Authors: Stanly Fernandez
In this paper, the focus will be on increasing learning through formative assessment with the use of diagnostics. This paper is also an extension to an earlier paper which justifies investment in research on the use of adaptive testing in formative assessments through academic literature review. Adaptive testing (AT), according to Chew, Linacre, Reckase, Thompson and Way, arguably provides greater accuracy, precision, efficiency, flexibility and motivation than standardized fixed length assessments [1–5].
Reckase made an argument that the greater efficiency of adaptive testing can be used to provide more diagnostic information to guide students’ learning. Diagnostics has been viewed by most educators as a pre-test to learning activities. This paper argues for the use of diagnostics at the end of formative assessments. There should be sufficient number of items to derive accurate assessments and then to provide relevant feedback to guide students towards selfdirected or independent learning and intervention. This paper also looks into a model proposed in academic literature.
There will be a brief discussion on the importance of item (question) calibration. This level of integration is complex, difficult and expensive to implement. This paper will like to encourage research and development in diagnostics for assessments.
Keywords: diagnostic assessment, formative assessment, adaptive testing, standardized fixed length testing, independent learning, self-directed learning