Questar Assessment The Bridge

Spring 2017

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Dear *|FNAME|*,

With the spring 2017 testing season officially in the books, we join all of you in saying, "Bring on summer!" In this issue of The Bridge, our last one of the 2016-2017 school year, we're doing something a bit different. In the past two issues, we covered educational topics and put an assessment spin on them. This time, we kept it really simple: we're providing links to some of the most stirring talks about education that we could find in's vast archives. We hope you’ll take this issue of The Bridge with you as you re-energize, find new inspiration, and prepare to come back next fall ready to take on a brand new year. Please look it over and let us know what you think. We welcome your feedback, as well as ideas for stories to cover in future editions.

P.S. Questar will use our break from testing to focus on our own commitment to professional excellence. Todd Radtke, our vice president of product management, gives a preview below about how we plan to spend time innovating to make the Nextera testing platform better than ever.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Inspiration

In 2006, Sir Ken Robinson gave what has become's single most watched TED Talk ever: Do schools kill creativity? has been viewed nearly 45,000,000 times — maybe even by you. Even if you’ve seen it, watching it again will likely give you fresh insights on how to nurture creativity into education.

Did you know, though, that Robinson evangelized for his brand of radical creativity in education in three other TED Talks? In his early 2010 follow-up, Bring on the learning revolution!, he made a compelling case to change from standardized schools to personalized learning as a way to unlock students' natural talents. Later in 2010, he partnered with RSA Animate to illustrate the link he had found between rising drop-out rates, schools’ dwindling arts funding, and the rise in ADHD diagnoses in Changing education paradigms. Robinson's return to the TED stage in 2013 saw him use humor to make an emotional plea in How to escape education's death valley to give students the three things the human mind needs to flourish — and that the current education culture works against providing.

What Inspires Sir Ken Robinson?

So now that you've gotten familiar — or perhaps gotten reacquainted — with Sir Ken Robinson's unique point of view about education, are you curious about what feeds his philosophy? The good people at TED appeared to have pondered that question, too. In 2013, they asked Robinson to create a playlist of his most-loved, education-related TED Talks. A few of our favorites include:

Or, put the 10-video playlist on auto-play, kick back, relax, and enjoy.

Questar Corner

Todd Radtke
Vice President of Product Management

If you're a Questar client and your state gives online assessments, we hope you don't notice the changes the next time you or your students log in. And I'm not just saying that because I'm in the grips of spring fever.

The design goal for our test delivery platform, Nextera, is to keep the technology out of the way of a good test experience. When we get feedback that something isn't quite right — or when we run the system through our own quality assurance processes and hit a few sour notes along the way — our product team are eager to dig in and make it better. That's because they all ascribe to the "universal law of innovation: build it, break it, improve it." Here's a few things we’ll be improving this summer.

  • Support for additional Technology Enhanced Item types
  • Improved support for visually impaired students
  • Test Delivery System support of multi-language forms
  • Enhanced test proctor tools and reporting
In Your Neighborhood

June 28 - 30
National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA)
Austin, TX

June 28 - 30
National Forum on Education Policy
San Diego, CA

Questar Assement
5550 Upper 147th Street West, Minneapolis, MN 55124
© 2017 Questar Assessment Inc. All rights reserved.

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