Projects for schools
Testing and evaluation
Scio has been collaborating with elementary and secondary schools for more than ten years. Every year, an average of 11,500 students from more than 2,000 schools (i.e. 36% of schools in the Czech Republic) take part in our projects. We annually evaluate more than 33,000 tests. The results of our analyses serve as independent feedback and lead to improvement of instruction. Our products are supported by both long-term practice and the latest trends and findings in the field.
We see testing as more than a diagnostic tool, as our objective is also to ensure that students and teachers enjoy themselves and that the result truly aids their further development. Our products include comparison and verification tests. We offer not only ordinary subject tests, but also tests focused on general education prerequisites, skills and competencies. Three years ago, we became the only institution in the Czech Republic to launch computerised adaptive testing (CAT, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computerized_adaptive_testing) of English-language skills. We now also offer testing of German, life skills and reading literacy.
The principal projects offered to schools include:
Nationwide testing contains unique comparative tests that serve for obtaining high-quality and unbiased feedback and comparisons of hundreds of schools throughout the Czech Republic. Thanks to the test of general education prerequisites (similar tests are used worldwide for determining students’ prerequisites for further study), schools gain information on the extent to which students use their learning potential in individual subjects. The results of the tests are supplemented with information from a questionnaire administered to students. Testing is conducted in key periods of instruction – at the end of the first and second grades.
- Every school receives detailed results of students, grades and the school itself.
- In addition to comparison with other schools, the results are focused on determining problem areas and uncovering students’ hidden potential.
- Students receive a detailed report including insight into their test results.
- Testing can be conducted on tablets; students can thus take the tests at home.
- Tests of general education prerequisites, mathematics, Czech language, English language and German language.
World of literacy
This comprehensive service is aimed at developing students’ literacy (e.g. reading literacy) and includes everything from an adaptive test of reading literacy and tips on selecting books to suggestions and tips focused on instruction. All aspects of the service are interlinked and comprehensible.
The School Map questionnaire-based survey provides schools and founders with comprehensive information on the atmosphere in a given school, relations between all actors in the life of the school and their opinions and attitudes, and on potential problem areas (bullying, safety, healthy eating habits). We offer schools a comparison of older and new results, analysis of differences between schools and formulation of SWOT analyses.
In the past, we also implemented ESF (European Social Fund) projects, particularly in the areas of schools’ IT equipment, CLIL methods and alternative assessment methods.
- Escalator – testing of English-language skills and reading literacy for elementary schools and appropriate grades of multiyear high schools in the Central Bohemia region. The Escalator project monitors and develops the knowledge and skills of elementary-school students in the 4th-9th grades and the appropriate grades of multiyear high schools in reading literacy and English through unique verification tests and individualised e-learning.
- Tailored instruction – training for teachers on how to take students’ learning styles into account in lessons. This project familiarised elementary- and secondary-school teachers from the Czech Republic with the possibilities of adapting the course of instruction to the existence of various learning styles and differences in the course of learning and students’ ability to learn. The key topic of the project consisted in students’ varying approaches to learning (especially students’ learning styles) and possibilities of differences among students in the course of instruction. All results of the project were offered to teachers and schools free of charge.
- Cheetah – adaptive testing of information literacy for elementary schools and lower grades of secondary schools in the Czech Republic The objective of this project was to create a modern, broad-spectrum test of information literacy constructed using CAT (computerised adaptive testing) processes. A computer administers to every student a “unique” version of the test in which the choice of items (problems) is derived according to the success rate of answers to preceding items on the basis of the IRT model. Salamander – Development of the environmentally themed Ecopolis board game for elementary schools and lower grades of secondary schools in the Czech Republic This project involved the creation of an educational board game called ECOPOLIS focused on ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION. In addition to the game itself, participating schools received support for teachers, which made it possible to use the game in an efficient and educationally effective manner in the course of instruction.
- Multipolis – Development of a board game with a multicultural theme for elementary schools and lower grades of secondary schools in the Czech Republic. The objective of this project was to develop an educational board game focused on teaching the issue of multiculturalism and prevention of racism and xenophobia. The game is available to schools free of charge and is highly regarded, as it contributes to the development of positive attitudes and students’ ability to be reflective and self-reflective.
- Wellbeing – System of preventing risky behaviour with special focus on the concept of emotional and social health. This project is focused on comprehensive prevention of risky behaviour and socially pathological phenomena at elementary schools. Within the project, participating schools work with all students, teaching staff and students’ parents. The project’s innovativeness consists in its focus on the concept of wellbeing (emotional and social health), which closely corresponds with the school climate, the state of which often foreshadows the occurrence of socially pathological phenomena. Among other things, the project builds on experience gained in Australia in the period 2003-2007.
- Spring – Comprehensive support for the development of competencies related to students’ learning. This project offers elementary- and secondary-school student and their teachers a prepared system of courses and materials for students and methodological materials for teachers focusing on development of the ability to learn (learning competence).
- PRUT – Support for the use of ICT in teaching cross-sectional subjects. Within this project, an internet portal was created, thanks to which teachers can formulate their own lesson plans for teaching cross-sectional subjects and generate tests for their students. Of no less importance, the portal contains electronic content for individual categories of cross-sectional subjects.
- IANUA (Janička) – Expansion of the CLIL method and native speakers in schools. In cooperation with the British Council, we focused on improvement of the languages skills of elementary-school students and teachers. Integration of the CLIL method into instruction on the subject Humans and Their World was carried out using prepared video-lessons (so-called VideoClil). The project’s innovativeness consisted in the use of our own new VideoClil method.
- ICT Coach – Training of teaching staff in the area of using digital touchscreen devices in the course of instruction. This project was focused on systematic training of pedagogical workers in the area of using digital touchscreen devices in the course of instruction. Schools involved in the project obtained digital touchscreen devices that would serve both for initial operation of the technology from the user’s perspective and for incorporation of such technology into instruction.
All of our tests are formulated using a so-call Authorial Tool (AT), which is the result of SCIO’s own research.
The Authorial Tool (AT) serves as an online database in which test items are formulated, amended and stored. Tests are also composed in AT. At the same time, AT is a communication environment for all of the people who take part in developing test items. In the phase of formulating items, the authors send their items via AT to the guarantor, who reviews the items and sends feedback in the form of comments to the authors. This process continues until such time that the planned number of test items corresponding to the commission has been reached.
In the course of development, all comments on test items, statuses and revisions of items, revisions of tests and performed activities are recorded in AT. It is thus possible to see all changes, comments and amendments that have been made.
At present, AT supports 12 different types of test items, and we are administrating 53 projects and 29 courses in AT. During its time in operation, nearly 100,000 test items have been created in AT, along with 1,327 tests, of which 943 have reached the final product phase.
ScioDat testing application
The ScioDat application supports modern technologies and a broad spectrum of functionalities, and our online testing is conducted in the application. Working with the application is easy and intuitive. The initial rigorous testing was carried out in September 2011; to date, several hundred thousand students have gone through the application and more than 300,000 tests were completed last year alone. Scio’s own team of programmers work on the continuing development of the application. Since 2015, the application has also supported e-learning, for which content is currently being developed.
If you are interested in possible collaboration or if you would like to have more information, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.