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Pros: An incredible number of resources, strategies, and suggestions to support a child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
Cons: Teachers and parents may place too much weight on the results of a one-hour computer test, and the sheer volume of material might be overwhelming.
Bottom Line: This impressive tool uses normed digital assessments to create a specific learning profile and provide authentic tools for individual learners.
If students take the Mindprint Learning assessment, teachers can readily identify learning profiles for each class. It may be helpful in pairing students for collaborative work, or it may help guide instructional practices. In a class of students with strong visual memory but weaknesses in verbal memory, you may use photographs, cartoons, or videos to teach difficult material instead of using lecture or text-heavy instruction. For those struggling with processing or working memory, teachers might also explore the student toolboxes to identify strategies for increasing reading comprehension scores. Each report provides a thorough explanation of what a delay in each skill looks like and how to combat that in the classroom.
Even without a formal assessment, you might use the free resources provided by Mindprint Learning. Search the comprehensive database of websites, apps, and teaching strategies to find tools to support specific academic or cognitive skills. The study checklists provide tools and strategies for reluctant readers, for reluctant writers, and for developing insight through questioning. There are also student-centered tip sheets that might be helpful for older students.
To fully engage in what Mindprint Learning offers, students first take an online assessment to measure strengths and challenges. This research-based assessment was developed by the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. The test assesses different types of memory, processing speed, attention, flexible thinking, verbal and abstract reasoning, and spatial perception using game-based and timed activities. The entire battery takes about one hour and allows students to max out on tests that are too difficult or if they struggle to finish a task. After completing the assessment, users wait about one week for a psychologist to review the data and formulate the student's profile.
A student's learning profile shows how a student's skills compare to those of his/her peers (based on standardized normative data) and explains how these skills were assessed. The report also includes a brief section about the potential role anxiety and depression play in learning and how to discuss the results with the student. Mindprint Learning then creates a list of targeted resources and tools to help the student develop his or her challenge areas. These resources include games, apps, websites, and learning strategies that might be useful for parents and teachers. Even without a formal assessment, teachers and parents can find resources and expert advice for targeted learning profiles. Articles, definitions, resources for giftedness, and study checklists are available at no cost.
Mindprint Learning's three-step approach to successful learning is great: Assess where you are, identify strengths and challenges, and take action. The toolbox is individualized, intentional, and robust. The report is written in relatively simple language to help parents and educators make sense of the complex results. A disclaimer reminds users that the report isn't designed to replace a psycho-educational evaluation and doesn't include a diagnosis of a learning difference. It's also important to remember that a student may not have given best effort during the assessment for a variety of reasons. As with any test, teachers/parents shouldn't consider the report written in stone and should seek additional testing if the results seem inaccurate or provide more questions than answers.
Mindprint Learning empowers users to find language to connect to their learning experiences. The potential for metacognitive development (learning how they learn) in older students may guide them to take ownership of their educational success. This information is also useful for parents who want to help their children learn to self-advocate and engage in meaningful conversation with teachers and school professionals.