What is Diagnostic Assessment?

  • Diagnostic assessment is closely related to formative assessment.
  • However, unlike formative assessment, which looks forward to consider next steps, diagnostic assessment looks back to understand the pupil’s current position.
  • It often takes place at the beginning of a learning programme and can be used to identify pupils’ strengths and areas for improvement.
  • It can also be used to identify the nature of a pupil’s learning difficulties and form the basis for interventions to address the learning difficulties identified.
  • This information should be shared with the pupil to plan the next steps to improve their learning.

Computer-Based Assessment

The following are characteristic features of computer-based assessment.

  • It uses on-screen tests that can record and assess pupil responses electronically.
  • Teachers can use it for summative, formative or diagnostic purposes.
  • Some computer-based assessment programs automatically give pupils feedback.

The system of computer-based assessment developed to support the Northern Ireland Curriculum is known as CBA. This system is part of the Department of Education’s wider strategy to raise literacy and numeracy outcomes. It is aligned to the relevant statutory minimum content of the NI Curriculum. CBA provides outcomes that teachers can use to determine progress and identify learning needs of pupils in Years 4–7.