Center for Assessment

Educational assessments made easier with data visualization

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Project Summary

The culmination of over 10 years work, the Colorado Department of Education and the Center for Assessment introduced the Colorado Growth Model, a system that shows state assessment data and individual student progress over time. Information of this magnitude turned out to be pretty clunky for users to look through, seeing as it was all in large flat files. What they needed was a better tool to pull in all the data to make it easier for teachers, principals and educators statewide to both evaluate and share student data.

Universal Mind came on board and built the data visualization application SchoolView that shows both big picture summary type data for a district or a school, as well as individual student data. The tool was rolled out to 180 school districts (and 600,000 students) across Colorado, and 470,000 student performance reports were launched for teachers and parents state-wide. There was such a widespread support for the tool, that Colorado Governor Bill Ritter committed to invest the needed $2.5 million that would ensure it was rolled out to all school districts in Colorado.

SchoolView not only helps teachers and parents have a good understanding of individual and collective student progress, it also enables for better decisions to be made on where to invest in education. The project was such a success in Colorado, that a handful of other states have since asked for the tool.

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Because Universal Mind’s capabilities span both systems integration and UX design, it was able to handle the technical complexities of the data environment and develop the visualizations, as well as design an intuitive user experience that served the needs of a wide range of different stakeholders.

Richard Wenning and Damian Betebenner