Product: Data Link 4
www.appersonedu.com ¦ Retail price: Included with any Apperson scanner
By Ben Grey
Data Link 4 is test-scoring software that collects and displays
results of assessments scanned with an Appersonenabled
Quality and Effectiveness
Data Link 4 software is built for educational environments
that use scanned assessments. It allows them to scan in test
results and manipulate the data from a given assessment.
The software has a simple interface that keeps users from
becoming confused or disoriented when working with large
quantities of data.
Ease of Use
Overall, Data Link is easy to use. Scan results are displayed
in a spreadsheet that is simple to manipulate, and many
actions can be performed on the data while in the Data
Link interface. More-advanced functions can be executed
by choosing the quick “export to Excel” in the application.
The software also provides a wide variety of options for
presenting the data. These include a general scorecard for
performance on a test, analysis of specific items, detailed
analysis of an item, class rosters, histograms, and a series of
reports on alignment with specific standards.
Data Link also includes an option that many teachers will
appreciate, that of exporting assessment results directly into
a grade-book program. The application shows a large list of
available grading programs, and this simple transfer will save
educators time. While the reporting tool is easy to use, this
reviewer had problems running the software with the scanner,
but this may have been because of a problem with the
scanner’s driver. [Ed.: Apperson has fixed this problem.]
Creative Use of Technology
While Data Link 4 doesn’t break any ground in the assessment-
collection market, it presents many useful features in
a simple manner that will make it appealing to districts that
use scanned assessments and their results. The ability to
export the results to many current grade-book programs
is helpful also.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment
Data Link is easily implemented into classrooms that administer
multiple-choice tests on scan sheets. The software
has a great price—free with any purchased Apperson scanner—
and the ability to move the data to other programs for
manipulation is useful also. In addition, the availability of
various reports is helpful for schools working on common
assessments and evaluating these assessments’ effectiveness
and students’ progress.
¦ Easy to use
¦ Has a variety of useful reports
¦ Exports to grade book
While Data Link 4 does not stand out with a host of
innovative features for exam analysis or data collection,
it does provide an easy-to-use tool for educators who
employ scanning-based assessments.