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Learner Profile 3.0.

Sunburst. c2002. Macintosh, PowerPC, OS 8x-9x, 8MB; Windows 95/98/2000/ Me/XP/NT, Pentium, 16MB; both: 4x CD-ROM drive, 256 colors. CD-RM disk, user's guide. $399.95; network, $2499.95. A

This self-contained assessment tool not only helps with supplying grades, but also provides the teacher with an opportunity to track observable behaviors, record grades and attendance, print out reports, and create lesson plans. The basic premise is you can enter all your student data in this program, and you'll have everything you need--no need for extra databases or spreadsheets. The Observations segment is extremely important. The program comes with numerous observable behaviors separated into academic categories, but they are somewhat overwhelming, as they are not broken into enough categories. Along with these observable behaviors there is a set of qualifiers, which is basically your quick assessment. The qualifiers might be "yes" or "no," or any other terms you'd like to use. Numerical grades can be combined with these terms.

I found the Gradebook to be a bit confusing. I like to enter a set number of problems and then enter the scores for each child so that a percentage is created, but this option is not available. The Lesson Plans segment is a nice feature, enabling everything a teacher is using to be kept together. The lesson plans allow input in five areas: Objectives, Materials, Activities, Evaluation, and Notes. The most exciting part of this program is one that I have yet to review, Learner Profile to Go 3.0, which connects this program to a PDA such as a Palm. In this way the teacher can assess observable behaviors with the PDA while walking around the room. This program is sold separately and will hopefully be reviewed in a later issue.

While Learning Profile 3.0 has a great many features, I am not impressed with its lack of flexibility and its pseudo facade as a "complete" program. After typing in parent info, address, etc., I quickly realized that the program really does nothing with this information. The format of the lesson plans cannot be changed; there is no place that I can enter district or state learning standards. I'm also unable to export my lessons to other programs so I can change the look. There are not enough customizable printing options to create professional reports. The reports also combine all observable behaviors alphabetically and don't break up these observables into their respective categories. Final conclusion: I'm not ready to take the total-commitment plunge into Learning Profile 3.0 as my main assessment program. Brad Hammer, Ward Sch., Teacher, Newton, MA
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Author:Hammer, Brad
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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