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e-asTTle and Assessment for learning

The asTTle assessment tool was designed to provide reliable and valid assessment information for you and your students to enhance teaching and learning. It supports the shift in best educational practice from an emphasis on assessment of learning to assessment for learning.   

See Assessment Online for more information about Assessment for learning.

The purpose of every e-asTTle assessment is to determine what a student knows now and what they can learn next. e-asTTle helps by providing scores and information that can be used by teachers, students, whānau and school managers to better understand the student's progress and make decisions on how to support their learning. 

As a teacher, it's important to create a positive classroom environment where students feel motivated to participate in assessments. If students are not fully engaged during the test, their results may not be reliable. 

Helping students see why something is important is more likely to trigger their personal desire to learn and this desire is an incredibly powerful force that can carry learners through repeated disappointments and difficulties. 
 (Crooks, 2002).

Long-term disengaged students cannot be suddenly converted into engaged students just for an assessment. To encourage student engagement with learning and assessments, it is important to use approaches consistent with assessment for learning principles.  

Here are some guidelines for you to follow, which will help develop students' understanding of why and how to use assessments effectively. These guidelines demonstrate how assessments can be used as a reliable tool to enhance student learning.


Give students the opportunity to reflect on the information from their last assessment.   

Ask students to discuss, with you or with a peer:  

  • how they have felt their learning since that assessment has gone  
  • what they are confident they now know  
  • what they still find difficult  
  • what they think this new assessment might show.   

Students who see personal value in an assessment are more likely to engage and perform at their best. You and your student can decide together if this is a good time for a new assessment. Consider how you can make your students feel comfortable with this discussion.   


Wherever possible, design the assessment with the students.   

This enables students to discuss the criteria for test creation with you so that they are confident the test will provide the best information about what they have been trying to learn. Even when the test is predetermined, it is still extremely important to tell the students why they are being tested, how it will still help them with their learning, and why it is important that they engage fully with it.  


Ensure that the students are thinking about how to complete the assessment properly.  

Younger students and those with reading difficulties may need help to understand the instructions for completing the test. Check that they complete the attitude questions and the practice questions correctly first.  

 Make sure that all students know not to guess the answers. Guessing correctly will give them a better score but will not provide any information about what they should learn next. If they are sure they do not know the answer, they should leave the item unanswered. If they think they might know the answer, they should answer it. Assessment for learning has an emphasis on maximising information about what the student does and does not know and understand.  


Always read and follow administration guidelines and instructions found at the beginning of the test 

If you do diverge from these instructions to provide accommodations for students, you will need to make an adjustment to some of your interpretations when using the norming information - use your own judgement here.  


At the end of each assessment, check that the assessment tasks were not too hard or too easy for the students.   

Assign tests that would be challenging for each student. This may require tests of varying difficulty. Ideally, students would be getting about 60% correct. Depending on the purpose of testing, if students get less than 10% right or wrong you may need to reassign an easier or harder test for some students, or just provide them more suitable assessments next time.  


Review the results alongside your students   

You can decide with the student if you think the results give an accurate picture of what they know and can do. Check against earlier tests to see if the pattern of progress shown makes sense. If there are any discrepancies in results, do your best to determine why this is. Normally the student will know what went wrong. and you can decide together on the appropriate action to take. Discrepant results can prompt self-assessment of your understanding of the learning process. 


Have the students analyse the results   

Students can analyse results individually (from the Individual Learning Pathway and Student Progress reports), as well as in groups. Explain any terms in the Individual Learning Pathway Report that they do not know. Ask them to establish what they think their next learning steps might be. Reinforce that successful learning is about effort and strategy rather than luck or ability. 


Use the information to plan for next teaching and learning  

Use the What Next tool to help find resources that will help you plan the next learning steps for your students.  


e-asTTle reports can also assist with "assessment as learning"   

Reports can help you decide on and share your expectations with your colleagues to ensure a more common understanding of progression across years. You can work together to identify gaps and strengths in programmes and decide on appropriate professional development.  

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