Question Mark User Honored by U.S. Senator Slade Gordon

David Forrester Individualizes Instruction for Vocational Students

Joan Phaup 800-642-3950

Washington, D.C. - May 11, 2000 -- Senator Slade Gordon (R-WA) has recognized David Forrester, the team leader of the Learning Opportunities Center at New Market Vocational Skills Center in Tumwater, Washington, for his outstanding individualized instruction program.

"I applaud the dedication and hard work of Mr. Forrester who has found new and creative ways to serve the needs of his students," stated Gordon. "I am proud to recognize his contributions to our students. Mr. Forrester's great work exemplifies the ingenuity in our local schools."

Forrester's program, which supports vocational programs on New Market's Campus creates applied academic courses for students from 10 school districts in the Olympia area. Question Mark for Windows is used to assess students' progress through self-paced learning programs in applied Math, Science, and English.

"Question Mark, together with Pathware, is a key component to our program because it helps manage multiple testing events going on between the student and their curriculum," states Forrester. "The software allows us to reach out more to students who need individualized support."

Forrester works with a team of teachers, Dana Mcnutt, James Bowers, Jessica Shillander, and technology coordinator Derek J. Lohmeyer, who have contributed in the development of the program, shaping it into a place where students find success.

The Center can offer individualized courses not only to 700 students from 25 High Schools in the surrounding area, but also supports 150 students who spend full time in the center's vocational education programs, working towards a High School Diploma. The Learning Opportunities Center is unique to the educational system because it can offer many students multiple level courses, skill levels, and testing all at once, giving teachers the opportunity to work with students one-on-one, moving them through a customized education program.

With the help of state grant money, Forrester and his team have designed computerized courses, administered using Pathware, which allow them to manage a large scope of curriculum and organize it to fit each student's needs. Automotive Technology students, for example, can take assessments using Question Mark to find out if they are ready to move beyond the current unit of knowledge and skills they are learning in a particular area.

Although Question Mark is primarily used in the computer-based Applied English, Math, and Science courses, Forrester has discovered another avenue for its use as a learning tool. A number of students have used the software to create assessments for their vocational programs.

"Having the kids write their own assessments is a way to support the vocational programs on campus," explains Forrester. "They enhance their own learning process by writing their own questions, and using the software is a learning experience in itself. The kids real enjoy the activity, and they are building educational blocks for future students who will come to New Market."

Forrester says he is now experimenting with Question Mark Perception software for web-based assessments in the hope that students will eventually be able to take Web-based quizzes from regular education and vocational programs in the area. He sees real potential for using Perception in the school system by developing pre-registration assessments like colleges and universities do to find out if a student is ready for a particular program.

"We could also use Perception surveys to find how well the students, parents, and community rate the success of what our program does," adds Forrester. "And we might be able to host tests for other schools in the area who do not have the funds or resources to put up a networking computer system to house Question Mark. The possibilities for using Question Mark Perception are endless."

More information on Question Mark Perception can be found on the Internet at:

If you would like to review Perception or would like any other details, contact Joan Phaup at: Phone: (800)-642-3950 Email:

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