ADAM K-7: Based on a Diagnostic Model:
ADAM K-7 is based on a true diagnostic model which identifies instructional points across 44 sub-tests of mathematics. This is in stark contrast to summative models which only test students on standards at their grade level. Thus, ADAM K-7 doesn’t stop at saying a student does not have mastery of a particular at-grade level standard or skill. In order to identify skills many years below or above a student’s grade, ADAM K-7 uses sophisticated computer adaptive logic to adjust to student’s abilities across the full K to 7 instructional range for all 44 sub-tests of K-7 mathematics.
Higher Level of Granularity
Next ADAM K-7 is structured with a high level of granularity. It covers 271 constructs (math skills) organized into 44 sub-tests. And these are reported as the five major mathematics strands.
Constructs are the smallest unit and ADAM K-7 tests each construct using multiple test items (3 to 10) to determine mastery. This gives ADAM K-7 greater validity at the construct level compared to other assessments which may only use one item or assume mastery across constructs based on summative data of large groups of students.
This is the dirty little secret of many summative benchmark tests. They have achieved validity only at the total score level. So, their publishers accurately claim that their assessments are valid. But then their reports and marketing departments create student reports with very detailed conclusions that have not been validated. Or, more detailed reports are created for administrators that lead one to believe a much higher degree of accuracy exists.
No Assumption of Mastery Between Highly Correlated Math Skills
Any report can say that a student is weak in an area or strong in another. However the manner in which this mastery is determined is important. ADAM K-7 assumes students are unique and expects students to have peaks and valleys in their skills. Thus, it only reports mastery when a student has demonstrated mastery. This is in stark contrast to other assessments that will make generalizations such as, statistically most students who have mastery of multiple-digit division have mastery of multiple-digit multiplication. Assessments seeking to reduce total test time often generalize these type of correlations possibly resulting in a student who gets multiple-digit division correct being reported as having mastered multiple-digit multiplication as well. ADAM K-7 does not make any of these assumptions because we need to identify each student’s unique abilities.
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