This annex guides you through a sample of the Assessment Research Centre Online Testing System (ARCOTS) that you can access online using the code provided with this book. Detailed instructions are given here to take you through the assessment process. This will allow you to try out the use of online developmental assessment to plan teaching strategies for implementation in your classroom. We encourage you, when using the tests, to follow the CTT cycle discussed in Chapter 2, including planning, implementing and evaluating your teaching strategies.
The ARCOTS tests were developed as part of the Assessment and Learning Partnerships Project (see the Introduction for more details). They are intended to be used by teachers as one of many sources of evidence that reflect student learning. They provide teachers with a means to track student progress for the purpose of informing and evaluating teaching. The test results are used to identify the point of learning readiness or zone of proximal development (ZPD) and they are reported as a level on the corresponding developmental progression. Three progressions were developed in the Assessment and Learning Partnerships Project for three learning domains: numeracy, reading comprehension and problem-solving; each domain has a corresponding test. The reports are available instantaneously, through ARCOTS, upon completion of an assessment. The progressions are discussed in Chapter 2.
Table A2.1 lists the minimum technical requirements to successfully conduct ARCOTS tests.
ARCOTS can also be run on iPads using a Flash-compatible browser, such as Puffin, iSwifter or similar. If you are considering testing with iPads, we advise a trial run prior to commencing student testing to check compatibility and speed.
Note: please check whether you need an IT technician to whitelist (allow access to) the ARCOTS site in your school.
Samples of ARCOTS developmental assessments and the reporting system are provided on the website accompanying this book. The purpose of the sample tests is to give teachers an experience of using developmental progressions to inform teaching and implement some of the processes described in this book.
Before the testing and reporting systems can be accessed you will need to register with the code and the link provided on the companion website. To register you will need to have a valid email address.