The Home tab allows you to view key information about the assessments that have been created in your organisation and any system messages that may be relevant to you.
Visible only to Organisation Administrators, the Organisation Statistics section provides a current "at a glance" numerical summary of the organisation's Learners, Educators, Organisation Groups and Educator Groups.
Current Online Assessments
The Current Online Assessments section within the Home tab lists assessments that you are assigned access to and which have not yet been automatically Retired. Adaptive and Snapshot assessments are automatically retired twenty six weeks after creation, which means that they will be removed from your Home tab and will only be visible under the Assessments tab.
(Note: Non-Adaptive for Printing, Non-Adaptive Snapshot for Printing and Writing assessments automatically retire after sixteen weeks.)
Ready to Mark Assessments
The Ready to Mark Assessments section groups assessments that are Writing, Non-Adaptive for Printing and Non-Adaptive Snapshot for Printing Assessments that can be marked within the Assessment Tool.
Marking an assessment, in the sense used in the Assessment Tool, involves entering the learner's responses into the Assessment Tool so that it can calculate the Learner's Scale Score. To do this, an Educator or Organisation Administrator must:
- Download the Marking Guide for the assessment; then
- Enter in all of the responses for each of the learners assigned to that assessment.
Overview of Creating an Assessment
The Assessment Tool allows you to assess six different areas:
Reading Assessments assess the learner's ability against the Read with Understanding Assessment Strand.
Numeracy Assessments assess the learner's ability against either the Number Knowledge or Number Strategies and Measurement Assessment Strands or in General Numeracy, which is a combination of both.
Vocabulary Assessments assess the learner's ability to use vocabulary knowledge. They are designed for learners who are achieving at or below the lower steps of the reading progressions.
Writing Assessments assess the learner's writing skills on a number of dimensions under the Write to Communicate Assessment Strand.
Starting Points Listening Assessments assess the learner's knowledge of a basic range of NZ English words.
Starting Points Reading Assessments assess the learner's ability based on the Starting Points assessment guide.
For more information on how to create these Assessments see:
- Creating a Reading Assessment
- Creating a Numeracy Assessment
- Creating a Vocabulary Assessment
- Creating a Writing Assessment
Types of Assessment
Reading and Numeracy Assessments can be set as Adaptive, Non-Adaptive, Non-Adaptive for Printing, or Snapshot whereas Vocabulary Assessments can only be set as Adaptive. Writing Assessments can only be performed as written, offline assessments that are then marked and entered into the Assessment Tool to be assigned a score.
Adaptive Assessments (also called Computer Adaptive Tests, or CAT Assessments) mark the learner's response as they progress through the assessment, selecting the next set of questions that are presented to the learner based on the results of the answers given. In this way, the Assessment Tool can usually arrive at a more precise assessment of the learner's ability as it is able to dynamically adjust the questions the learner's answer, thus avoiding an assessment that is too difficult or too easy overall for the specific learner.
Non-Adaptive Assessments are also performed on the computer, but use an algorithm to determine a likely spread of questions based on a starting point that is chosen when creating the assessment. Non-Adaptive Assessments have the advantage that everyone is answering the same set of questions, but run the risk of the assessment being too easy or too hard for some learners.
Non-Adaptive for Printing Assessments are Non-Adaptive Assessments that are specifically created to be printed and handed out to the learners for completion - for example when an online assessment cannot be performed due to Internet access being unavailable. The answers for these types of assessments are automatically compiled in a Marking Guide, which is then used to mark the assessment, after which the marks are entered into the Assessment Tool by the Educator or Organisation Administrator.
Snapshot Assessments (available only for Reading or Numeracy) are shorter adaptive assessments aimed at using a minimum number of items to make a broad estimate of a learner's achievement level. When creating a Snapshot Assessment, Educators must either set a step level Threshold or choose "No Threshold". When a Threshold is set, the Assessment Tool will terminate the assessment when there is sufficient confidence around the result to categorise the learner as achieving either below or above the threshold step. If the Tool cannot categorise the result after about 16 items, it will terminate the assessment and report a Threshold decision of "Undecided". If the "No threshold" option is selected the Assessment Tool will not attempt to categorise a learner as above or below a threshold step and will simply terminate after about 16 items. Snapshot Assessments will always report a best fit step and a scale score (with a margin of error) whether or not a Threshold has been set.
Within the Home tab you may also see one of two kinds of system messages:
- Broadcast messages from the System Administrator are used to inform users if there is a planned outage to the Assessment Tool, or any other information that may be relevant to users.
- Unsupported browser messages that are triggered automatically if the Assessment Tool detects that you are using a browser that has not been tested. This may be because your browser is old, or may be because it is a recent release that has not been tested. In either case, you can continue using the Assessment Tool, but you may experience problems with certain functions. If you are using an older browser, we recommend that you upgrade it to a more recent version. See Minimum System Requirements for more information on the supported browsers.