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CCEA Online Diagnostic Formative Assessment

What is Online Diagnostic Formative Assessment?

CCEA is collaborating with stakeholder partner EEDI, and a small number of teachers, to pilot an online diagnostic assessment tool that supports the delivery of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3. The assessment tool provides a bank of quality assured, diagnostic questions that teachers can choose if their pupils take during directed class time or as homework.

Teachers gain a range of analytics to assess pupil understanding of a particular topic through:

  • real-time marking;
  • reasoning for answers;
  • feedback; and
  • explanations from the question author on misconceptions and insights.

Pupils receive instant results and explanations for any misconceptions, promoting learning and progression.

The aim of the tool is to reduce teacher workload and provide feedback to teachers on aspects of their pupils’ skills in order to inform teaching and learning. The tool also helps CCEA to discover where schools may need additional support.

Why use Diagnostic Questions?

CCEA Pilots

Key Stage 3 Digital Skills (Project Quantum) Pilot

In November 2018, CCEA started development on a formative assessment pilot to support the teaching of digital skills at Key Stage 3 and GCSE Digital Technology at Key Stage 4 and was aligned to the Digital Skills Framework. The aim of the pilot was to:

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. Pupils nationwide continue to engage with the 28 digital skills quizzes available.

Key Stage 3 Modern Languages Pilot

Following the positive feedback on the digital skills pilot and its pedagogical benefits, CCEA extended the pilot to support the teaching and promotion of Modern Languages at Key Stage 3.

In February 2020, 20 teachers collaborated to develop a collection of French and Spanish quizzes. Topics include Sport and Leisure, Family and Pets and the Weather. Plans had to be amended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however even during a time of home learning, over 800 pupils engaged with the 25 French and Spanish quizzes and continue to do so.

Teacher Training and Question Development for Pilots

The teachers involved in the pilots received specialist training, enabling them to develop a range of diagnostic questions for various subject topics, based on common misconceptions, using a taxonomy devised by CCEA. The taxonomy aligns to the Northern Ireland Curriculum and, for digital skills, maps to the specification for GCSE Digital Technology.

The quizzes can be used flexibly across Years 8-10, as they are identified with a difficulty level to support with assigning to the relevant ability classes.

CCEA Online Diagnostic Formative Assessment Quiz Question Examples

All questions are quality assured by senior question writing experts to ensure they are reliable and effective.

All questions are available on the Diagnostic Questions website, which has 12,000 computing/ICT questions and 2,500 French and Spanish questions available for free under the Creative Commons license.

The CCEA quizzes are compiled into curated collections, making them easily accessible.

CCEA Online Diagnostic Formative Assessment Quiz Examples

2021 Pilots

During 2021, CCEA extended the Modern Languages collection to include German and Irish and introduced Physics to the pilot with over 1700 assessments completed. CCEA is planning to continue to expand the question bank for Modern Languages, Physics and Digital Skills. We are also considering developing this model of assessment for other subject areas.

How can I use the Assessment Tool?

If your school is interested in using the assessment tool for either:

  • Key Stage 3 Digital Skills;
  • Key Stage 3 Modern Languages (French, Spanish, German, Irish); and/or
  • Key Stage 3 Physics

Please contact our helpdesk on 02890 261252 or at [email protected].

Help and Support

If you would like further information on our pilots or would like to use the assessment tool please contact Martine Ireland on the Assessments helpdesk on 02890 261252 or at [email protected].

Areas of Learning

Modern Languages