One of the key features in Classroom is the ability for educators to share content in the form of questions and assignments they have created. Classroom uses a shared resource, called banks, to make this content widely available. And just like a real bank, educators can make deposits of their questions and assignments or assessments.
These repositories have a bank manager, too. The manager is responsible for reviewing the deposits. They may check for accuracy or relevancy, they may read through passages to ensure paragraphs are correctly identified in questions, they may ensure the formulae can be solved; and in general they make a careful and critical examination of new content. In this manner, educators can be assured of the quality of their district's shared banks.
Classroom allows districts to build as many banks as they need. They can be categorized by subject, by school, and by grade level. There can be banks for support teams and curriculum development groups. There can be assessment banks and banks which develop content for certain standards. Because of this flexibility SDS recommends key personnel consider the purpose and use of each bank before creating them, as all of the banks and their content are available to any educator in the district.
Classroom also supports third-party question banks, like the one created by the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association). The NWEA item bank is not part of the standard subscription to Classroom and must be purchased at an additional cost per student. However, it may prove cost effective for your district, as the NWEA has over 75,000 questions which are already aligned to state standards. Staff can begin to use Classroom immediately without first generating their own questions.
If your district has purchased the NWEA item bank and you have any issues with the content or concerns with the questions, please contact us at email@example.com. We will do whatever we can to find a resolution.
The manager of any district bank assumes responsibility for the bank and in essence "owns" the content. They can:
- Approve or reject submissions (if a submission is rejected, they can add a comment as to why)
- Edit or delete items in the bank (this is part of the quality control feature and ensures accurate content)
- Lock assignments to prevent them from being edited (if the bank contains district-wide assessments, this prevents inaccurate data)
- Export assignments to gradebooks by school, grade or teacher (very helpful for pushing out district-wide assessments within a short window)
If you would like to create, modify or remove a shared bank and/or become a bank manager contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shared Banks Promote District and School Level Analysis
Teachers who use Classroom as their gradebook have access to both question and assignment analysis that show them whether or not their students are mastering the standards to which they teach. They also have the ability to export this information to an Excel file and to print out or save a PDF. And the result of certain assignments, like required grade level district assessments, are migrated to Homeroom nightly.
But true district-wide question (item) analysis comes from the use of shared banks.
When an educator submits a question or assignment to a bank, and the manager approves it, a duplicate of the original question is created. This entirely new question has new identification in Classroom and all connection to the original question or assignment is lost. In effect, it becomes a "parent". While this may seem inappropriate, it is actually one of the strongest features of shared banks as analysis and reporting at the school and district level on any question or assignment can occur.
If an educator goes to a bank and imports either a question or an assignment "parent" from the bank, that question or assignment is duplicated and becomes an entirely new question or assignment which is owned by the educator. In essence, a child of the parent. However, in this case, the child's connection to the parent remains. Additionally, the educator's question or assignment is connected to all the other educators who have also imported the parent question or assignment...the siblings. This architecture of parent to child and child to siblings means that the results of any student who encounters the questions or takes the assignments can be compiled as a single unit...the family.
While there is an analytics section in Classroom, exporting these "family" assignments or assessments to Homeroom via a *nightly migration allows for comparison to state and third-party assessment results, as well as student subgroup and profile information. Question by question analysis can be performed at the teacher, school, and district level. Assignment and assessment results can be reviewed across a grade level, across schools, and across the district. Educators can see exactly which standards students are mastering. They can see whether or not questions prove to be good measures of the standards. And they can follow these trends across multiple school years.
*nightly migration happens to those Assignments the data admin has Linked using the Classroom Admin utility: "Link Classroom Assignment Template to Homeroom Assessment Tests”
Classroom and shared banks aide districts in generating a quality, long-lasting curriculum where students can gain competency on standards.
[Updated: 01/09/15, prh]