WCER Team Wins Award in Global Ed Tech Competition for Student Assessment Tool

Project Director Laura Wright wins nearly $250,000 for project "Actionable Assessment"

June 28, 2022   |   By WCER Communications

WCER is thrilled to announce that its ONPAR team is one of only 30 projects worldwide to win a prize in the 2021-22 Learning Engineering Tools Competition, becoming eligible to share $4 million to develop improved educational technology tools potentially impacting millions of students.

Project Director Laura Wright and Outreach Specialist Linda Malkin will receive $249,622 for their project, “Actionable Assessment: Scaffolding Students’ Experience with Assessment Results,” a digital reporting tool to make students’ assessment results interpretable and actionable, fostering positive assessment use and learning habits.

The tool engages students in interpreting and using assessment results to drive learning, improving the quality of the student assessment experience. It will also report information to teachers, enabling them to better meet learning needs.


Project Director Laura Wright

Wright has been working with English learners for two decades in a variety of capacities including classroom teaching, curriculum and assessment development, and research. She has worked on a variety of federally funded projects including Project FAST Capacity, a USED Enhanced assessment grant to develop a computerized English language proficiency assessment, and ONPAR mathematics and ONPAR science, innovative content assessments for English learners. Malkin, a former middle school science teacher, joined the ONPAR team in 2016. Before that, Malkin spent 3 years on a grant-funded effort to transform her K-8 general education school into a magnet school.

This year, more than 800 teams from 60 countries competed in the second annual Tools Competition. Proposals sought to accelerate literacy and math skills for K-12 students, transform assessments in cost and quality, facilitate faster, better, and cheaper learning science research, and improve adult learning to boost middle class wages.

The educational tools developed by the winning teams have the potential to impact millions of learners by the end of 2022 and more than 40 million learners within the next three years, according to estimates calculated by each team.

First launched in July 2020 at the Futures Forum on Learning, the Tools Competition was created to accelerate pandemic-related learning recovery and advance the field of learning engineering by showcasing innovative ways to address pressing challenges and opportunities in education.

The winning teams in this year’s contest are made up of entrepreneurs, learning scientists, and researchers from around the world, with total funding of nearly $4 million in awards approved to fund their proposed tool, technology, platform, or research projects.

The winning proposals address a range of learning goals—from improving adult learning to boost middle class wages, to accelerating literacy and math skills for K-12 students, to creating informative assessments to help teachers better address the needs of their students, to creating tools that will accelerate the learning science research process.

The competition was sponsored by Schmidt Futures, Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin, the Walton Family Foundation, the Siegel Family Endowment, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was administered by Georgia State University and The Learning Agency. A full list of winners, their projects, and awards can be found here.