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.