Baseline Testing Information
If you want to make a test learner you can do this but please give any test learners the surname Bloggs1234. The system will then ignore these in the statistics aggregations.
There is now a second test available. The idea is to measure progress from the first so if you haven't done the first test yet, do that first, wait about 6 months and then take the second test. There will be new tests every 6 months and we will aggregate attainment and progress measures from these and feed them back to you. In this way you will have attainment and progress measures across the whole of Key Stage 3.
The question with the flowchart is a bit difficult to navigate on screen. We recommend printing the diagram out so that pupils can refer to the hardcopy while doing that question. There is more detail on this page but the procedure described for taking the test is now out of date so use the video linked above. You can download the flowchart image from here.
We are building SOL and Lesson plans to complement the baseline. There is a full evidence management system for formative progress tracking through the POS on the learning site explained here. You are free to use as much or as little of these as you like.
You can use the test for anyone. Year 7 is the highest priority but any other year groups new to computing can do it and some teachers have taken it too. Your results will be anonymous.
If you have any problems please just get back. Please spread the word as the more that take the test the better the data for everyone.
More details about background and details
Baseline testing and progress measures
Some questions and answers related to baseline testing.
Computing is effectively a new subject in the national curriculum. This provides a unique opportunity to find out what children know about a subject before it is formally taught and how much this changes over time as formal teaching becomes embedded in the school curriculum. If we provide a test that is based on the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study and get a representative sample of children to do it prior to Year 7, Year 8, 9 and Year 10 we will get an idea of any systematic knowledge improvements from general education prior to the start of formal teaching. We can use this to understand the way learning takes place with teaching over time both in absolute and relative terms.
Once we establish a database representative of any cohort and its progress, we can enable teachers to place their individual pupils and their school within that context.
The great advantage of this as a community project independent of government or government finance is that the community owns the data. Individual data for learners or schools will be available to the teacher designated as the Principal Assessor for the school. The Principal Assessor will be responsible for how that school's data will be used. The only data that will be made publicly available will be aggregated cohort data from which no individual school can be identified. This will enable schools to use evidence from assessment objectively for local improvement referenced to a national sample of data.
The assessment criteria are derived directly from the new KS3 POS for Computing. The questions are based on the assessment criteria used for the NAACE/TLM Level 1 certificate in Open Systems Computing. These criteria are accredited by Ofqual and deemed suitable by the DfE for their high quality qualifications category that attract league table points (up to 2016). The advantage of this is simplicity and straightforwardness placing low administrative demand on teachers but it is scalable to more detailed provision for curriculum planning and formative assessment to any preferred system. This includes the CAS progress frameworks which provide more detailed scaffolding for formative assessment. We will build further links and structure to these resources in such a way as to make them as easily accessible to teachers as possible but without forcing anyone into any particular set of bureaucratic procedures.
The test is designed to be simple to deliver but it has to differentiate performance and so there are a range of questions of different difficulties. These might appear alien to those new to computing (both teachers and pupils) but we need to start somewhere. Given the time pressures, pre-testing has not been possible and the organisations cooperating in the provision of the test are not able to say objectively how well it will work. We will not know for certain how well the test works until we get data back from trying it and we will make any future amendments to it based on the outcomes of the first implementation. We are grateful to the community for helping us in this process.
We have chosen to use a multiple choice test because it is self-marking and we can therefore make it free for schools. We don't need external markers and the marks data can be collected and aggregated with minimal cost in terms of the test administration and more importantly in your time. We want you teaching, not wasting any more time than absolutely necessary on test administration. Instant feedback from tests will be possible and the more that take part, the more reliable the data will be.
Yes, in the initial phase, you can see the test at http://thelearningmachine.co.uk/year-7-computing/ but please keep it confidential as we want pupils to see these for the first time when they take the test. Given that there is no pressure from league tables etc on this test there is no reason for it to be "leaked" but we need everyone to be professional about this. We will vary the test but care will be taken to ensure it reflects the programmes of study and that standards expected are consistent and fit for purpose. Thanks to those that have already contributed valuable feedback. We take all feedback on board and we will use it to make improvements in the future.
This is a good question. We think it is very likely that performance in these tests will correlate well with future performance in e.g. GCSEs but there will still be a lot of individual variation. The tests will give an idea but not necessarily the full picture for any individual and teacher judgment is still going to be needed. The point of doing it by a MCQ on-line test is that it is probably the least expensive, least complicated method (Teacher time as well as the cost of delivery) of getting some useful if not "all singing and dancing" results. It should be enough, at least to start with, to show OfSTED you are doing something positive on evidence based progress tracking from the outset as well as being useful for your departmental planning. We have further free support from a cloud based evidence management system that can be used for more formative assessment for those that want to do this. It is up to individual schools to decide which frameworks and formative assessment tools they want to use for more detailed day to day progress measures. The test should be compatible with any of these supplementary methods.
We will be conducting the tests using the TLM Awards site. The procedure is to go to http://awards.theingots.org and at the top right click the sign up link. This will produce a web form to fill in. We will collect the minimum data from you in order that we can aggregate your data and give you useful contextual feedback. Once the account details are set up we will check and approve them – this is to eliminate spam and/or bogus sign ups that could contaminate the data collected. Once your account is approved you can upload the pupils to take the test using a csv file exported from your MIS system. The structure of this file needs to be as follows:
forename <eg John>
surname <eg Smith>
gender <Male or Female>
DOB <eg 26-04-1994>
ULN <This field might be blank as ULNs are not normally issued until age 14 but it needs to exist>
UPN <This helps ensure pupils are uniquely identifiable>
Once your account is authorised you will get an e-mail with the text below. (A lot of school filters and security prevent automated e-mails getting through. If you don't get an e-mail pretty well instantly after sign up e-mail ian dot lynch at theingots dot org and we will set up your passwrd etc manually. We have reproduced the procedure here with screen shots and also as a video.
Note we sometimes refer to the INGOT Markbook site as the awards site or certification site. (I know we should edit it all to be consistent!) If we use any of those terms its all the same thing. The Learning site might also get referred to as the community site. The on-line testing system depends on both. The description below tells you exactly what to do to set up your tests. An overview of the process is
- to make test groups,
- upload learners and assign them to groups,
- set up your account on the learning site,
- automatically create accounts for all the pupils on the learning site,
- register your group (s) and specify the dates and times for the test, print out user names and passwords for pupils to login,
- get them to login and take the test,
- get their marks from the assessment page in your account on the awards site.
Question 40 to 48 refers to a flowchart. The diagram is rather large and this does not lend itself to sequential computer based questions. It is recommended that this is copied and printed to paper so candidates can refer to the paper diagram without having to navigate back through questions to refer to it while still answering the questions on the computer.