COR Advantage is both a valid and reliable child assessment that measures the developmental trajectories of all children, from birth through kindergarten, regardless of their backgrounds or abilities. Based on extensive research in the field of early childhood education, COR Advantage puts into practice the most up-to-date knowledge about brain development and behavior. It also recognizes the working conditions of early childhood practitioners, with careful consideration given to the length of the assessment, ease of use, and its efficiency in validly and reliably measuring student outcomes.
COR Advantage Validation
Like all HighScope assessment tools, COR Advantage has undergone rigorous validation by research staff with consultation from outside experts. The instrument was field-tested for reliability and validity with children representing diverse program settings and a wide range of abilities and family backgrounds. An observation-based, criterion-referenced instrument that provides systematic assessment of children’s knowledge and abilities in all areas of development, COR Advantage is successfully used in infant-toddler, preschool, and kindergarten classrooms. Not only does it accommodate use in inclusive classrooms, but specific items are also designed to track the language acquisition of English language learners, so teachers can better support children’s English language development, when needed.
Observing and Assessing Children’s Development
The younger children are, the more difficult it is to accurately and effectively assess them. One way to overcome this challenge is to create an environment in which teachers collect information about young children across a longer time period, in a natural setting. Teachers and aides are ideally positioned for collecting such observation-based data, given the knowledge they have about each child’s development. In addition, observation-based assessments can guide teachers to become more reflective and intentional as they observe key indicators of children’s development.
COR Advantage focuses on children’s naturally occurring activities rather than their performance on tests, allowing for a broader assessment of each child’s development. It can be used with any developmentally-appropriate curriculum, and assesses all key developmental areas of children’s progress, including
- Kindergarten readiness and success
- Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework
- Common Core Standards for Kindergarten
- All state early learning standards
- HighScope Key Developmental Indicators (KDIs) at all age levels
COR Advantage is one of the tools approved by Head Start and state-funded programs for accountability purposes. Most early education programs enter, analyze, and report scores electronically, using the online tool. HighScope does offer a paper-based version for small programs, or as a support to help customers new to assessment transition to a cloud-based system.
COR Advantage’s 9 Categories:
- Approaches to Learning
- Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development & Health
- Language, Literacy, & Communication
- Creative Arts
- Science and Technology
- Social Studies
- English Language Learners (Optional)
Each category is divided into specific areas of development, called Items, and each item is scored on an eight-level scale ranging from 0 (lowest) to 7 (highest), offering a detailed developmental profile for each child. The eight scoring levels of COR Advantage provide an overlapping continuum, so that children can be scored at the developmental and ability level appropriate for them. Thus, for example, infants and toddlers will generally be scored at levels 0–2, but it would not be uncommon for an older toddler to score a level 3 on some items. Likewise, preschoolers will typically score at levels 2–5, but may rate higher or lower on any given item. Based on the child’s age and developmental level, users are given a suggested starting point for scoring, but can scroll up or down to the level appropriate for each child. This system accommodates children with special needs and developmental delays, as well as those whose early learning may be more advanced in some content areas than others.
Educators work with children throughout the day and observe what they are doing and saying, jotting down short observational notes, or anecdotes, on sticky notes or in the OnlineCOR Mobile app. This documentation becomes the basis for the child’s portfolio, which may also include photographs, audiotapes, videotapes, drawings, writing samples, and other examples of a child’s work. Using a tablet, these examples can be recorded digitally and uploaded into the COR Advantage online system. The OnlineCOR Mobile application allows teachers to record and score child observations and track entry of anecdotes in COR Advantage.
The anecdotes are then scored using the online tool’s Scoring Bar. Any staff member (such as an aide or therapist) who is trained to use COR Advantage is able to enter and score anecdotes that reflect his or her work with the child. Practitioners can use the developmental information accessed through the online Scoring Bar, or the Scoring Guide or Desk Reference, to help assign an item (letter) and developmental level (number) to the anecdote or portfolio sample. Each level is clearly defined — there is no “guesswork” or confusion about where children should be scored or whether they fall between two levels.
As a formative assessment, COR Advantage gives teachers access to useful reports and resources that enable them to assess progress and plan future learning activities. COR Advantage scores enable teachers to describe the specific knowledge and skills each child can demonstrate. The information obtained can then be used to plan both group and individual instruction. COR Advantage also gives administrators access to a wide array of features to create program wide reports, review child outcomes, inform program improvement plans, and monitor progress.
Teachers can create and access a number of useful reports, using this data in developing intentional lesson plans that support children at every developmental level. A family report called Your Child’s Developmental Profile summarizes and provides anecdotal examples of the child’s development, and facilitates in-depth conversations about home and school goals during parent conferences. At regular reporting intervals (2–4 times a year, depending on program requirements), practitioners can generate reports that include all assessment results at the district, school, and class level. They can then use the report functions to share children’s progress with administrators.
Administrators can use the COR Advantage online system to review child outcomes on an ongoing basis, guide program improvement plans, and generate program-wide reports in formats that fulfill mandated requirements of Head Start, state-funded programs, private funders, and other stakeholders.
Support and Resources
The online resources section includes
- User guides that explain various functions of the online application in detail, with step-by-step instruction
- PDF versions of the COR Advantage Desk Reference
- PDF versions of the COR Advantage Scoring Guide (available in both English and Spanish) to help users understand the different categories, items, and levels of the COR Advantage assessment tool
- Technology tips — onscreen videos that explain common functions of the online system
- An Articles section that provide suggestions and resources on various topics such as Children with Special Needs, English Language Learners, Family/Home Support, and Lesson Planning
COR Advantage includes online resources for lesson planning, teaching, and scaffolding student learning. These resources help lessen the assessment burden, particularly at the beginning of the program year.
Online support is available in the form of resource documents, videos, and contextual help to allow users to master the various functions and maximize the advantages of the online system. The online resources section includes user guides that explain various functions of the online application in detail, with step-by-step instruction; PDF versions of the COR Advantage Desk Reference and the COR Advantage Scoring Guide (available in both English and Spanish) to help users understand the different categories, items, and levels of the COR Advantage assessment tool; and technology tips — onscreen videos that explain common functions of the online system. Additional resources are included in the Articles section that provide suggestions and resources on various topics such as Children with Special Needs, English Language Learners, Family/Home Support, and Lesson Planning.
Toll-free phone and email support are offered to licensed users during normal business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Our phone agents are able to resolve most support questions during the initial call. After-hours and weekend phone support is available through a monitored voice mailbox. E-mail support may be accessed through the COR Advantage online web portal. Spanish language support is available during normal business hours.
COR Advantage training is designed to assist all users in becoming reliable raters. This overview of authentic assessment includes
- Instruction on the use of the online version of COR Advantage
- Practice writing and scoring objective anecdotes
- Hints and tips for collecting anecdotes throughout the classroom day
- Discussion of the developmental range of scoring levels
- Explanation of the COR Advantage items and levels in all areas of development
- Information about the COR Advantage Developmental Summary
- Ideas for filling in missing data to ensure complete results
- Guidance on sharing information with families through the family report, Your Child’s Developmental Profile
The Family Network is a dedicated and secure online portal for communicating with families about their child’s experiences and progress. Teachers and aides who have invited families to use the Family Network can send and receive messages, as well as provide parents and caregivers with electronic samples of a child’s work and anecdotes about a child’s experiences during the day.
Your Child’s Developmental Profile is a family report that allows teachers, aides, and families to communicate about a child’s developmental progress and needs. This online profile summarizes each child’s progress during the reporting period. When constructing the report, the teacher or provider selects anecdotes added during the period as supporting evidence of the child’s development in each COR Advantage category. This Developmental Profile helps guide discussions during the family conference as the teacher, aide, and family together determine the next steps. These steps, along with any family comments, can then be added to the
Developmental Profile and saved for later reference. Your Child’s Developmental Profile can be generated in both English and Spanish and may be printed or published electronically in the Family Network.
Online support is available in the form of resource documents, videos, and contextual help to allow users to master the various functions and maximize the advantages of the online system.