OWL Blog

Poudre selects OWL

Poudre School District selects OWL Testing Software for Foreign Language Students

PITTSBURGH (March 1, 2010) – OWL Testing Software, a premier provider of affordable, web-based testing and assessment systems, is proud to announce that Poudre School District in Fort Collins Colorado is now using OWL Testing Software. Poudre has installed the OWL application at their data center, and has already used the software to evaluate more than 2000 of the district’s language learning students.

         
OWL Testing Software is an industry-leading application for assessing students’ speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. OWL also provides teachers and administrators with test authoring, scheduling, rating/scoring, and reporting capabilities.

“We chose the OWL software because it is much more than a high-stakes, year-end testing program. It is a tool that can be used everyday in the classroom to help students and instructors improve the language learning experience,” says Bethany Brown, Poudre World Language Facilitator. Ms. Brown coordinated the discovery, analysis and selection process for Poudre School District.

With nearly 5000 language students, Poudre is using OWL to overcome many of the hurdles associated with language practice and assessment. Because assignments can be customized at an individual student level, OWL is a valuable tool for delivering differentiated instruction and assessment. Instructors can tailor activities to accommodate students at any level of proficiency in any language. Furthermore, OWL’s web-based platform allows students and instructors to access the program from any computer with a web browser. Rather than reserving time in a traditional foreign language lab, instructors can use more readily available computer labs for classroom activities.

“Why assess a student if you are not going to do something with the data to help them,” Ms. Brown continues. “There are very special assessment needs for language learning. An instructor not only needs to assess if students are acquiring the basic skills – grammar, vocabulary, accents; but they also need to evaluate the performance aspect of learning. What can a student do with their skills? Can they apply them to a real-life situation? OWL marries both these needs in one convenient, accessible tool.”

The OWL application addresses three major concerns of today’s language instructors – summative assessment, formative assessment and Response to Intervention (RTI). Like most testing programs, OWL Testing Software can provide a summative assessment of a student’s capabilities upon exiting a program. What makes OWL’s application unique is its use in the formative assessment process. With OWL, instructors can create activities to assess a student’s ability to apply their learning. For example, an instructor can use OWL to take an oral sample of a student ordering from a menu or giving directions. Finally, OWL offers an organized way to gather writing assessments and monitor student achievement to manage efficiently Response to Intervention (RTI) mandates.

“We are excited to partner with Poudre School District’s exceptional language learning program,” says Chris Dalessandri, president and CEO of OWL Testing Software. “I think what Poudre found so appealing about OWL is its built-in flexibility. They did not want to be forced into a pre-packaged testing solution. With OWL, Poudre is using the same test items that they had previously designed to meet their specific needs.” Dalessandri continues, “Because Poudre's instructors rate their students, there is a ’wash back effect’ that helps to improve instruction. By using OWL's data collection, reporting and analysis on an individual activity at the student, teacher, class and district level, Poudre can access performance and improve instruction at every level.”

About OWL Testing Software
OWL Testing Software is a leading provider of language test building software to academia, business, and government markets. Built as a Web-based solution for test creation, administration, and management, OWL Testing Software is unique in its ability to create tests for all four communication skills – oral, aural, reading and writing. OWL is available as licensed software and as a hosted solution to meet the needs of the largest and smallest schools, businesses, and government agencies concerned with enhancing the language learning process and outcomes. Please visit www.owlts.com or call 412.573.6143 for more information.

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