Brackets and colour-coding
Once you have set benchmarks in Scorelink correctly you will find that all your data will be matched with a colour-code indicating how the student has performed when compared with your expectations. This is a powerful tool when correctly understood; this document will explain the colours and what they mean.
What is a Bracket?
In Scorelink parlance a “bracket” is a specific colour-code assigned to a score, that represents how the student fared when compared to your benchmarks. A bracket consists of both a colour (bracket) and a number of dots between 1 and 3 (sub-bracket).
Scorelink contains four brackets, each of which has three sub-brackets, making a total of twelve possible colour-codes you might see throughout Scorelink. No matter which test or score you are examining, these colour-codes will always mean the same thing. eg. 1 Red dot always means the student is at the lowest level of achievement (greatest possible risk) where 3 green dots mean they are at the highest level of achievement.
Scores are broken up into four possible colour-bands called brackets, with the following semantic meaning:
Risk – this score is critically low and falls well below your standards. This student is “at risk”.
Caution – this score is below your “at benchmark” range and is cause for concern. This student needs watching.
Normal – this score is “at benchmark”, and falls within the normal range you would expect.
Excellent – this score is “above benchmark” and the student is performing above your expectations.
Within each bracket, scores are then further divided into one of three sub-brackets, indicating whether they were in the lower, middle or upper portion of the bracket:
lower – one dot
middle – two dots
upper – three dots
Sub-brackets are particularly useful when the range of a bracket is quite wide, to determine where within the bracket the score fits.
One of the key uses of Scorelink is to analyse student growth against a changing set of expectations. By benchmarking the data, your site has already specified which scores are below, at and above benchmark.
In order to show growth data, Scorelink will typically use the bracket value of scores in graphs and reports. By doing this it doesn’t matter what test or score type was used, as long as the benchmarks are set consisently. Moving from any bracket to a higher bracket – such as from to – is therefore a clear measure of positive growth.