What is currently available?
How to take part
If you want to make a test learner you can do this but please give any test learners the surname Bloggs1234. The system will then ignore these in the statistics aggregations.
The question with the flowchart is a bit difficult to navigate on screen. We recommend printing the diagram out so that pupils can refer to the hardcopy while doing that question. There is more detail on this page but the procedure described for taking the test is now out of date so use the video linked above. You can download the flowchart image from here.
We are building SOL and Lesson plans to complement the baseline testing here. There is a full evidence management system for formative progress tracking through the POS on the learning site explained here. You are free to use as much or as little of these as you like.
You can use the test for anyone. Year 7 is the highest priority but any other year groups new to computing can do it and some teachers have taken it too. Your results will be anonymous.
If you have any problems please just get back. Please spread the word as the more that take the test the better the data for everyone.
Some questions and answers related to baseline testing.
How can we link the test to levels? There are no official national levels in Computing, there never have been and there never will be. For those that have to use levels for internal procedure we suggest the following mapping to the Baseline test results.
Computing is effectively a new subject in the national curriculum. This provides a unique opportunity to find out what children know about a subject before it is formally taught and how much this changes over time as formal teaching becomes embedded in the school curriculum. If we provide a test that is based on the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study and get a representative sample of children to do it prior to Year 7, Year 8, 9 and Year 10 we will get an idea of any systematic knowledge improvements from general education prior to the start of formal teaching. We can use this to understand the way learning takes place with teaching over time both in absolute and relative terms.
Once we establish a database representative of any cohort and its progress, we can enable teachers to place their individual pupils and their school within that context. We can remove the need for levels altogether and use national cohort referencing. This is likely to be much more reliable when it comes to predicting attainment for eg performance measures.
The great advantage of testing as a shared community project independent of government or government finance is that the community owns the data. Individual data for learners or schools will be available to the teacher designated as the Principal Assessor by the school. The Principal Assessor will be responsible for how that school's data will be used. The only data that will be made publicly available will be aggregated cohort data from which no individual school can be identified. This will enable schools to use evidence from assessment objectively for local improvement referenced to a national sample of data.
The assessment criteria are derived directly from the new KS3 POS for Computing. The questions are based on the assessment criteria used for the NAACE/TLM Level 1 certificate in Open Systems Computing. These criteria are accredited by Ofqual and deemed suitable by the DfE for their high quality qualifications category that attract league table points. The advantage of this is simplicity and straightforwardness placing low administrative demand on teachers but it is scalable to more detailed provision for curriculum planning and formative assessment to any preferred system. This includes the CAS progress frameworks which provides more detailed scaffolding for formative assessment and the free INGOT progress management on-line system. We will build further links and structure to these resources in such a way as to make them as easily accessible to teachers as possible but without forcing anyone into any particular set of bureaucratic procedures.
The test is designed to be simple to deliver but it has to differentiate performance and so there are a range of questions of different difficulties. These might appear alien to those new to computing (both teachers and pupils) but we need to start somewhere. Given the time pressures, pre-testing has not been possible and the organisations cooperating in the provision of the test are not able to say objectively how well it will work. We will not know for certain how well the test works until we get data back from trying it and we will make any future amendments to it based on the outcomes of the first implementation. We are grateful to the community for helping us in this process.
We have chosen to use a multiple choice test because it is self-marking and we can therefore make it free for schools. We don't need external markers and the marks data can be collected and aggregated with minimal cost in terms of the test administration and more importantly in your time. We want you teaching, not wasting any more time than absolutely necessary on test administration. Instant feedback from tests will be possible and the more that take part, the more reliable the data will be.
Yes, in the initial phase, you can see the test at http://thelearningmachine.co.uk/year-7-computing/ but please keep it confidential as we want pupils to see these for the first time when they take the test. Given that there is no pressure from league tables etc on this test there is no reason for it to be "leaked" but we need everyone to be professional about this. We will vary the test but care will be taken to ensure it reflects the programmes of study and that standards expected are consistent and fit for purpose. Thanks to those that have already contributed valuable feedback. We take all feedback on board and we will use it to make improvements in the future.
This is a good question. We think it is very likely that performance in these tests will correlate well with future performance in eg GCSEs but there will still be a lot of individual variation. The tests will give an idea but not necessarily the full picture for any individual and teacher judgment is still going to be needed. The point of doing it by a MCQ on-line test is that it is probably the least expensive, least complicated method (Teacher time as well as the cost of delivery) of getting some useful if not "all singing and dancing" results. It should be enough, at least to start with, to show OfSTED you are doing something positive on evidence based progress tracking from the outset as well as being useful for your departmental planning. We have further free support from a cloud based evidence management system that can be used for more formative assessment for those that want to do this. It is up to individual schools to decide which frameworks and formative assessment tools they want to use for more detailed day to day progress measures. The test should be compatible with any of these supplementary methods.
We will be conducting the tests using the TLM Awards site. The procedure is to go to http://awards.theingots.org and at the top right click the sign up link. This will produce a web form to fill in. We will collect the minimum data from you in order that we can aggregate your data and give you useful contextual feedback. Once the account details are set up we will check and approve them – this is to eliminate spam and/or bogus sign ups that could contaminate the data collected. Once your account is approved you can upload the pupils to take the test using a csv file exported from your MIS system. The structure of this file needs to be as follows:
forename <eg John>
surname <eg Smith>
gender <Male or Female>
DOB <eg 26-04-1994>
ULN <This field might be blank as ULNs are not normally issued until age 14 but it needs to exist>
UPN <This helps ensure pupils are uniquely identifiable>
Once your account is authorised you will get an e-mail with the text below. (A lot of school filters and security prevent automated e-mails getting through. If you don't get an e-mail pretty well instantly after sign up e-mail ian dot lynch at theingots dot org and we will set up your passwrd etc manually. We have reproduced the procedure here with screen shots and also as a video.
Note we sometimes refer to the INGOT Markbook site as the awards site or certification site. (I know we should edit it all to be consistent!) If we use any of those terms its all the same thing. The Learning site might also get referred to as the community site. The on-line testing system depends on both. The description below tells you exactly what to do to set up your tests. An overview of the process is
- to make test groups,
- upload learners and assign them to groups,
- set up your account on the learning site,
- automatically create accounts for all the pupils on the learning site,
- register your group (s) and specify the dates and times for the test, print out user names and passwords for pupils to login,
- get them to login and take the test,
- get their marks from the assessment page in your account on the awards site.
Question 40 to 48 refers to a flowchart. The diagram is rather large and this does not lend itself to sequential computer based questions. It is recommended that this is copied and printed to paper so candidates can refer to the paper diagram without having to navigate back through questions to refer to it while still answering the questions on the computer.
There is a Youtube tutorial of the explanation below here (Only 5 minutes long)
(i) Logging in
Go to https://awards.theingots.org and login using your username eg Fred Bloggs and the password <password>.
You can change your password in your account once logged in.
The contract you are asked to agree to is part of TLM's quality assurance agreement with Ofqual for regulated qualifications that count in the performance tables. It enables us to dispense with a lot of the bureaucracy traditionally associated with coursework.
The only part of this agreement relevant to baseline testing is that you will uphold standards eg by as far as is possible ensuring the tests are kept confidential and given under controlled conditions. This will give everyone more confidence in the validity of the data they can use for comparing with their own results. Since baseline testing is not a regulated qualification there is no need to worry about the other details such as moderation meetings. These only apply to schools doing our regulated qualifications.
Once you get past the contract agreements, in the blue menu bar third from the left click School Admin
(ii) Making groups
Note the Groups Tab and below it the link "view learners that are not in any group".
To start with you have no groups and no learners on the site. You need to upload the learners that will take the test and put them into any groupings in which they will take the test. This is entirely up to you. All learners can be in one group or split into different groups or you can have them all in one group and split into different groups eg a whole year group and the teaching groups or any other subgrouping you want to use eg if you don't have enough computers for all the pupils in a particular teaching group. The flexibility is to help you manage the tests in any way you want to.
(Note on each tab there is a small blue curved arrow next to its close icon. This is a refresh link. If you add new data to the system and it does not appear immediately click the refresh arrow. Sometimes data is not immediately displayed because this is effectively a web page even though it is designed to feel more like a desktop application.)
We need at least 1 group eg Year 6 2014 Baseline Computing T1. Click the add groups tab (third along) and in the Group Box put the name of the group.
It can be any string of text characters including spaces. Try to make it descriptive of the cohort and subject so you can differentiate cohorts year on year if you do the test with subsequent cohorts and possibly other subjects in the future.
Under the Group input is an assessor name. This should be your name as the only assessor in the centre for baseline testing. It will be linked to the group.
Save this group by clicking the Save button.
(iii) Adding learners
Now click the add learners tab, between the groups and add groups tabs.
This is where you add the baseline test candidates to the site. While you can do this manually by typing in names one at a time, it is more convenient to upload a csv file exported from your MIS system.
Some people have asked if teachers can take the test eg to identify areas for CPD or to check their own progress – no reason why not just make a group called eg "staff" and add them as learners.
Look at the lower half of the page and there are instructions about the requirements for csv upload and the links to upload the file. Ask your data manager to give you a csv file from the MIS in the specified format. You can check it by importing it into a spreadsheet. If the first row headings are wrong simply edit them in the spreadsheet and export as csv (Comma Separated Variables). The only other common problem is the date format. The MIS system should enable you to specify the date format for csv export. Many learners will not yet have a ULN (Unique Learner Number). If this is the case just leave it blank, but there needs to be a ULN field in the file. If you have any problems contact us. If you really have unsolvable issues send us the file by e-mail, we'll fix it and upload it for you. (Bear in mind we do not have unlimited resources!)
Once the learners are uploaded to the site click on the 'Click here to put learners into groups' link about halfway down the add learners tab.
(iv) Putting Learners in Groups
Click 'Select All' and check the group name is displayed in the 'Move learners to group' menu and the click 'Move'.
If you want sub-groupings go to the Add Group tab and create any sub groups in exactly the same way as you created the first group. Note that copying learners between groups means they will be in both groups. Moving them will move them out of one group into the other. If a learner does the test in one group their results will be with them so it doesn't matter which groups they belong to, the groups are just for management convenience. Having them all in one year group means you can check out that year or you can check out individual sub-groupings separately.
(v) Setting up your account on the learning site
Now open a new tab in your browser and go to www.theingots.org
To do this click on Create new account under the login button.
Here you can enter your details.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU USE THE SAME EMAIL ADDRESS AS YOUR ACCOUNT ON THE AWARDS SITE.
Your assessor id is in your account on the Markbook (Awards) site. Just go back to the tab where you should still be logged in there.
(The reason we have 2 sites is that the learning site is a free community resource and not all those that use it have accounts on the Awards site and vice versa.)
Your id is the number in the first entry in your profile. The Academy name is just the school name in the last line (The term academy here is nothing to do with DfE Academies, it is a historical thing from when we first had the idea of the INGOT certificates pre-dating the academies programme)
Please ensure that the Academy name is identically spelled on both sites as it is used to link the accounts together with the e-mail address and id.
Fill in the rest and create the account. We will then approve it. (we will be looking out for approval requests so it shuold not take long) Again for security reasons, because we have thousands of young people on the site, we vet every new account that is set up except for student accounts that are set up directly from the Awards site.
When your account is approved you will be able to login.
(vii) Setting up your pupils' accounts automatically on the learning site
Login to the Learning site top right with your user name eg Fred Bloggs or e-mail address
(Note you need to use the same e-mail address on both the awards site and learning site so don't change just one of these in either of your accounts)
Use the same password as was sent to you with these instructions. If you changed this in your account on the awards (markbook) site, you need to use the original one to login and then change it on the learning site if you want them the same. There is no requirement for them to be the same. The passwords can be independent of each other but you should have the same e-mail address on both sites.
When you log in you will be on the My Groups page.
This is linked from the My Learners link at the top of the side box where you logged in. Here you will see the group you set up on the Awards site with links to Online test and Pupil ID letter. We'll come back to these in a minute. We are now going to automatically set up all your learner accounts from the groups you set up ready for the exam.
Click on the group name to the left of the yellow background. eg Year 6 2014 Baseline Computing T1.
You will then see them listed with Tracker E-evidence and On-line Test.
If your group has more than 50 in it you might need to click create accounts more than once because the system does batches of 50 so as not to tie up the server too long. It is recommended that you group pupils for the test in teaching groups or subgroups smaller than 50. You can still have a whole group cohort on the Markbook site at the same time to provide a list of all pupils in the same place. Groups are just labels like doing a sort for each learner with that label and they can have more than one label.
Registration of tests has changed!!! please refer to the video for details.
It is better to register the whole group rather than each individual student.
Go back to the Groups tab by clicking My groups in the bread crumb top left.
(viii) Providing Pupil Ids and passwords
Now click on the group name – in this case Year 6 2014 Baseline Computing.
Now click on Register Online tests. From the Select menu select the Baseline test. (We hope to put an option there with audio for weaker readers but it might well be restricted to HTML 5 browsers).
Now you can set the times for the tests for all the learners. Next you need to give them their usernames and passwords to log in. They log in to the LEARNING SITE. The Markbook login is only ever used by teachers and moderators. The learning site is a community resource, the awards/markbook site has to be secure for "official use" only.
Go back to My groups using the bread crumb link My groups >> <OnlineTest for Year 6 2014 Baseline Computing ….
Clicking on the pupil ID letter link will call up a letter for each pupil in the group with their user name and password and a copy of the site acceptable use policy. You can print these and give them out before starting the test so that there is less chance of losing time at the start of the lesson through lost passwords. You can also test some user accounts by logging in as some of the pupils.
Usernames are of the form learner 85180 and the password a randomly generated string of characters. This and the AUP are the only things that need concern them on this sheet. Unless they have an e-mail address they can't change the password. Some schools prefer them not to be able to some want them to. The teacher/assessor can go in and change the password for pupils eg if they forget it. The pupil can put an e-mail address into their profile and then change their password. There are a lot of other facilities on the site besides the tests. Evidence management for computing coursework, blogging etc. You are free to use as much or as little of this as you want.
We have now added a spreadsheet export of the pupil user names and passwords – look for the spreadsheet icon at the foot of the page. This makes the print out more compact and you can customise the way you print from this file to suit your own preferred way of issuing passwords.
The pupils' view
Try logging out and then logging back in as one of the pupils to check their view when they log in.
Once logged in they just click the Online Test tab
Please be careful with clicking "ready". Once a pupil starts the test they need to carry on until the end. They can't do a few questions, log out and just restart for security reasons.
All they need do now is click Ready to start the test.
When they have finished the test their result will be returned in your account on the Markbook Site. When you login you will be on the Assessment page. Select the group, baseline test category and Progress test 1. You will see a list of your pupils in the group with their results. We will provide analysis and visual presentation of these in due course.
We would like to acknowledge the support from
Dr Carol Porter
(Add names as people contribute)
who have contributed to the development of this site.
If you would like to add your own supporting content you can do so by going to the add content link and uploading or linking to your resources there.
If you login as a pupil it will take you