How to Introduce Adaptive Assessments Without Intimidating Your Students

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For K­­–12 students, trying a new test format can be intimidating. It can be especially daunting if the new format is for a high-stakes summative exam. School districts that want to make a smooth, effective transition to the next generation adaptive assessments need a strategy to make students feel not only more comfortable but also prepared for the new standards. One such strategy is to introduce students to the new format by administering Acuity® College and Career Readiness (CCR) interim assessments, and reducing student anxiety with the following tips.

Emphasize How Adaptive Testing Benefits Students

The first step to introducing adaptive testing to students is to explain what adaptive testing is, how it works, why your school district will be using it, and — most importantly — why it’s will benefit them.

Personal data: Adaptive assessments adjust to a student’s ability by basing the difficulty of future questions on previous answers, providing a more accurate measurement of student achievement. Adaptive testing delivers questions catered to each student’s knowledge, which avoids overwhelming students with dozens of question they don’t understand. This provides useful data that helps students and teachers understand what they need to practice more to be successful on the summative exams.

Useful results: Rather than using interim assessment results merely for grades, schools use them to improve their teaching methods. Encourage your student to not be concerned about the score, since it will not impact their grades. Instead the results will help educators focus their efforts on each students needs.

Computerized format: Today’s students are accustomed to using technology on a daily basis, therefore remind them that adaptive tests may feel more comfortable and natural than paper-and-pencil exams.

Shorter tests: Adaptive tests are usually shorter than paper-and-pencil or fixed-form online assessments because fewer questions are required to accurately measure each student’s progress.

Immediate results: Since adaptive tests are computerized, they are scored and the data is delivered immediately. This allows students to see how they performed while the assessment is still fresh in their minds.

After you discuss the benefits of adaptive assessments, remember to leave time to address student questions and concerns.

Take Advantage of Acuity Instructional Resources

Another way to assuage student concerns about adaptive testing is to use instructional resources, after administering Acuity CCR is used, to provide information on student progress. Acuity’s wide variety of instructional resources can be used to remediate specific skill deficits, reteach material, or introduce new concepts prior to instruction. Most importantly, these resources are readily available so lessons can be delivered right at the point of intervention. For students, instructional resources offer an engaging and effective way to fix learning gaps.

Interested in learning more about Acuity adaptive testing? Watch our video on how Acuity provides support for the learning process.

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