MIS Systems Thread, Special Schools - Assessment Manager in Technical; Hello,
Do any specials in the UK use Sims Assessment Manager for recording their progress instead of other software such ...
11th February 2014, 11:17 PM #1
Special Schools - Assessment Manager
Do any specials in the UK use Sims Assessment Manager for recording their progress instead of other software such as BSquared?
We had a very slick demo from Capita (Sims and Service Birmingham) earlier today, but it appears what we need assessment software to do (show progress within a P-Level for example) is not built in and would have to be commissioned by Capita as a professional project.
12th February 2014, 06:03 AM #2
I'm not sure how P-Levels work, or BSquared, but Assessment Manager is really quite flexible if you set it up right.
So it depends on how you want to measure progress, and what you attach to it in terms of showing the levels.
I don't know how it's done officially, but you can split a level up into a,b,c which is often done for National Curriculum levels. When I did this we gave them a number so it went from 4.0 to 4.3, 4.5, 4.7 This worked for importing external data which was in this format.
Later due to fear of OFSTED or maybe post Ofsted - It was split down to be even more granular and decimalised, so we had a fine level grade which ranged from 4.0,4.1,4.2 ...4.9, 5.0 . These were then given points scores based on the official points for a level, split down.
You could assign your own points scores to the levels, or they may exist and then create finer levels for you to monitor in between level achievement. If that's what you want.
All Assessment Manager needs is a defined gradeset showing a set of labels (the levels) and associated points values, so that you can compare, subtract etc. and this will show progress. You'd have two, one for the official levels then a fine one you define, so you can always 'look-up' the actual official level which in the system would default to the next one down.
The only thing to be wary of is applying these sorts of numeric values can be misleading, if you're doing a qualitative assessment be it a test or a subjective overview.
Hope that helps. If it's something you want, there are a few good threads here with advice on setting the system up, and there are consultants out there who will come in and do it for you.
It may well be that you need something really unique in which case they are right it is a special project.
17th February 2014, 02:10 PM #3
It could be done in a similar vane to the new EYFSP tracking within Sims. B2 is pretty awful, the new EYFSP is still new and clunky (screen sizes are all wrong and too easy to use the wrong resultset) but it's still miles better than B2.
19th February 2014, 08:56 AM #4
It is absolutely possible to record the finer P-scales in SIMS Assessment manager using the exact same gradeset as a P-scales tracker such as PIVATS, Casper or B Squared etc. to show the finer progression measures within a P-Scale. Cricket Green in Merton, an outstanding Special school used Assessment Manager in conjunction with Casper, they recorded their termly assessments in SIMS where their gradeset matched that used in Casper and conducted all of their tracking in SIMS but exported the data into Casper for the SEN Comparative analysis (ability to compare like for like outcomes specifically focussed on Special Needs pupils and their area of need), it worked really well.
Regarding the EYFS with the screen sizes being wrong and easy to select the wrong gradeset – the Progress grid (or APP grid) defaults to show just 2 bands of the 8 band grid so scrolling is required, which makes it clunky. We have this on the list for autumn. Also on the Progress Grid it is possible to ‘forget’ to select a result set and it defaults to ‘no resultset’ and you have to pick one – this is the correct assumption however it needs to be more obvious, or an alert / prompt should flag that you have not yet selected a resultset before entering data (our Product Manager has fallen foul of this too) This is also on the list for autumn.
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