A good assessment tells us what a student can do and what they cannot yet do. A test that is too easy is likely to tell us a lot about a student’s strengths but not much about the areas they need to improve.
A test that is too difficult won’t allow the student to demonstrate everything they are capable of. It is also likely that the student will be discouraged and less engaged with a difficult test, further reducing the value of the assessment.
Unlike traditional, linear, assessments, adaptive tests do not assess every student on the same content.
Adaptive tests are personalised for every student according to their demonstrated achievement on previous tests and their responses to items within the adaptive test itself.
Students who have previously completed a test in the learning area can be automatically assigned an entry level appropriate to their abilities.
And during their tests, students who experience lower rates of success are automatically administered less difficult items.
Students who experience higher rates of success are administered more challenging items.
As a result, every student is assessed on a range of engaging content suitable for their abilities and designed to elicit more information about what they can do, and where they need support to progress in their learning.