From the classroom to the professional world, we all have different learning styles, skills, and strengths. We all learn at different speeds. Because of this, educators and professionals throughout many fields have worked to find accurate and effective forms of assessment that cater to every student, candidate, and employee.
Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT), also known simply as adaptive testing, has become a major player in modern assessment technology. The benefits of adaptive tests extend beyond K-12 education—but how, exactly?
What is Adaptive Testing?
Adaptive testing works by customizing an exam to each test taker depending on their responses. The questions are pulled from a large bank. The more an examinee answers correctly, the more challenging questions are selected; whereas a test taker who performs less well receives less difficult questions.
Another customized aspect of adaptive tests is the number of questions, as some examinees need more questions than others. The test will end once a certain criterion is met.
Adaptive tests are used in both educational institutions and as a human resources solution across a wide range of industries.
Educators can use adaptive testing to:
- Enhance existing test banks
- Align exams to school and program standards
- Professional development in culturally relevant pedagogy
- Obtain more useful information to support both students and instructors
HR professionals can use adaptive testing to:
- Aid in recruitment
- Evaluate candidates
- Onboard new employees
- Train existing employees
Benefits of Computerized Adaptive Testing
There are many advantages of adaptive testing. Below is a closer look at how this assessment tool benefits both organizations delivering the tests and the individuals taking the tests.
Shorter Tests & Immediate Results
Studies have shown that CAT can reduce test time by 50% or more. This can help to significantly reduce costs, particularly for organizations that pay for seat time at professional centers.
Plus, adaptive tests deliver immediate results to the administrators. When it comes to education, this allows instructors to apply that test data to their courses and teaching methods for each student. As for hiring purposes, it provides a clear understanding of a candidate’s ability faster than traditional assessments.
Precise & Fair Scoring
How can adaptive tests be scored fairly if some test takers receive an easier exam than others? Although each test-taker may see different items, they are scored on a percentile basis that accounts for the difficulty of questions. This shows instructors each student’s ability level. Likewise, it gives employers a fair comparison of each candidate’s qualifications.
Accurate & Comprehensive Information
Adaptive testing is more efficient and allows the organization to design the test to be more precise than a traditional test because they draw from large testing pools. Instructors will end up with accurate insight into how each student is performing and what their needs are.
Similarly, employers gain an accurate picture of candidates who are qualified versus those who are not. In the case of developing existing employees, adaptive testing helps companies identify skill gaps, prioritize employee growth, and maximize return on investment.
Positive Examinee Experience
Since each examinee is challenged appropriately during an adaptive test, the overall experience is more positive than a traditional assessment. Low performers are not discouraged or intimidated, while high performers won’t get bored and even enjoy receiving more difficult items.
A better test-taking experience will encourage all levels of examinees to try harder than they might with a conventional test. Low performers will feel more comfortable and high performers will feel challenged in a good way.
Adaptive test algorithms are very flexible and can have potentially millions of variations, making them much more secure than a traditional exam with X number of questions being administered to a group of people.
The countless versions of an adaptive test allow for multiple retests. A student who struggles during a CAT can undergo appropriate instruction tailored by the teacher accordingly. The student can then retake the exam when they are ready and receive a completely different test. In this way, the student can continue improving his or her abilities.
Use of Multimedia Content
Because they are computer-based, administrators can use various forms of audio, visual, and video content in their adaptive tests. This means organizations can customize the test in the most effective and relevant manner based on the subject matter and those taking the test.
Assessment for Everyone in Every Field
Now more than ever, we have an appreciation for the fact that each individual learns and tests differently. It is important for educational institutions to meet every student’s needs, which is why adaptive testing can be so instrumental by helping teachers, in turn, help their students.
As for human resource solutions, CAT can help expedite the hiring process so as not to waste the employer or the candidate’s time. Of course, adaptive tests are also a great way to develop employees and for the overall growth of a company.
To learn more about AdaptiveX and how our proprietary adaptive testing system will meet all of your organization’s needs, contact us today.