The true power of Scorelink lies in the colour-coding of student results to determine whether students are under- or over-performing, compared to the expectations you have set at your site. Understanding what benchmarks you need and how to set them is the key to using these features effectively.
What is a Benchmark?
A benchmark in Scorelink is a way for you to define what your expectations are for a group of students at a specific time; this is what determines which scores will appear as different colours.
You can create as few or as many benchmarks as you need, depending on how often you want to change your expectations. For most tests it is sufficient to set one benchmark for each year level; however, if you have changing expectations throughout the year you will need to set additional benchmarks.
Test vs. Benchmark Frequency
A common misconception is that you need one benchmark for each time you test students. However, you only need a benchmark every time you change expectations.
For example, many schools test Running Records each term of the year; however if your school only sets expectations on a year-level basis then you may only need one benchmark.
Benchmarks in Scorelink can be adjusted at any time and the data will automatically update, so start with something simple that you can understand, and you can always change it once you are more experienced with Scorelink.
Where should I set them?
A question that our support team often get asked is “where should I set my benchmarks?”. Unfortunately, only you can answer that question; however, here are some tips to get you started.
How often will you benchmark?
Firstly you need to decide which groups of students you will benchmark. Often this will be individual year-levels, but it may be more or less frequently.
What are your brackets?
The next thing to figure out is what colour each score will fit into; see Brackets and colour-coding for an explanation of what each colour means. Write down each bracket and the range of scores that will fit into the bracket. Make sure you have covered the full range of possible test values (you don’t want a few scores that aren’t in any of the brackets).
Setting the values
When it comes time to set your benchmarks in Scorelink, we recommend working with the upper value of each bracket. This means you should only set the highest Risk score, Caution score and Normal score: as you set these values, the corresponding lower value of the next bracket will automatically set itself to match. Once you have set the upper value of Normal, your benchmark should now be configured correctly.
For further information please view the Setting up benchmarks user guide.