CCEA Online Formative Assessments
Key Stage 3 Digital Skills (Project Quantum)
In November 2018, CCEA started working on a formative assessment pilot to:
- build on digital skills developed at Key Stage 2;
- inform teaching and learning in ICT subject classes at Key Stage 3; and
- prepare pupils for progression to GCSE Digital Technology at Key Stage 4.
To support the teaching of digital skills at Key Stage 3 and GCSE Digital Technology at Key Stage 4, we have developed a Key Stage 3 online diagnostic assessment tool that is aligned to the Digital Skills Framework. It gives teachers feedback on aspects of their pupils’ digital skills and help us discover the areas where schools may need more support.
After specialist training over three days, teachers created a range of CCEA questions using a taxonomy that we devised. The taxonomy takes into account the Northern Ireland Curriculum and maps to our GCSE in Digital Technology.
We uploaded the questions that teachers created to the Diagnostic Questions website, which has 9000 computing/ICT questions available for free under the Creative Commons license. Teachers then curated these questions, divided them into topics and developed them into the Key Stage 3 CCEA Computing/ICT Collection.
When there were not enough questions on a particular topic within the collection to create a quiz of 8–12 questions, teachers developed their own. They also modified past paper questions from the legacy GCSE ICT specification and questions from our Python and C# Year 10 resources.
Schools can automatically assign quizzes to pupils by either:
- integrating Diagnostic Questions with SIMS; or
- uploading CSV files of their classes.
The online diagnostic assessment tool offers a solution to school requests for support in delivering digital skills at Key Stage 3. It reduces teacher workload by providing a range of online formative assessments for Key Stage 3 ICT.
Teachers gain a range of analytics to assess pupil understanding of a particular topic through:
- real-time marking;
- reasoning for answers;
- feedback; and
- explanation from the question author on misconceptions and insights.
Teachers can also choose if their pupils take the quiz in ICT class or as homework through a link.
The teachers involved in this pilot highlighted the pedagogical benefits for their pupils and also for themselves. The assessments allowed them to reflect on how they delivered a particular topic and identify areas for improvement.
Pupils engaged enthusiastically with the online diagnostic tool. Its practical format encourages them to think about their answers and helps to reinforce their learning.
Key Stage 3 Modern Languages
Following the positive feedback on the digital skills online diagnostic pilot and its pedagogical benefits, we’re considering developing this model for other subject areas.
To support the teaching and promotion of Modern Languages at Key Stage 3, we’re planning to develop an online diagnostic assessment tool for French and Spanish.
Our aim is to reduce teacher workload, provide feedback to teachers on aspects of their pupils’ language skills and help us discover the areas where schools may need more support.
If your school would like to be involved in this pilot, please contact Jayne Fitzgerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), Claire Fitzsimons (email@example.com) or Michael McEnery (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
The Diagnostic Questions website already features questions for Modern Languages. Here are examples from French and Spanish.