Using Formative Assessments To Help Students Prepare For Their Boards

Jun 1, 2017 | Customer Solutions

You have students in your class that aren’t doing as well as you would like. They have the desire to succeed; you have willingness to work with them. But, you don’t have the tools in place to help them break through—how do you move forward? Our Formative Assessment strategy, through our Academic Manager System, may prove to be the difference maker to show real growth using our detailed score reporting for targeted remediation.

Recently, we had a faculty member approach us with a situation—one of their Pharmacy Students had been underperforming to the point where their ability to pass the NAPLEX was looking a bit concerning. The student was trending toward the bottom of the class in testing with time running out in the school year. What could we do to reverse the trend?

One of our main focuses over the past few months has been to create well-balanced, pre-built exams that faculty can assign to their students to get a grasp on where those students are struggling specifically—we call these exams “Benchmark Exams”. We have found that, with these Benchmark Exams, the score data will provide enough empirical evidence for faculty to take action. With that score data, the faculty would see where to focus remediation, administer exams on those weaknesses, and benchmark every few exams to see improvement.

With this plan in place, the concerned faculty jumped to action. Through administering our pre-built Benchmark Exam, the faculty could identify that the student was having difficulty with the topic “C. After spending time reviewing these areas with the student, the faculty assigned additional exams covering those areas of concern.

Over the course of March and April, there was notable improvement across each subsequent exam—a nearly 20-point exam score swing in just a few short weeks! On the University’s simulated NAPLEX, administered in May, the student finished at the top of the class. Both the student and faculty attributed the success to our score reports being able to correctly identify where the areas of weakness were and the ability to focus remediation on those areas specifically.

The success doesn’t stop there—another university used our benchmark exams for the entire class and averaged a 10-point improvement on NAPLEX Simulation scores.

Maybe your situation isn’t as cut and dry—perhaps you’re having issues identifying where your students are struggling? Maybe it’s not one student, but a whole cohort? Maybe you have students struggling with different areas? Our Class Manager makes coordinating groups of students easy and, with our pre-built exams, a lot of the legwork is already done. You’re able to organize your students into groups, cohorts, classes, or just a single student and administer focused exams efficiently.

We have the tools and the expertise. Let us know how we can better partner with you!