FileMaker developer helps transform district’s student assessment

Posted by Justin Hesser on November 4, 2013

Just one FileMaker developer. That's all it took for a Kansas school district to revolutionize the way it administered and reviewed student assessments. 

That district, the Dodge City Public Schools, had struggled with student evaluation. When it began handing out iPads to teachers and students last year, Ray Wipf, executive director of information management, surmised that the devices could be used for more than mobile apps and note taking. Soon, he came up with a solution using Filemaker.

Initially only used on desktops and laptops, the program is now on all 1,200 of the districts iPads — a number that's expected to increase more than fivefold. Students can use the tablets to answer multiple choice and short answer questions, and teachers can track scores and progress, all in real time. Teachers can then quickly identify trends and areas of need, by using custom database filters to sort by subject and areas of weakness. They can view this information in chart, graph or list form, and readily identify students who need extra help. 

Wipf has long recognized the value of being a FileMaker developer.

"I know how to program and I've used FileMaker a number of times in the past. When the district approved the budget to purchase a license for the product, FileMaker was installed on all desktops and laptops," he told education publication The Journal. "We decided the value of doing that would be justified."

Now, with this iPad expansion, the schools in the district are realizing even more benefits from the versatile program. Now that teachers can analyze student results more quickly and thoroughly than before, they can make sure that every student is put in the best possible position to succeed.