When we founded Second Avenue in 2006, it was with the mission of improving learning outcomes for all learners. Since our inception, we have focused our work on the twin pillars of equity and efficacy.
We will show you how your students can create a prediction map for the upcoming Presidential Election using Election Edge!
Run your own election and time travel through history!
This is an #allhandsondeck moment for all administrators and teachers and we are committed to sharing resources to support continuity in teaching.
Reimagine Learning A Few Considerations for Remote Work Stick to a Schedule Set a firm work schedule. Use your calendar more rigorously than you are used to. Block chunks of time on your calendar for specific tasks, and perform your tasks during the schedule to which you have committed. This includes coffee/lunch/snack breaks. Set a […]
Reimagine Learning 2ndAve Director of Technology & Development – Aaron Cloutier 1) What made moving to Rochester and working a 2ndAve so compelling based on other places you have lived? We’ve lived in Rochester for most of 25 years and moved to Seattle at one point because that’s where all the new, cool stuff in […]
Reimagine Learning Know Your Audience As the Lead Game Producer here at Second Avenue Learning, part of my job is to make sure the vision for the product we’re building remains clear from the time the project is greenlit through shipping. As a studio that leverages Agile development methodologies, the fine details of the project change […]
Here at Second Avenue Learning, we are passionate about the ways technology brings us closer together, accelerates learning, and creates access that was never available before. At the same time, we know that as educators, parents, and professionals, we need to have balance and model the way of the right use of technology. We thought […]
Reimagine Learning Rapid Fire Decision Making I was in a marketing presentation recently and heard Clay Shirky’s observation, “The issue today is not information overload, it is filter failure.” The goal of marketing is to get visibility and be recognized by as many potential clients as possible. Not everyone is a […]
Reimagine Learning Engaging Students With Primary Sources What does the Library of Congress, a bunch of teachers, and Second Avenue Learning have in common? The goal of encouraging and engaging students with primary sources in the classroom! Recently, […]
A handy visual guide to teaching about the Electoral College.
The Original Mobile Games, a minigame collection developed by Second Avenue Learning jointly with The Strong National Museum of Play and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) MAGIC Center, is now available on the Nintendo Switch.
All of our thoughts on assessment design compiled for your reading pleasure. How can you maximize your assessments?
For children, following politics is usually a passive activity. They are too young to vote, and it isn’t easy for them to actively participation in a political campaign. Knocking on doors and making calls to strangers well into the evening isn’t something we want little kids to do. Still, there are things we can do to help children become active participants in the political process. One way to do this is to hold an in-school election, and our new enhanced version of Election Edge lets you do just that.
“. . . wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”1 —Thomas Jefferson, 1789
Jefferson was optimistic about the ability of a well-informed electorate to hold politicians accountable, and it’s easy to see why: In a democracy, the people hold the ultimate power of government. Empowered with the vote, an informed electorate can vote politicians out of their offices.
What can you learn about someone from their play? Quite a bit, we think. Games can be platforms that illustrate the relevance of many of the skills that are taught in school. Even better, they can be effective tests of many of the higher-order skills that are the most difficult to measure with traditional assessments. To top it all off, they can be highly engaging, which encourages learners to put in the time required to realize this potential.
One of the main objections to traditional approaches to assessment is the claim that the testing experience itself is an inherently flawed way to measure many important skills. For example, wouldn’t it be strange if the only thing you needed to do in order to become a dentist was to pass a multiple choice test? Wouldn’t we want to require prospective dentists to actually perform dental procedures before trusting them with our teeth? How about barbers, or bakers, or nurses, or teachers? In each case, there might be some aspects of the job that can be measured effectively with traditional testing approaches, but those approaches would have to be supplemented with an actual (authentic) display of the skill in question.
While multiple choice questions and other traditional question types are often very useful, they can feel artificial. When you’re taking them, you can always tell that you’re “taking a test,” and that process always feels different from anything you’d have to do outside of the testing environment. Complex question types address this problem by simulating the kind of task you would have to perform in a realistic scenario. In this way, they make assessment more proximate to the discipline while allowing learners to get instant feedback. For example, complex question types could ask you to:
Fill-in-the-blank questions are fundamentally different from multiple choice questions in that the examinee provides his or her own answer. This advantages and disadvantages of this question type spring from this essential feature, because coming up with something by yourself is fundamentally different from choosing one of the options that the test creator provides.
True/false questions are really multiple choice questions with two answers: true and false. They tend to get used in low-stakes assessments, to generate class discussion, or because sometimes learning designers want to include questions that are easier to answer. However, they tend not to be used in high-stakes assessment, for these reasons:
Matching, sorting, and sequencing are worth considering together, because they share the same advantages and disadvantages. Essentially, they are all good item types when used appropriately, but they aren't appropriate in every context.
By some measures, multiple choice questions are the most popular question type in assessment.They show up everywhere, across disciplines, across ages, in traditional education, in the business world, in certification exams and seemingly everywhere you look. Multiple choice questions aren’t popular with everyone, though. Students typically have a less positive view of them, and they’re subject to criticism from educators, instructional designers and other avenues.