoring with EASETM

Minimizes document handling: There is no need to move stacks of tests and flip through pages and pages of test papers, because all tests are scanned electronically, sorted and organized.

Enables scorers to remain focused: The same question appears on the screen repeatedly so the scorer becomes familiar with the question and focuses on the answers to that particular question.

Organizes multiple page responses: Questions that are answered on multiple pages are viewed onscreen in one combined image.

Features tools that speed scoring: Ruler and protractor functions are readily accessible. New features to aid the scoring process are constantly being developed and added.

Eliminates missing or multiple scores: Scorers cannot proceed until they have scored the question that is currently on screen. They are prevented from advancing if they choose more than one score.

Enforces anonymity to ensure impartiality: The identity of the student is hidden from the scorers. In a regional scoring environment, the student’s school and district are also hidden.

Features real time monitoring: Enables supervisors to monitor the speed and capabilities of scorers in real time. Questionable data is automatically reviewed, and questionable answer patterns are reported.

Is easy to use: After just 5 – 10 minutes of demonstration, even scorers who are not computer savvy are comfortable with the system.

Regents Scanning Solutions-EASE

Regents Scanning SolutionTM (RSSTM)


The New York State Board of Regents has mandated that all student answer sheets be scanned, recorded and maintained electronically. The EASETM Regents Scanning SolutionTM meets all State requirements, and more.

The Regents Scanning Solution increases accuracy, virtually eliminates human error and decreases the time required to complete the scoring process. In fact, tasks that required hours of manual entry are completed electronically within one hour. How does it work? Answer documents are scanned by the school districts. The images are then sent electronically to OSC. Within one hour of the receipt of the last image, OSC captures, reviews and verifies the intended marks, and sends back the raw data to be tabulated electronically.

Minimizes human error
EASE minimizes human error by automatically capturing intended marks made by students and scorers with unprecedented accuracy.

All Marks are Automatically Detected
Utilizing OSC’s proven, patented Mark Sense Technology that is embedded in EASE, each detected mark is segmented, rebuilt (lines that cross preprinted areas are reconnected) and analyzed by more than 10 algorithms.

Multiple Marks are Reviewed and Verified
Questions that are answered with multiple marks are handled as follows: the marks are automatically ferreted out and evaluated by two operators.

Minimizes costs by providing a centralized solution
OSC offers a centralized solution that is extremely cost-effective. By contracting with OSC, individual school districts, BOCES and / or RICS no longer have to purchase costly, cumbersome software programs designed to read and decipher students’ marks. Nor do they have to train personnel to learn and implement those programs. Instead, OSC processes the scanned images scanned by the school districts, captures the intended marks, reviews and verifies multiple responses and disseminates the raw data to be tabulated and scored.

Guarantees fast turn-around – raw data is delivered in one hour
OSC guarantees a turn-around time of one hour from the receipt of the last image scanned to the delivery of the raw data file.

GradeIT Support

GradeITTM Support


Technical support and customer service ensure the success of the software solutions provided by OSC. Our dedicated staff is committed to ensuring that the results are accurate and the process runs smoothly, quickly and cost-efficiently. They are always available to answer questions, facilitate the process and provide additional explanation when needed.

Regents Scanning Solutions Support

Regents Scanning SolutionTM (RSSTM) Support


Technical support and customer service ensure the success of the software solutions provided by OSC. Our dedicated staff is committed to ensuring that the results are accurate and the process runs smoothly, quickly and cost-efficiently. They are always available to answer questions, facilitate the process and provide additional explanation when needed.

GradeIT -QC and Security

GradeITTM


The following QC and Security procedures are in place to ensure the security of each project, the accuracy of the results and the successful performance of the Scan & Score process.

• Background checks are run on all OSC personnel and our offices are accessible only to authorized staff and visitors.
• Images are transmitted to OSC via SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)
• When the last scanned image arrives at OSC, verification of receipt of all answer sheets for that test or quiz is emailed to the sender.
• A review of a percentage of the tests and captured answers ensures that the process is operating correctly.

Educational Scoring Support

Educational Assessments Support


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT / TRAINING – OSC offers pre-administration training to scorers and teachers so they have a clear understanding of the assessment material and scoring criteria. Post-administration training enables teachers to forge instruction in the classroom based on the knowledge gleaned from the assessment test.

SCORING TEAM – OSC can provide a team of qualified, trained scorers and scoring leaders. We can also provide value-added analyses documenting scoring quality.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT
On-site technical support is provided throughout the scoring process to ensure that
• EASETM is working efficiently
• Workflow is directed to the appropriate scorers.
• All scorers are comfortable with every aspect of electronic scoring.

Electronic Scoring-QC and Security

Electronic Scoring of Educational Assessments


Quality control and security are our top priority. Background checks are run on all OSC personnel and our offices are accessible only to authorized staff and visitors.

WORKFLOW
Materials are always supervised by qualified personnel. Test booklets are delivered to the scoring site and follow the project from delivery until they are returned to the proper school authorities.

DELIVERY CHECK-IN PROCESS
Upon delivery to OSC, all boxes are checked in based on the school district numbers to be sure they arrived safely and intact. Damaged boxes are photographed and documented for further analysis.

TEST CHECK IN PROCESS
Test booklets are sorted by class to be scanned together. Class rosters and/or bar codes affixed to the back of each booklet that identify the classroom teacher are used to expedite the sorting procedure. (These bar codes are available from OSC.)

MANUAL COUNT
Prior to scanning, documents are manually counted, class by class.

SCAN CHECK
Once scanning is complete, the number of students’ tests per class is verified against the manual count. A random percentage of documents is examined to determine the accuracy of the data and / or the image quality.

SCORING PROCESS
Table leaders or supervisors maintain surveillance of the scoring process in real time to ensure fairness, accuracy and timeliness.

Regents Scanning Solutions-QC and Security

Regents Scanning SolutionTM (RSSTM)


The following QC and Security procedures are in place to ensure the security of each project, the accuracy of the results and the successful performance of the RSS process.

• Background checks are run on all OSC personnel and our offices are accessible only to authorized staff and visitors.
• Images are transmitted to OSC via SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)
• When the last scanned image arrives at OSC, verification of receipt of all answer sheets for that Regents is emailed to the sender.
• A review of a percentage of the tests and captured answers ensures that the process is operating correctly.

OSC World Continues to Expand in 2014

Since the New York State Board of Regents issued a mandate that all student Regents answer sheets be scanned, recorded and maintained electronically, OSC World’s Regents Scanning Solution (RSS) has seen extraordinary growth in the number of New York State schools utilizing the scoring tool. This June, 2014, OSC World processed over 850,000 NYS Regents answer sheets!

 

Beginning in April, 2014 through June, 2014,  OSC World’s  patented software  has been used by School Districts & BOCES/Regional Information Centers in  New York State to successfully electronically score 3-8 ELA/Math/Science/NYSESLAT exams for 144 Districts in the following Counties:

Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Broome,  Onondaga, Cortland, Madison, Oswego, and Tompkins

 

Based on the same technology and concepts as the company’s advanced market research and business software for data capture,  OSC World’s innovative software is an integral part of the company’s EASE™ Suite of tools that specifically address the needs of educational testing.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the amount of schools using our EASE™ Suite of software  says Michel Richez, Executive Vice President of Business Development.  “We are enthusiastic about how it can continue to be an invaluable tool for instructors, school administrators and supervisors. We’ve created a solution that is fast, fair, reliable, easy to implement, customizable and cost-efficient and we are committed to continuing to develop solutions for the education market and further build solid relationships with a growing number of schools and BOCES throughout New York State.”

OSC World partners with Premier Assessment Services, Inc.

Long Island test scoring technology leader expands reach in Hudson Valley

 

OSC_Premiere

 

Press Release

Aretha Miller, Senior Director of School Supports at NYC Charter School Center

Electronic scoring has allowed us to implement an efficient process for scoring the statewide ELA and math exams. Through the use of electronic scoring we were able to:
Significantly reduce the number of teachers we use to score the tests. This is important because charter schools tend to have fewer numbers of teachers than traditional schools and requiring a lot of teachers to participate in the administration and scoring of the state tests can be a tremendous burden on a school. With electronic scoring we were able to mitigate this problem.
Keep track of the answer documents. This meant we had fewer “stray documents” and missing answer sheets because we could easily track where everything was.
Make the process less cumbersome—we were not moving boxes of test materials because everything was uploaded onto laptops.
All in all, the teachers who participated in electronic scoring found it to be a more efficient process and that it made it possible for them to score the tests in a quick and accurate manner. I can tell you that we will no longer manually score the math and ELA exams!! Given the tremendous growth within the charter sector—moved from 99 to 125 schools in NYC—electronic scoring is the only way in which we can get the work done and meet NYC DOE and NYSED’s deadlines.

Aretha Miller, VP School Supports, NYC Charter School Center

*Video:aretha miller

Patricia Ranieri, Math Scorer and Table Leader

“I was very impressed with the electronic scoring. I felt it was much more efficient than hand scoring. The down time associated with waiting for papers from another room was eliminated as was the time spent searching through booklets for specific questions. Also, the ability to put a paper “on hold” until a question about it was resolved allowed the markers to continue working. Because there were no student or school names associated with papers anonymity was achieved; markers could grade papers without fear of bias influencing them. The process for marking electronically was also very user friendly. It took about ten minutes to become familiar with the program and use it effectively. I liked the ability to enlarge a paper and change the contrast; this made reading a students work clear and erasures easy to identify.”

Long Beach Public Schools

Rose Costenza, Math Scoring Leader

“Electronic scoring is so much more efficient than handscoring. When we did have to handscore the make-ups it became apparent to me that the electronic method is far superior.” “We were able to work at a different pace because we didn’t have to turn pages and swap them with someone else. It also allowed us to go back and review a question before we locked in a score. This is significant because as we were reading student responses, it allowed us to think of the answers students’ gave, compare them mentally, go back quickly and reevaluate our score. “

Gerri Feldman, ELA and Math Scoring Table Leader

“Working with you on the electronic scoring was a very positive experience. The ease and accuracy of the program was impressive. During my years as a Technology staff developer in D27 I found that many people were hesitant to use the computers when they could do work by hand. That was not the case with this scoring method. It was simple enough that all agreed it was a better way to go. I personally was impressed with the ease of use and the speed at which the marking could be done. The format greatly reduced the chance of errors which could occur while handling booklets and grids during hand scoring.”

Gae Leder, ELA Scorer

“I felt electronic scoring was much faster than hand scoring. The essays were also easier to read because you could adjust the print (darker, lighter). The room was quiet so it was easier to concentrate on the papers.”

Jackie Brandwein, ELA Scoring Leader

“I have been involved in all aspects of scoring tests since the late 90’s. This new innovation of computer scoring and data input has truly brought us into the 21st century. As this technology eliminates the constant handling of thousands of test booklets and answer documents, teacher, trainer and supervisors can concentrate on scoring more accurately, at a faster pace with the data information and interpretation built right in. Most importantly, this results in teachers having more time teaching their students and less time out of the classroom marking tests. And that’s really the point … isn’t it????”