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Assessment for Real-World Success

We each chart our own path forward in this incredible world—with help from family, friends, and teachers who inspire and guide us. At National Geographic Learning, our goal is to motivate students to experience the world through the visually rich stories of National Geographic photographers and explorers. But inspiration is only the beginning of the learning journey. These past few years, we’ve embarked on a new initiative we call assessment for real-world success. Our assessment approach and products support the goals of global citizenship, real-world communication, and personalized success. Beyond sparking curiosity, we help teachers deliver meaningful learning outcomes and provide personalized growth pathways for students.

As a publisher and former teacher, I’m very proud of National Geographic Learning Online Placement, our adaptive test for quickly and reliably placing English learners in appropriate courses. We took a collaborative approach in our development process, bringing together global assessment experts and instructors from 27 schools and universities around the world, piloting the test with thousands of students to ensure we got it right. I’m particularly happy teachers tell us the test is not only authoritative but also inviting for students. As Moez Lamti from the Modern College of Business and Science in Muscat, Oman says, “The high-quality images and overall format make the test feel like a formative task rather than a high-stakes assessment.” We spent a lot of time refining the one-page score report to ensure our language skill profile is meaningful for both students and instructors. Like all our assessment products, National Geographic Learning Online Placement includes students in the learning process and identifies areas for improvement and growth, rather than just testing and reporting on ability.

We want to engage students in all aspects of learning and assessment. We believe that delivering the real world—the whole world—in all our products is critical for student success. Toward that end, National Geographic Learning Online Placement is the first test of its kind to deploy real-world content through all the readings, listening passages, and test items. Real people, real places, and real events. We believe this authenticity is the key reason students actually enjoy our assessment products. As Natalia Haidei from PLS Klever Club tells us, “My students like the National Geographic Learning Online Placement content. I think it’s very important to choose a test which students like so the questions capture their interest as they move from one task to another.” And when you stop to think about it, clear and motivating assessment tools offer a big pay-off for language students. At National Geographic Learning, we help students identify where they are on their learning journey, and help teachers guide students toward reaching their goals.

Request a demo of the online placement test: https://bit.ly/2Xn5e0a

Author: Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen directs the National Geographic Learning Global Partnerships Group, a center of excellence for delivering Ministry of Education projects around the world. Erik has worked in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the US as an ELT (English language teaching) and K12 publisher, business development executive, author, and teacher. He has managed successful publishing projects for the Vietnam, Malaysia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt Ministries of Education. Erik has held teaching positions at the American Language Institute in Lisbon, Portugal and the University of California, Berkeley. Erik holds an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. with Honors in Art History from Williams College, both in the US.

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