3 Best Practices for Implementing Adaptive Assessments
Adaptive assessments are becoming a valuable tool for educators who see the critical need for personalization in the classroom. With adaptive assessments, a teacher can test student knowledge and skill sets by adjusting questions based on student responses. To do this, more and more virtual platforms are being created and employed by institutions across the United States. Implementing adaptive assessments effectively and efficiently, however, is key to student, teacher, and institutional success. Below are three best practices for carrying out adaptive assessments.
Giving Teachers the Tools They Need
When a teacher enters a classroom, they are generally aware, or at some point become aware, of the vastness of learning needs held by their students. For most teachers, it would be a dream to customize learning to every student, allowing no learner to slip through the proverbial cracks in the education system. Since idealism is just that, ideal, the next best thing is to use adaptive learning. Employing adaptive assessments, for example, and collecting data that identifies unique student needs and gaps provides educators with the information they need to teach to the student and not just to statewide standards and expectations.
Before deploying adaptive assessments, though, school systems should determine what they want to achieve through the use of these tools. What types of data, for example, are being sought? How will this data be used, and how will it be shared with educators? An example of valuable data might be results which show areas of student growth, thus identifying areas in which teaching is strong and where students can move onto new content. To achieve a representative set of data points, however, may require the use of more than one adaptive assessment. The bottom line is that without clear goals underpinning the use of adaptive assessments, no real achievements can be made in terms of educator and learner growth.
Using the Best Platform
Adaptive assessments are generally deployed via online platforms. These platforms include a variety of tools and features that can be used by teachers to disseminate and test content knowledge within their classrooms. Some of the best tools available can help teachers and students by monitoring student progress, allowing students to work at their own pace, and providing students with immediate feedback. All of these combined allow teachers to meet students where they are.
Reaching for the Future
At the end of the day, many teachers are overwhelmed, and many students are struggling to keep up with learning at the pace that is expected of them. By efficiently creating a partnership between technology and data, teachers can reach students at the bottom and help those at the top get the challenges they need to excel. In turn, learners can be met teaching that is customized to them, instead of to what the state determines to be the average pupil for their age and grade. And, as is a natural part of education, assessments can be deployed and data collected in a way that informs schools of precise and personalized learner needs and skillsets.