Winter 2018 / Spring 2019 Assessment Updates - The journey so far

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You may have noticed some improvements to the Assessments module in Arbor over the last month. Here are the biggest improvements we’ve made so far:


Summative Assessment Analysis

The old analysis tools found under Summative Tracking > Analysis (legacy) will be removed in February. Don’t worry, you can still analyse your Summative Assessment data easily and effectively using our new Analysis tools:

  • Check out Attainment over Time to see how many students are working at the class target level during each assessment period. Take action with students working below this by sending communications or adding them to interventions.
  • Use Below, At or Above to see which students are working Below, At/Above and Above their targets. Group students by a range of parameters such as year or FSM. We’ve also added a chart view to this page so you can visualise your student’s attainment compared with their targets.
  • See Grade Distributions of results for each assessment period and strand.



Weighted Strands

You can now set weighted strands for your assessments, so you can choose to what extent each part of an assessment contributes to the overall average.

Check out our articles on creating strands, choosing the assessment periods strands apply to, how strands look in markbooks and how to edit strands for more information.



Send Report Cards to parents

You can send report cards directly to parents by sending them an email or making the report available on the Parent Portal. It’s easy to edit the email template so you can to regularly share student progress with parents and highlight areas of improvement, before even having to meet face to face on parents evening. Take a look at this article to find out how.



Report Cards have moved

The report cards module can now be accessed straight from the ‘Students’ menu. This is to reflect the fact that report cards cover more than just assessments and to prepare for our upgrades to the assessments menu structure in the coming weeks.



Coming to Arbor this half term

We’ll be making more improvements to how you set up and analyse Assessments this month. You can stay up to date by reading our Updates every two weeks.


New menu structure

We’ve been working with schools to understand how we can re-organise the Assessment module’s menu so you can get the information you need quickly and easily.

This also gives us a great foundation for many more exciting developments in the future!



Formative Tracking (Formerly Curriculum Tracking)

We have renamed the curriculum tracker to match the terminology used in both UK and international schools. In this section, you will be able to enter marks against curriculum statements and view formative analysis.

Summative tracking (Formerly Summative, Ad Hoc and Standardised Assessments)

Currently, we separate the different Summative Assessment types. Based on your feedback, we’re simplifying the Summative Assessment set up workflows, so you can manage your Summative Assessments in the same place. In this section, you will be able to view your current mark input status and access marksheets, enter marks for Summative and Ad Hoc assessments, view analysis for Summative, Ad Hoc and 3rd party Standardised Assessments (such as Hodder) and export assessment data.


DfE Assessments

In order to simplify our Summative Assessment offering (explained above), we are developing a specialised area where you can input and analyse your DfE Assessment data, which is a statutory requirement for schools in England. In this section, you will be able to set up and input marks, then view out of the box analysis of your school’s performance.


Assessment Framework

An Assessment Framework includes all the supporting information that makes up an assessment, such as the grades that are used or the name of the assessment. You will also be able to manage grade point scales and grade sets, assessments that can be added to the Assessment Policy and the marksheet settings such as which columns should be shown.

As Assessment Frameworks are typically only created once and last for a number of academic years (grade sets and the course name rarely change), we’re separating out this part of the assessments for a simpler yearly setup process.

To help with your Assessment Framework, we’re creating a handy new wizard to guide you through the process of setting everything up. The other benefit of our new workflows is that you will be able to define all of your assessments ahead of the next academic year and before students have been enrolled in your school, meaning you can continue to adapt your Assessment Policy to the needs of your school without disrupting ongoing assessments.


Assessment Policy

Once you have defined your Assessment Framework, you will be able to create your Assessment Policy for the academic year. Assessment Policy includes all aspects of assessments that are specific to an academic year, such as which assessments students are taking and Data Collection dates. In this section, you will also be able to manage your assessment periods, assessable courses, curriculum expectations, and schoolwide targets for the year.



Integration with Hodder Education’s PUMA and PIRA tests

We’re working on seamlessly integrating with Hodder Education to automatically send student demographic data to Mark, which removes the need for manual data entry and reduces the potential for error. You’ll no longer have to manually remove leavers or add new starters to your MARK system - with our new integration this will happen automatically! In addition to this, we’ll also be retrieving student results for Hodder’s PUMA and PIRA termly standardised assessment test so that you can analyse all of your core student data in one place at both an individual school and whole MAT level.


Continued updates to our Summative Analysis tools

We will be removing all old analysis tools (except the Statistics page) found under Summative Tracking > Analysis (legacy) in February. Don’t worry - you’ll still be able to see all your data in our new Analysis pages.

Here’s what else we’ll be adding:

  • Based on your feedback, we’ll be keeping the Analysis > Statistics page to allow you to keep tracking your Assessment Statistics.
  • We’ll also be introducing a new Transition Matrix tool to compare students to their starting points in other assessments, for example, comparing students’ KS2 maths grade with their current working at grade.
  • We’re adding a new Progress over Time feature to enable you to view the average points progress made across multiple academic years to help you understand how your school is performing year on year.


Data Collection Policies

We know how difficult it is to coordinate data drops across a school or MAT, continually chasing data entry or checking that all of your data has been entered correctly. To help streamline this process and have you analysing your Assessment marks on time, we’ll be introducing Data Collection Policies.

Data Collection policies allow you to define a window of mark entry, tell Arbor who is responsible for inputting or checking the marks, see live updates on the status of your data collection and send follow-ups to anyone who perhaps needs a little reminder!


These are the biggest features being actively worked on, but there’s much more in the pipeline. If you have something you’d like to add, let us know. 

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