Can a teacher or administrator "lock" pre-assessment and post-assessments to prevent students from gaming the system by retaking assessments?

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Not explicitly. However, session data for each assessment attempt are saved each time, and are retrievable, so it is quite easy to see if a student is "gaming" the system by just answering questions again and again.

In addition, we have added a new feature which deactivates the TEST button once a student has tested and not mastered the content. At this point, the student is directed to the resources thru the LEARN button.

We are monitoring member feedback on student behavior in using EdReady. Thus far, the amount of apparent "gaming" has been very minimal. However, some members have commented that many students naturally gravitate toward "gaming" behavior and have correctly pointed out that there are certain facts about EdReady's current status that favor that behavior.

Here are some observations and expectations regarding further enhancements to EdReady to limit the amount of "gaming" going on.

One problem is that the total number of questions is currently somewhat limited. We are addressing this issue by expanding the question pool. The questions for this first expansion (in Fall, 2014) will not be substantially different from those in the existing pool, but there will be many more of them. We are laying plans to also expand the diversity of questions (including questions similar in form and expectations to the Common Core) and ensure that there are more questions that are just about impossible to guess correctly.

It helps to remember that EdReady itself is not designed to actually replace a high-stakes test, as opposed to preparing for such tests (or other expectations). So students who “game the system” are just gaming themselves. Getting to the target without actually filling their knowledge gaps is counter-productive to EdReady’s purpose. Members have shared that they are warning students that simply raising their scores without gaining improved understanding is not the point, which is a good approach.

Of course, it’s hard for students who already struggle with this stuff to self-regulate their behavior. So we agree that we need to enhance a number of aspects to the handling of the questions themselves, and the subsequent referrals to resources for study. One option for sure is to force students who do not master a topic-specific assessment into the resources frame. Our challenge is that there are always a variety of unintended consequences to these types of changes that might make EdReady less effective for other students.

We will continue to monitor these and other issues and develop strategies for improvement. We will update this and related entries as appropriate.

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