CTB/McGraw-Hill Releases Acuity UnWIred – Clicker Integration Software for Acuity INFORMATIVE ASSESSMENT SOLUTION 

Integration of Formative Assessment with Student Response Devices Marks an Education Technology First


Washington, D.C. – June 29, 2009 – CTB/McGraw-Hill, a leader in K–12 and adult education, today announced the release of Acuity UnWired™ – new clicker integration software for the Company’s Acuity InFormative Assessment™ solution. The launch of Acuity UnWired marks an education technology first: the integration of online, benchmark, interim, and formative assessment with student response devices.

Acuity UnWired enables students to take Acuity assessments using student response devices, or “clickers,” provided by Qwizdom® and eInstruction™. Teachers can immediately act on assessment responses and generate standards-aligned Acuity reports within minutes. The instantaneous feedback provided through Acuity UnWired gives educators the ability to make data-driven instructional decisions without delay, providing students with targeted instruction in real-time. 

“Clicker technology makes high quality formative assessment easier to administer in the classroom,” said Ellen Haley, President of CTB/McGraw-Hill. “The overwhelmingly positive response from students, teachers, and district officials indicates that clickers are enhancing Acuity’s value as a superior assessment system for learning and achievement.”

CTB/McGraw-Hill has demonstrated Acuity UnWired in school district pilot projects in five states, with universally successful results. A total of 14 pilots were conducted, consisting of more than 300 students across multiple grade levels. Students noted almost unanimously that they preferred clickers not only to paper and pencil, but also to online testing. Teachers reported a high level of comfort and ease of use, and district officials were very satisfied.

“Giving teachers the ability to get immediate feedback, without having to grade a pile of papers, is very powerful,” said Joe O’Reilly, Executive Director of Student Achievement Support for Mesa Public Schools in Arizona. “For example, as one teacher watched her students answer questions on a test, she pointed to one question on her computer screen and said, ‘They should know that.’ So, when the test was done, she immediately started re-teaching. This truly expands the power of Acuity in the classroom and its strength as a formative tool to immediately inform classroom instruction. Teachers who have taken our course on using the clickers and Acuity report that students are doing better, the instructional activities that can be assigned engage students, and some students have actually asked for more formative tests to show how they are doing.”

Using clickers to administer Acuity assessments benefits both teachers and students:

  • Clickers allow teachers to test quickly and easily, enabling them to see results in real time and immediately adjust instruction as guided by test results.

  • Compared with online testing, clickers enable computer labs to be freed up for other valuable instructional purposes, eliminating lab scheduling conflicts.

  •  Students report feeling more at ease taking assessments in their classrooms with clickers, compared to taking assessments in an often-crowded computer lab.
  • Using clickers with Acuity tests eliminates costly and time-consuming printing, barcoding, distributing, collecting, and scanning of answer sheets.
  •  Today’s tech-savvy students are familiar with and prefer using hand-held, electronic devices. Feedback indicates that students enjoy and engage in using new technology.

        Student response devices, about the size of a television remote control, are easy to use, and the receiver is a small unit that plugs directly into a computer’s USB port. The software instantly aggregates the results and uploads the data to Acuity. The clickers utilize powerful and secure radio frequency technology, ensuring a safe and secure mode of test administration.

        CTB/McGraw-Hill is announcing the official release of Acuity UnWired at NECC 2009, held in Washington DC from June 28 through July 1. Demonstrations will be conducted in Booth #3118. To schedule a private briefing, contact Brandon Engle at (916) 204-7115 or Brandon_Engle@mcgraw-hill.com.

        About the Acuity InFormative Assessment™ Solution

        Winner of the 2009 CODiE award for Best Student Assessment Solution, Acuity is a groundbreaking online assessment system that helps teachers gauge student performance and deliver targeted classroom instruction. Acuity provides data that enables teachers to target instructional efforts to areas of need, both at the student level and the classroom level. Acuity contains four elements of a comprehensive InFormative Assessment system: ongoing measurement opportunities, in-depth reporting, analysis of performance data, and resources for targeted instruction.

        About Qwizdom
        Qwizdom provides integrated education technology solutions for thousands of schools throughout the U.S. and U.K. Striving to make learning both effective and engaging, Qwizdom offers the most advanced radio-frequency classroom response technology (patents pending), a complete software learning system, more than 150 interactive curriculum programs, and a digital learning network. Founded in 1984, Qwizdom has offices in the Seattle area, Cleveland, and the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit www.qwizdom.com.

        About eInstruction
        eInstruction pioneered the first student response system for the education market during the 1980s. Its Classroom Performance System (CPS) provides instructors and students with real-time feedback on comprehension during instruction. Today CPS remains the leading student response system in education, being used with over 1.5 million students in more than 60,000 K-12 classrooms and over 400,000 students in more than 400 colleges and universities. In 2006, eInstruction acquired FSCreations and integrated its ExamView® and Learning Series software and content platforms so instructors can seamlessly use publisher and proprietary question banks in lesson plans, quizzes and tests with eInstruction technology. The result is an integrated system for instruction and assessment with real-time feedback. For more information, please visit www.einstruction.com.

        About CTB/McGraw-Hill
        As the nation’s leading publisher of standardized and standards-based achievement tests for pre-school, elementary, middle, high school, and adult education, CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC offers a broad range of assessments, software and services. CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC is part of the Assessment and Reporting group of McGraw-Hill Education (MHE), a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:  MHP). MHE is a leading global provider of print and digital instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. McGraw-Hill Education has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 65 languages. Additional information is available at www.CTB.com.

        Media Inquiries
        Brandon Engle
        Manager, Communications
        Phone: (916) 204-7115




"(Required)" indicates required fields