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URI, Brown students create math assessment to measure student progress

Dan Ryan

Jan 21, 2022

Interns from the University of Rhode Island and Brown University use their winter break to create a learning assessment that will better measure student progress.

Over the previous month, Olivia Traboulssi (‘22) and Daniel Ryan (’22) of the University of Rhode Island, along with Anoop Manjal of Brown University (‘23), joined Sprout and S.T.E.M. as interns to create a learning assessment in geometry. This multiple choice test, which was based upon the Rhode Island Model Course Standards Distribution for Geometry, included 38 questions—each of which had ties to a specific learning expectation.

This assessment will be used to gauge the progress of students enrolled in the after-school tutoring program hosted by Sprout and S.T.E.M. at The Met School in Providence, RI. At the beginning and end of each semester, the assessment will be administered to measure baseline scores and any possible improvements in geometry comprehension, respectively. Further, this feedback will inform students, and their tutors, on which content areas they are struggling with most.

The process of interns combing the literature for validated surveys and citing these credible resources to create in-house assessments is not something new. Former interns Caleb Chiesa ('22) and Eric Freeman ('22), both of Connecticut College, performed a similar task to create a socioemotional survey that measures metrics such as confidence, self-esteem, and perception of subject mastery. This survey, which was first implemented in the fall of 2021, will be used alongside the new geometry learning assessment moving forward throughout future semesters.

The goal of the organization is to better capture student growth and to measure the efficacy of its interventions. When speaking with government and school officials, the most recurrent questions have focused on whether students are experiencing improvements—both objectively in their performance and subjectively in their emotional regard. The geometry learning assessment and socioemotional survey will enable Sprout and S.T.E.M. to more reliably measure student progress, and in doing so, the organization hopes to improve student outcomes.

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