Dr. Sharon Jones, Founder and CEO of the dot Consulting and the Dottie Rose Foundation

Dr. Sharon Jones, Ed.D is the founder and CEO of the dot Consulting and the Dottie Rose Foundation, where she creates, innovates, and implements cutting-edge technology focused on new age education. She has found her passion in education and has served as a computer science expert for the past 20 years, bridging the gap between our everyday actions and the application of technology. Dr. Jones is a highly sought-after and national award-winning Computer Science expert.  She also serves as a member of the National Small Business Leadership Council, where she represents North Carolina, and a co-founder of Carolina Women in Tech. She was also named one of the 100 Women to KNOW in 2023 by JP Morgan for her work and impact with creating a pipeline for women in tech. When not running the technology world, Dr. Jones spends her time with her husband Ricky, and two sons, Ethan and Dylan.


In the ever-evolving landscape of education, technology continues to play a pivotal role in reshaping traditional practices. Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of assessment. With the advent of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, the assessment process in K-12 education is going to undergo a profound transformation. These technologies are enabling more personalized and adaptive approaches to measuring student learning and progress, ushering in a new era of educational assessment with the ability to change the negative perception of testing and truly embrace the concept of personalized learning.

Embracing Personalized Learning Through AI (Artificial Intelligence)

One of the most significant contributions of EdTech to assessment and evaluation is the introduction of adaptive learning platforms. Adaptive learning means delivering a learning experience that’s optimized for the individual. While all learners in an adaptive learning platform may start with the same content, each learner’s experience dynamically changes as the student engages with the material over time, making each learner’s pathway unique.

The key to unlocking adaptive learning for online learning is the use of algorithms to orchestrate interactions with learners. Every learner interacts with the adaptive learning platform, and based on those interactions, the algorithm creates a learning pathway based on prior performance, how quickly the learner answers the questions, how often the student engages with the material, and a variety of other factors. In addition, adaptive learning systems can track data such as student progress, engagement, and performance, and use the data to provide personalized learning experiences. use data for the positive to adjust for student achievement.

Photo credit: ArborRidge

Examples of adaptive learning platforms include: DreamBox Learning, IXL Learning, ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces), and Smart Sparrow. On each of these platforms, the following adaptive learning concepts can be implemented: personalized learning paths, skill mastery tracking, content recommendation engines, real-time feedback, and data/mastery tracking. These represent just a few of the capabilities of utilizing an adaptive learning platform as an integrated learning tool in the classroom.

Because adaptive learning utilizes algorithms to analyze student performance data in real-time, enabling them to dynamically adjust the difficulty and content of assessments to match each student’s skill level and learning pace. This statement alone is powerful. Differentiation is a term used often in education with little fidelity in implementation. But with AI technology, this can truly come to fruition. Artificial intelligence will revolutionize assessments by providing educators with tools to tailor learning experiences to individual students’ needs.

AI-powered systems can analyze vast amounts of data on students’ performance, learning styles, and preferences to create personalized learning pathways. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, these systems can identify areas where students excel and areas where they may need additional support, allowing teachers to deliver targeted interventions and support student growth effectively. Interventions can be implemented through the teacher or specific technology platforms.

However, just using advanced technology does NOT take the place or impact of an educator. While the adaptive learning platforms provide personalized learning and data tracking, it is one tool in the toolbox of learning.

The use of technology and an educator’s expertise is what I call, the power of the blend. The blend of using technology to support learning but with the direction of the expertise of the teacher provides an incredible opportunity for both teachers and students to achieve mastery.

Now, let’s address the power of utilizing technology to support educators in assessing student learning and mastery.

The True Impact: Moving Beyond Standardized Testing

Most assessments adhere to a standardized format, delivering identical sets of questions to all learners, irrespective of their abilities or learning speeds. While this method of standardized tests may provide a snapshot of students’ academic performance in certain subjects, it falls short in accurately gauging individual strengths and weaknesses, resulting in incomplete evaluations and possible learning disparities. In addition, only looking at one assessment fails to capture the full spectrum of knowledge, abilities, and talents that students possess.

The integration of AI and data analytics in assessment is driving a shift away from traditional standardized testing toward more holistic and authentic forms of assessment. Instead of relying solely on standardized tests to measure student achievement, adaptive testing harnesses AI to customize questions according to each learner’s proficiency level. Unlike traditional tests with a predetermined set of questions, the AI algorithm dynamically chooses questions based on the learner’s responses, fine-tuning the difficulty level to align with their performance. This tailored approach enables adaptive tests to pinpoint the exact level of mastery for each learner, resulting in a more precise and nuanced evaluation.

Moreover, shifting the focus away from standardized testing opens up opportunities to cultivate essential 21st-century skills that are essential for success in today’s dynamic world. Skills such as problem-solving, communication, adaptability, and resilience are increasingly crucial in navigating complex challenges and seizing opportunities in various contexts. By prioritizing these skills in assessment practices, educators can better prepare students to thrive in an ever-changing global landscape and become active contributors to society.

Moving beyond standardized testing encourages educators to adopt innovative approaches that prioritize deep learning, critical inquiry, and student engagement, laying the foundation for lifelong learning and success beyond the classroom.

Impact: Increased Student Engagement and Learning

Instead of observing one moment in time in a standardized test, through adaptive testing and learning educators will have a continuous bank of data and analysis that moves with the student’s progress and shows the true process of learning. With students finding success through personalized learning, applied learning projects, and real-time assessments, there will be increased engagement.

Overcoming Challenges and Ethical Considerations

While the potential benefits of AI and data analytics in educational assessment are significant, there are also challenges and ethical considerations to navigate. Issues such as data privacy, algorithm bias, and the equitable distribution of resources must be addressed to ensure that these technologies serve the best interests of all students. Each district will want to create a framework that outlines the use and nonuse of technology in the classroom for learning and assessment purposes.

Additionally, educators must be provided with training and support to effectively integrate these technologies into their practice and interpret the insights they provide accurately. Training must be ongoing because the rate at which technology is continually evolving means continuous learning and adaptation.

The Wrap

“The computer is incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Man is unbelievably slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. The marriage of the two is a force beyond calculation”- Leo M. Cherne

Looking into the future of education, it is clear that emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and data analytics will continue to play a central role in transforming the assessment process. By enabling more personalized, adaptive, and authentic forms of assessment, these technologies have the potential to revolutionize education, empower educators, and unlock the full potential of every student. The implementation of AI technology can revolutionize how we assess students and bring what is an outdated process into the current century.

As we embrace the possibilities of technology in assessment, we must also remain vigilant in addressing challenges and ethical considerations to ensure that these technologies serve the collective goal of advancing educational equity and excellence.

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