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by | Jul 30, 2018

Industry Has Given Us the Blueprint: How We Use Standards and Pretests to Benchmark Student Progress

In education, especially in the certification realm, we tend to do things the hard way thinking it’s easier on us and our students. Sometimes CTE teachers spend all year educating students without using any tools to measure retention of skills and knowledge.  They hope students pass the certification test at the end of the course, but what actually happens? I’ll give you a hint: Not quite the results we were hoping for. 

What if there was a blueprint we could use to better help students understand what skills employers need? What if we could set benchmarks throughout the course that give us trackable data on knowledge and skill retainment for our students?  

There is, and we can! 

Pretesting/Benchmarking: 

These are two words that can come with a negative stigma in Career & Technical Education. The last thing we want is to give the students more work and more tests, right?! Well, what if we presented this as a 30-40-minute workflow that will gauge a level of student preparedness and give us picture perfect data on what we need to do to give students the best opportunity at earning a Career Skills Certificate that proves they have the competencies employers are looking for? 

Let me show you how 

A step-by-step process on how to ensure your students are set up for success: 

  1. Print out the Knowledge Standards: This is a free cheat sheet that tells you exactly what will be on the test, and exactly what skills and knowledge industry wants. 
  2. Create a Pre-Exam: Proctor it at the beginning of the course.  
  3. Pull a report: The Proctor Standard Report will give you a breakdown of what the standards are, how many questions from each standard are on the test, and what percentage of each standard each student got correct. This will give you a perfect starting point with your class. 
  4. Create another Pre-Exam: Use this as a midterm.  
  5. Repeat step three: There is your benchmark. You will be able to compare student growth and get a clear understanding of where your students are at. 

If you use the tools that are available to you, you will look like the world’s greatest CTE educator and you will be amazed by the results when your students take the end-of-course certification test!  

Use these links to learn how to pull standard blueprints, create pre-exams, and pull proctor standard reports.