Because the most recent evidence of understanding is the most important and accurate information about your students’ skills and understanding, Forefront applies a weighted average to your assessment results that disproportionately weights the most recent results.
When results are entered into the system, the progress toward proficiency is calculated to reflect this new information. To accomplish this, the program applies a curve to define the dissipation of the influence of older results:
- An assessment given today would receive the full weight.
- Results that are 2 weeks old are weighted at one third what the most recent
information is weighted.
- Data that is 3 weeks old is weighted at a quarter of the new data.
- The weighting continues to become less and less influential on the overall
representation of progress toward standards.
- After 2 months any new results completely write over the old results.
Here is a representation of the rate of dissipation of weight over the first 3 weeks. This curve is defined by the expression on the right.
Forefront's recency calculation is not just based on time, but is a weighted average that factors the time/date of data into its calculation. For example, if a student is assessed today for a particular standard that s/he was assessed for over two months ago, the new results would replace the old results. This is so that, should a student first be assessed for a standard and show little or no proficiency (e.g. a 0 or 1), but then over the course of one or two modules show mastery (e.g. a 3), s/he would be considered proficient.
If there is no new data or information for a particular standard, then the older data would be what is represented in a student's proficiency score. For example, if a student was assessed for a particular standard in one unit four months ago, but not assessed again for that standard in the following units, the student's proficiency score for that particular standard would be from that data that is four months old.
This method of applying a weighted average defined by recency honors the importance of student growth and calculations take place standard by standard. Evidence from each standard is
averaged to determine progress at the cluster level and cluster progress is averaged to
determine proficiency at the domain level.