Ed Tech Reduces Time Spent on Assessments

(Illustration: Shutterstock)

(Illustration: Shutterstock)

The Department of Education’s (ED) Institute of Education Sciences is using technology advancements to deliver new assessments that take less time out of the classroom.

In December 2015 President Obama signed ED’s regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to create new technology-based assessments that are fairer for all students.

Next-generation Web- and app-based assessments provide students an engaging forum to test their knowledge through activities and games.

The Small Business Innovation Research program at ED funds researchers to create assessments and pilot studies geared toward improving student outcomes. The White House blog posted an update on eight current assessment projects ED is working on.


  • Wuzzit Trouble: Puzzles focused on number sense, algebraic thinking, problem solving, and modeling and data analysis. Researchers are adding a function to adjust difficulty of content during gameplay and track student progress.
  • StepWise: An Artificial Intelligence virtual tutor for Algebra I designed to use with daily classroom instruction.
  • Teachley Connect: Students play Teachley’s and other third-party math learning game apps, and teachers receive assessment performance reports to guide personalized instruction.


  • Inq-Blotter: A dashboard that provides science teachers performance reports as students do inquiry-based labs.

21st Century Learning

  • Eco: A multiplayer game where students collectively build a virtual ecosystem. The game assesses 21st-century skills such as collaboration, leadership, and self-driven learning.


  • A2i: Software that assesses elementary students’ literacy. The app adapts based on real-time responses, and can be used for ongoing progress monitoring or end-of-year assessments.
  • iASK: A diagnostic assessment that identifies why struggling middle school readers cannot quickly recognize words.

Special Education Social and Emotional Learning

  • IvySCIP: A platform used to assess social and emotional learning needs of elementary students diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. It facilitates data collection and generates reports for Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs).
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