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MIS Systems Thread, Setting Up Assessment Manager 7 Primary School. in Technical; Hi, I have been asked to set up Assessment Manager 7 for my primary school. Previously the school has used ...
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    Setting Up Assessment Manager 7 Primary School.

    Hi,

    I have been asked to set up Assessment Manager 7 for my primary school. Previously the school has used paper methods of tracking and recording assessment data. So I have been entrusted with the job of modernising the way we record the data.

    You'll have to forgive my lack of knowledge about assessment manager however I think I need to know how to do the following things.

    Firstly, I need to either create or download a 'pack' of basic templates as there are no templates installed on SIMS under the assessment manager tool. I then need to install them onto AM7.

    Secondly I need to create a mark sheet for each class. I'm guessing that this should be quite straight forward as the pupil data should be extracted from SIMS automatically.

    Like I said I am only guessing at the jobs I need to do to set up AM in order to input data for monitoring and tracking. Any advice on how to go about setting up AM would be very welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    to edugeek.
    I would suggest making yourself familiar with the manual which is available from the documentation link in sims. If not see next point.

    Join capita's support net site documentation is available as well as a forum for guidance. The basic stuff is available in what I think is called AMPARK. But that's basic templates for key stage tests etc. If you rEquire custom columns of data or marks you'll need to create your own.

    It helps to plan things well for future expansion and name them well too. Search this forum for threads discussing am7 and assessment in sims. There are many very good ones. If you struggle get back in touch and I'll find them.

    There is also tracking grids aimed at primary and a separate manual for that which may be of use.

    Feel free to get In touch directly, I'll be working from 5am GMT tomorrow and around sporadically 2night.

    Vik

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    You need to look at grade sets, aspects, result sets and templates. Do some reading up one these and start planning your templates. You can assign mark sheets through the templates to the appropriate classes and in turn these are assigned to the class teachers. This assumes you have a fully updated timetable in SIMS. That is the abbreviated version but it is something to start looking at. A training course would be best though.

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    To get a feel for it just make an aspect. Make a template and add the aspect to it. Assign the template to a reg group and this will populate the list of names. Then you'll have a marksheet to play with. Add some more different aspects and play around. It's very powerful.

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    Thanks for your replies.

    I joined Capita's support site this morning but it takes 24-48 hours to be approved. So I'll have a look on there once I've been accepted.


    I've downloaded an AM7 instruction manual from doncaster.gov.uk which loks very useful, however it takes for granted that you have templates to work from. This is my issue I think.

    I'll try to download some templates off Capita's support site once my registration is confirmed but how do you make your own template? Is it as simple as setting up an excel spreadsheet with the column headings that you want and saving it as am xml file?

    Thanks

    Thanks.

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    The templates referred to are prob their own ones.

    You could make a template in XML but it's hard as you have to put in a unique code though it is possible.

    Firstly you need some aspects to put in the template as it all links together. An aspect is like a field or cell labelled to hold some data. You create a template via a wizard in sims specifying which aspects you want to appear as columns. They can be tied to a gradeset if required. See other threads for pros and cons of this.

    When you apply the template to a group this generates a marksheet which when viewed is like excel and can be exported.

    The AMPARK data has aspects for key stage exam results as well as templates to display them. If it's this statutory data you wish to record then you need to download the data.

    It is possible to download data from any party, e.g I could export some of my aspects and templates for you so it was all ready to use, but may not be of much use depending on your requirements.

    All the tools are there for you to have a play around from focus | assessment menu. Try as I suggested and make an aspect and add it as a data entry column into a template. It will make sense once you try it.

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    Thanks Vik,

    I'll have a play around at school tomorrow. I'll let you know how I get on. If I need a look at your aspects and templates I'll let you know tomorrow. Thanks you've been very helpful.

    Tom

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    The other thing to look at are the tracking grids; these are very popular with teachers. My advice would be to visit a school that is using AM well don't try to work it all out on your own as there are some very powerful tools that require a full understanding before you go up blind alleys. AM can be used simplistically but then you loose the whole point of it!

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    I did mention tracking grids in my first post Phil, i did honest. Very good idea to see it in action though

  10. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    PhilNeal (12th December 2010)

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    Try to get a clear undertsanding of what type of information needs to be collected and how many times a year it needs to be inputted before you start.

    Are you going to assess and work in points or levels, if you are going for levels are they going to be fine levels or split fine levels etc..

    Don't just work creating marksheets from a pile of paper you get given with last years results on, ask the school what they want and how they want it presented in the furture. Every minute you spend asking questions and preparing now saves days later!

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    completely concur with @Banjo, in addition, ask about what analysis they will need. it's not just an exercise in data collection, they need to do something with it. i'm only just setting up large scale analysis spreadsheets (it still takes too long in sims), to analyse data, and it would have helped with naming, planning if i'd known before hand what they wanted.

    @philneal - can't wait for SIMS Discover - i hope it's the solution to all my problems
    on a completely different note - SIMS Explore is it called? iphone app W00T awesome idea

    CORRECTION : app = SIMS Emerge.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 14th December 2010 at 05:15 AM. Reason: correction

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    If you go to BETT (which i highly recommend as it's awesome) there'll be a presentation from a primary on wednesday afternoon by a primary about how they use data, though probably not technical, it will be good to see what can be done.

    And you get free pizza on the EduGeek stand

    Oh, and that iphone appy is SIMS Emerge, not Explore.

    EDIT: @PhilNeal - please can we add it to our phones and take away...?
    Last edited by vikpaw; 14th December 2010 at 05:16 AM. Reason: edit

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    First of, sit down with a piece of paper and decide what to record. Are you recording for reports or general classroom marking? How often is reporting data collected, once per year or once per term? What subjects will collect data? What grades and marks will be collected?

    Now here is a little exercise, make some Assessment Manager items with the prefix of TEST, these are not for live use and can be safely used to test the system and make changes without interfering with live data. Example:

    Gradeset: TEST KS2 Levels
    Result Sets: TEST Autumn, TEST Spring, TEST Summer
    Aspect: TEST Report Grade (assign the Result Set TEST KS2 Levels to it)

    Add them to a template. Make three columns using the Aspect you created, one for each result set. Assign a class and get a feel for how the system works.

    Generally I add a prefix before my Aspects for the subject it is related to (Example, 'EN KS3 Mark' for English, 'MA KS3 Mark' for Maths, etc. This makes it easier to find things in the system and know what they are for. Document what you make like crazy as you won't get round to it later on no matter how often you tell yourself that you will.

    Finally, make friends with neighbouring Data Managers from other schools and share ideas.

    Good Luck!

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    One of my tips for new users is that you don't need to create loads of aspects. In fact, it's a mistake to create too many. You can create a whole school system from just three aspects for each subject. For example:

    Maths Attainment
    Maths Target
    Maths Progress

    (where Maths Progress is a grade aspect that is a 'traffic light' column and can contain only +, = or -)

    Create a result set for each term of each year (eg Year 5 Autumn Term) and pair it up with the relevant aspect to create your template.

    Don't forget that KS and FSP results should be in your system already so don't create extra aspects for them.

    By all means download the Capita tracking marksheets, but remember that they're not easy to adapt if they don't fit your school - you might be better off learning all you can from them, then creating your own.

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    That's pretty much what we have here pottd, however we have different aspects for the Key Stages because we use differing scoring systems. Also the IB level is different again, so not quite easy to be so efficient.

    We also have things like Effort, Predicted Grade, Mock etc so things build up quickly, though in some circumstances it is possible to use result sets for these sorts of things.

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