The Assessment: "Monster P.I."

Monster, P.I. is an app-based, gamified diagnostic assessment that measures word analysis skills of 5th to 8th graders and provides teachers with interpretable score reports to drive instruction that improves vocabulary, reading, and writing abilities. Linked to common core language and reading standards, the app features a mischievous monster who is wreaking havoc on different areas of our city, including a school, museum, sports arena, and amusement park. Students have to solve word puzzles to earn clues to identify and catch the monster, saving our city!Developed using web technologies and responsive design patterns, Monster, P.I. is supported on browsers and native mobile platforms. Also, locally saved scores are synced remotely, allowing for use in offline and low-connectivity classroom environments.

The Study

The iPad-based system lets us administer and score many assessments quickly, while also offering a format for students to spell, choose answers, and hear audio pronunciation of words. In year 1 of the study (2015-16), we developed a library of items in ten tasks and piloted the assessment with over 500 students in three middle schools.

Currently we are in year 2 of the study (2016-17).  Goals for this year include selecting and refining items based on the results from year one, improving the engagement features of the assessment itself, and taking the refined version of the assessment out to over 1000 students. 

In year 3 of the study (2017-18), our assessment will become computer-adaptive--that is, it will respond to students' ability levels and give them questions at their ability level.  This will let us more precisely specify their skills.