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Assessment tool selector

The assessment tool selector is a resource for teachers and schools to help them select the most appropriate assessment tool to suit their particular purpose. The selector gives you information about assessment tools most frequently used in New Zealand schools, in every area of the curriculum up to and including year 10. You can also compare tools to see which one is the most suitable.

Teachers and schools can select a range of formal and informal assessment methods to use in making overall judgments of students' progress and achievement. The tool selector describes a range of the more formal assessment tools that could be used for this purpose. It is not intended to limit your choice of tool.

Assessment fundamentals

The tabs below provide information to support teachers and schools to understand the theoretical and practical aspects of assessment (assessment literacy). They include the rationale behind assessing students, criteria for choosing assessment tools, and important considerations for teachers and school managers before carrying out assessments.

Criteria for choosing an assessment tool for inclusion

Assessment tools in the tool selector are categorised by curriculum levels and sub-levels, and by year levels. Beyond this, there are a number of categories by which the tools are defined. The information in each of these categories is important in enabling you to judge the usefulness of the tool for your own purposes. The categories of information on each tool are detailed below.

Is it of New Zealand origin?

Assessment tools of New Zealand origin are likely to have been specifically-designed for New Zealand students and on the basis of the New Zealand curriculum. If the tool is standardised, the norms will have been calculated on New Zealand students.

Is it standardised?

In a standardised assessment, the content is set, the administration directions are prescribed, and the scoring procedure is completely specified. There are norms against which we may compare the scores of the students being assessed. Standardised assessment tools enable the result for any student to be compared with the results for a normal sample of students. Information is provided for each tool on standardisation, and on the date of any norming where possible.

Is it designed to be administered with a group or an individual?

Most assessment tools that are designed to be administered with individual students will not be able to be easily used with a whole group at once.

What does it assess?

This details the specific assessment focus of each tool.

Purpose of the assessment?

Teachers need to know that an assessment tool is suitable for their particular purposes. Assessment purpose is often more comprehensive than just the assessment focus.

Is it a valid assessment?

Validity refers to the extent to which an assessment tool actually measures what it sets out to measure. Information is provided for each tool on whether the authors have considered issues of validity. To find out more about validity, visit the glossary.

Is it a reliable assessment?

Reliability is the extent to which an assessment task is consistent in measuring what it sets out to measure; for example, the results from the same assessment can be repeated across time and situations, statistically expressed. Information is provided for each tool on whether the authors have considered issues of reliability. To find out more about reliability, visit the glossary.

What measures does it give?

Details are given on what measures are used to describe levels of achievement and progress, for example, curriculum levels, reading ages, standardised scores such as stanines, or as e-asTTle scale scores.

How long does it take to administer?

Where possible, there is information on how long a particular assessment takes for teachers and students. It is important that schools should be aware of this, as it affects the suitability of the tool and the range of students with whom it can be administered.

How much training is needed?

Assessment tools are only as effective as the people using them. Proper training is essential, and some tools require more expertise than others.

Is it simple to score and analyse data?

Some assessments need time and training to score, particularly those involving the assessment of writing. Some tools produce analyses of data and reports once results have been entered into a data base, and others require data analysis by the teacher or the school.

Does it provide "what next" strategies?

Some assessment tools provide resources, or access to resources, for teachers and students to use after they have determined gaps in learning from the assessment.

Is it available in te reo Māori?

There are a few tools available in te reo Māori.

Is there a cost?

The Ministry of Education provides some assessment tools free of charge. Other tools are supplied by publishers at varying costs. Sample costs are provided here, as up to date as possible, but it is always advisable to check costs with the supplier.

Author, date of publication, and publisher?

Details are given about the source of an assessment tool and when it was published.

From where is it available?

For most tools, users are able to click straight into the website of the supplier.

Further information

Where applicable, detailed information is given about the administration and composition of the assessment itself.

Submit a resource

If you wish to submit a resource for consideration please email: assessment@tki.org.nz, Subject line: Recommended resource for the Assessment Tool Selector.