Summer may be over, but there is still plenty to celebrate. The MasteryConnect team has been working hard all summer on nine new features so you can go back to school in style!

This year you’ll get great new features that make it even easier to do two things more effectively:

  1. Create quality assessments that improve both teaching and learning.
  2. Organize your data in ways that make it more accessible and actionable for you.

We like to see each MasteryConnect feature as a “problem-solver”. Keep reading to see how we’ve identified nine common problems in the classroom and solved them with a shiny, new feature just in time for the new school year.

 

Better Assessment Tools
 

Desmos Calculators

The problem: The $100 graphing calculator should be a relic of a bygone era rather than a necessity, but students still need a way to graph functions, plot data and evaluate equations while taking a math assessment.

The solution: Adding Desmos calculators to MasteryConnect allows students to show their work using the four-function, scientific, and graphing calculators, and provides them with a familiar experience come testing season. It’s not just students that will love it, though. Teachers can author TEIs with graphing capabilities or add a calculator to any item-based question, making it easier than ever to build quality formative math assessments.

Learn more about adding integrated Desmos calendars to MasteryConnect.


 

LockDown Browser


 

The problem: When students take online assessments, it can be hard to determine if they are working independently to find their answers or if they just have superior internet-search skills.

The solution: LockDown Browser makes it possible to create and deliver online assessments with full confidence that you are providing a valid and secure assessment experience for all students.

If you’re an administrator who would like to activate LockDown Browsers, contact your Regional Education Consultant to learn more.


 

Multi-Select Multiple Choice
 

 

The problem: Sometimes there are two (or three) right answers to a question on a paper-and-pencil assessment, but GradeCam will only recognize one.

The solution: Enhance your document-based assessments with multi-select multiple-choice questions on your printed assessment, then easily grade the bubble sheets with quick-as-a-flash GradeCam scanning.


 

Audio & Video Evidence Capture | Coming Soon!
 

 

The problem: Certain subjects and standards call for performance-based assessments so students are able to demonstrate their mastery. How do you capture the moment or share it with others?

The solution: Take performance-based assessment to the next level with audio and video evidence capture in the MasteryConnect Teacher App. Record and share authentic artifacts of learning, like musical recitals, fluency and expression skills, and student presentations. This is also a great feature for students who need assessment accommodations.

Don’t have the Teacher App? Download it for Apple or Android and keep your eyes peeled for the soon-to-be-released audio and video functionality.

 
 

Better Data Solutions
 

Teacher Benchmark Dashboard


 

The problem: Teachers have had to sort through multiple Trackers to manage their benchmarks, making it difficult to deliver and grade benchmarks efficiently.

The solution: The Teacher Benchmark Dashboard is your one-stop-shop for all things benchmarks! Now you can generate a test ID, push a benchmark out to students, view student responses and grade benchmarks—all from the homepage.

Read more in the MasteryConnect Help Center.


 

Power Standards Tracker Filter
 

 

The problem: Not all standards are created equal. Sometimes you need to see how students are performing on the standards you consider to be the foundation for their learning.

The solution: Now you can filter your data to view only your top-priority standards! We’re giving you all the power over your power standards, making it easier to see what students know and don’t know where it matters most.

Visit the Help Center to see how it’s done.


 

Report Cards

 

The problem: Student data can be overwhelming to parents, making it hard to communicate student performance in a clear and concise way.

The solution: Send student performance data home in style with customizable standards-based report cards, complete with your district logo. Choose to include attendance info, teacher comments, participation data, and more.

Interested in Report Cards? Administrators may contact their Regional Education Consultant for all the details.


 

Better Custom Reports
 

 

The problem: You want to take a closer look at specific data sets, but don’t have the option to customize reports.

The solution: Now you can see your data your way in an instant with the ability to build custom reports directly from your Tracker. This new functionality easily guides you through report creation and allows you to add as many data points from as many assessments as you want, all at once! Because when you have data at the ready, you can more meaningfully impact learning in the moment.


 

Ed-Fi Data Export
 

 

The problem: Data comes in many formats, and it can be a headache figuring out how to export it quickly.

The solution: MasteryConnect is proud to be the first Ed-Fi partner to be certified for assessment API. And now Ed-Fi fans can securely and easily export formative and benchmark assessment data in Ed-Fi format.

Have questions about any of these features?

If you’re a district administrator and you want to learn more about these exciting new features, contact your Regional Education Consultant or call us at (801) 736-0258! Teachers may talk to their in-house MasteryConnect contacts to learn more.

 

We all remember the day we got our overpriced, brick-like graphing calculator. You probably can still see the look on your mom’s face when she saw the price—pure sticker-shock. The funny part is that it’s probably still gathering dust in a box somewhere, because after your last math class, you just didn’t have the heart to get rid of that bulky, and oddly expensive apparatus. We can relate.

Since we’ve all collectively decided that the graphing calculator should be considered an antique rather than a necessity, Desmos online calculators are the new graphing tools to rule them all. They have the same functionality as graphing calculators but, because Desmos is online, students can’t leave them in their lockers. The embedded calculators allow students to graph equations, plot data and evaluate equations right in online assessments—and Desmos is now available in MasteryConnect!

Desmos is all-the-rage in the math assessment world, and is now being used on assessments in 23 end-of-level state tests. Adding Desmos calculators to MasteryConnect will allow students to show their work using the four-function, scientific, and graphing calculators, and provide them with a familiar experience come testing season.

 


 Show Your Work Right in the Assessment

 

And, it’s not just students that will love it! Teachers can author TEIs with graphing capabilities or add a graphing calculator to any item-based question, making it easier than ever to build quality formative assessments.

 


 Add a Desmos Calculator to Any Item

 

With Desmos, you can take your item authoring to the next level with over 27 item types including:

  • Absolute Value Question
  • Desmos Blank Graph Question
  • Fraction Addition Question

 


Add Desmos to MasteryConnect

Desmos is now available as an add-on feature in MasteryConnect. If you’re already an Administrator using MasteryConnect, contact your Regional Education Consultant for more info and pricing (or request that we contact you). If you’re a math teacher who wants to up your assessment game, make sure to let your district’s MasteryConnect administrator know you’re interested in Desmos.

 

Creating a community for educators to connect and share resources is at the heart of MasteryConnect. Streamline your planning process for the new school year by exploring Resource Pins.

Read on for three reasons to use this dynamic feature:
 

#1: Pin to Teach

Need to assign a project or deliver a performance-based assessment that requires additional resources? With the Resource Pins tool, you can upload images, docs and videos into a Student Playlist and share it with your class through the student portal. This makes it easy for you to provide students with the resources necessary to complete projects at home—regardless of the subject.

 

#2: Pin to Collaborate

Resource pins make it easy to collaborate with your teacher team. Imagine being able to pin resources directly to a shared Curriculum Map so you can keep all of your standards-aligned content in the same place. The best part? You can easily bookmark or share resources you find while surfing the web with our Pin Resource bookmarklet or Chrome extension.

 

#3: Pin to Personalize Learning

Student playlists aren’t only for the whole class, they can also be used to assess small intervention groups, too. You have the ability to target students by mastery level and share content specific to a subject to aide in their understanding of any single or set of standards.

 

Learn more about Resource Pins and how to use them here.

 

The acquisition brings together industry-leading LMS and AMS solutions

At MasteryConnect, we are proud to be a part of the work you do every day. That’s why we want to personally share the exciting news—MasteryConnect has been acquired by Instructure!

Joining Instructure, a long-time MasteryConnect partner, is a natural fit. The deal brings together the industry-leading Canvas LMS, which scales curriculum and high-quality instruction, with the leading standards-based assessment platform. Seamlessly integrated, MasteryConnect bridges the gap between assessment and learning, within the intuitive Canvas environment. But, most importantly, both teams care deeply about improving education, and we find meaning in the difference we’re making.

Moving forward, you can expect the same high level of service that you’ve come to expect as a MasteryConnect partner, and using MasteryConnect will be business as usual. To continue our work, the MC team will be joining the amazing team at Instructure, as will all three MasteryConnect founders. With new and expanded resources, we’ll continue to enhance our tools, while building deeper integrations for customers using both MasteryConnect and Canvas LMS.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for putting your trust in us over the last decade. You are the reason we come to work, and we are all committed to supporting you as you improve educational opportunities for kids.

Again, thank you again for your partnership—we look forward to the next chapter together!

Keep on trackin’

Mick Hewitt, Trenton Goble & Doug Weber
Co-founders of MasteryConnect

Read the Press Release

 

Android users rejoice! The MasteryConnect Teacher App is now available in the Google Play store.

With everything you need to launch and document performance-based assessments on your Android phone or tablet, you can roam free in your classroom, capturing evidence of learning wherever and whenever it happens.

With Teacher App in your pocket, here’s what you can do:

  • Launch assessments right from your phone or tablet
  • Record levels of student learning by uploading photos and notes with Evidence Capture
  • Score bubble sheets instantly with GradeCam
  • Record rubric-based grades for student performances and projects

 


 

See Teacher App in Action

 


 

This on-the-go approach to formative assessment makes it easy for you to assess your way, allowing you to provide instant feedback anytime learning happens—including field trips, performances and other non-traditional learning environments.

Interested in learning more about Teacher App or scheduling a demo? Call us at (801) 736-0258!

 

Aw, a brand new semester full of new learning opportunities, and…roster updates. If your school or district is importing sections through Clever, and you find that you are either missing students or have “extra” ones, you can quickly update those new rosters to your existing Trackers.

Follow these step-by-step directions to get your rosters in tip-top shape for Spring semester.

  1. Click on Trackers, then find the tracker you want to connect; click on Edit under the tracker name.

 

  1. Select your class from the Link to Classroom drop-down menu, and click on Update.

 

  1. Make sure the number of students in your tracker matches the number in the classroom you are linking to and the section is the correct semester roster. If there are any hiccups in matching the students, you’ll receive an error message.

 

When a student is moved from one classroom to another during the school year, you can easily transfer that student’s information (including mastery levels and scores) to the new teacher’s Tracker if the Tracker is not connected to a section.
 

In order to do this:

  • The student must be transferred within the same school
  • The new grade level and standards must be the same
  • The student must have been manually added to the Tracker (students added as part of SIS sections can not be transferred using this function)

 

How to do this:

  1. In the Tracker, hover over the student’s name and click Edit.

 

  1. On the Edit Student dialog, click Transfer.
    Note: If you do not see the Transfer option, your student may have been added as an SIS section, and you will be unable to transfer them using this function.
  1. Click the Transfer to Classroom drop-down menu and select the tracker to which you want to transfer the student. You will only see trackers from teachers in your school with the same standards.

 

  1. The student’s information, including mastery levels and assessment scores will now appear in the new tracker with all the existing data.

 

To better protect the owners of copyrighted materials, we have updated our MasteryConnect Online Terms and Conditions. Please review the updated terms of use to ensure that you are uploading and sharing copyrighted materials in adherence to the MasteryConnect Terms of Use. Setting an accurate privacy setting for each assessment is the best first step.

MasteryConnect makes it easy for teachers to build, upload, and share their assessments with other teachers in the online community. However, we are also committed to protecting the rights of content providers—both companies and educators—who create and sell K-12 lessons and assessments. To protect copyrighted materials, we have multiple privacy settings to limit who can see and use uploaded materials.

Check Your Privacy Settings

When uploading assessments into MasteryConnect, it’s important that you choose the correct privacy setting to prevent protected materials from becoming publically available. Every time you upload an assessment, you’ll be asked to set the level of privacy.

There are four levels of privacy you’ll choose from:

  • Share with the community (recommended)
  • Make this material private to me
  • Make this material private to my school
  • Make this material private to my district

 
Be sure to check the conditions of your protected materials in order to set the accurate privacy level. We also suggest you do a quick review of previously uploaded materials to make sure the privacy level is accurate.

As another layer of defense against copyright infringement, the MasteryConnect team continually monitors the community to update privacy settings when necessary. If we find a copyrighted assessment, we will change it to the “private to me” setting and send a message to notify the user that we have adjusted the privacy level and why.

Help Protect Copyrighted Materials

If you see an assessment that should not be public, you can reach out to the user who uploaded it by either commenting in the box below the assessment or sending the user a private message. We appreciate your help in protecting our online community!

 

We know that educators have a lot on their plate at all times. That’s why MC Support Specialists want to help you get the support you need with as little back-and-forth as possible.

Here’s what we did to make submitting a Support Ticket more efficient:

  1. There’s now a section for ‘Additional Information’ that gives you space to include specific information about your issue. You can now include the names of students, teachers, trackers and assessments, so we can address the problem you’re seeing right away.
  2. Support tickets are now shorter than ever, so it takes less time to submit a ticket and less time for us to resolve your issues.
  3. No need for you to pull information about your browser or operating system every time you submit a support ticket anymore—we’ve got you covered! We now automatically include that information to make it easier for you to get the help you need.

Get more information on how to submit a support ticket here.

Have a MasteryConnect question? Visit our Help Center for articles and video tutorials. Or get one-on-one help from one of our Support Specialists by submitting a support ticket here.

Help Center

 

Start 2019 off right with a PD plan for your teachers and leaders. We are offering exclusive pricing on our Mastery Leadership Institute, Teacher Boot Camp and On-site PD if you purchase before December 21st!

 

#1 Save 20% on The Mastery Leadership Institute

Experience our premier PD that’s guaranteed to transform the data culture in your school or district. When you buy a seat to our January session or our special summer event, you’ll save $700 on the all-inclusive MLI retreat!

Choose from two sessions:

  • San Diego, CA | January 16 – 18, 2019
  • Park City, UT | July 9 – 11, 2019

Learn more about MLI!

 

#2 Early Bird Deals on Summer Boot Camps

Designed for teachers, administrators, and coaches looking to take their instruction to the next level, this intensive two-day workshop focuses on improving every step of the instructional cycle—from breaking down standards to planning meaningful interventions.

Choose the Early Bird Deal that’s right for your team:

  • Early Bird Registration – $800
  • Early Bird Registration with Two Nights Lodging – $1,000

Learn more and reserve your seat!

 

#3 Buy 2 Get 1 Free On-Site PD

Customize a plan of three on-site professional development sessions for the price of two! Whether you want to introduce MasteryConnect to new teachers or promote deeper usage among your team, we can build a plan to meet your specific goals.

Ready to learn more about how you can get this limited-time deal? Call us at (801) 736-0258 to learn more.

Tech Tip: Check your core!

November 15th, 2018

Help Center

 

We picked the brains of the MasteryConnect Support Team gurus to share tips on some of the most commonly seen support issues reported by MC Users.

Today we’ll cover why it’s important that assessments are aligned to the same standards found within your Tracker. Most users see this mismatch issue when they can’t upload an assessment. Read on to learn about why this happens—and how to fix it.

Why can’t I add my assessment to my tracker?

If you are having trouble adding an assessment to your Tracker, it’s a safe bet that the standards that are aligned to it don’t match the standards built into the Tracker. In order for an assessment to be visible in a tracker, all standards that the assessment covers must be present in the Tracker.

What’s an example of why this would happen?

Below are three scenarios MC Support Specialists commonly see educators experiencing.

  1. Let’s say you are a fourth grade teacher and you want to see what knowledge your students have retained about the properties of multiplication (which they learned last year). You may choose to create and deliver a short formative assessment built on the third grade standards, but might have trouble adding it to your Tracker. That’s because your Tracker was built using only fourth grade standards.
  2. Another common example of when this might happen is when the wrong set of standards are chosen for either the assessment or the tracker. Let’s imagine you teach science in Utah. You choose the UT state standards for science to create your tracker, you find an assessment in the community covering Rocks and Minerals, but then discover it is aligned to the science standards in Tennessee. You will not be able to add the assessment to your tracker as it is.
  3. A third common occurrence is that you want to use an assessment you have used from the past, but your state adopted an updated set of standards for your course. If your tracker is created with the newly updated standards, your previously used assessment will not add to your tracker because of the standard mismatch.

If you find yourself in one of the situations described above, there are two easy ways to resolve the issue. (Click on the links below for Help Center articles that will walk you through each process.)

Note: If your standards DO match, another common reason is that your assessment and trackers were creating with differing mastery scales. Read more here.

How can I prevent this in the future?

The best way to prevent this issue is to carefully check which standards you are using for an assessment and preemptively change them to the ones that match your tracker. Another good tip is to set your default core when creating an assessment. Visit the link below for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

We hope this tip will help you avoid any headaches in the future. Check our blog regularly for more tech tips, and be sure to visit the MasteryConnect Help Center and Online PD video library or support anytime.