According to research studies, assessments that occur during the teaching and learning process—called formative assessments—are more effective at increasing student learning. Research also shows that assessments are more effective when they are closely aligned with the curriculum and delivered in conjunction with teacher professional development. But currently, most assessments are done at the end of grading periods and are not directly connected to teaching in the classroom. And many forms of assessment can actually work against effective teaching.
To help educators implement more effective formative assessments, Northrop Grumman—a leader in information technology—developed the Horizon Assessment System. Horizon is based on a three-part solution that links formative assessments with state content standards and critical thinking levels, as well as teacher professional development, both in the implementation for the assessments and in ongoing improvement of instructional practice through professional learning communities.
Help students see where they are academically and where they are going. Using Horizon, students receive immediate feedback on their assessments, identify problem areas and address them before they fall behind, monitor their own level of understanding, seek additional instruction when necessary, and retest to document their improved learning.
Help teachers take immediate steps to remedy learning problems. Using Horizon, educators can create standards-based diagnostic benchmark summative and formative assessments, quickly review and analyze student performance on those assessments, identify research-based instructional interventions that may be more effective for struggling learners, and access professional development tools that support their use of new teaching practices.
Help teachers translate numbers and data into action and results. Using Horizon's reporting capabilities, school administrators have access to longitudinal data to demonstrate and compare performance over time for all students, student subgroups, schools, school districts, and regions. With Horizon, data-based decisions can lead to focusing the right resources for the right reasons at the right time.