DOMA Basic Math Skills is a diagnostic assessment, much like DORA. However, because the cognitive processes of quantitative reasoning are so different from the cognitive processes of reading, it cannot be entirely like DORA, and the reports generated are consequently different. In math, it happens that the cognitive processes tend to be more linear in nature, particularly when approached from the perspective of the strands outlined in Principles and Standards of School Mathematics, developed by NCTM .
DORA is based on the three cueing system model of reading in which there are three discreet cognitive areas that must function together in order to facilitate strategic reading. When we test those three areas, we get a very clear sense of each student’s strengths and weaknesses. DOMA, however, is based on the model of mathematics proposed by NCTM, dividing quantitative reasoning into strands that also must function together for complete quantitative reasoning. According to NCTM, “The mathematical Content and Process Standards…are inextricably linked.” In a way, we can think of these six strands (Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis and Probability, and Problem Solving) as a type of cueing system for quantitative reasoning. By assessing students in math linearly within each strand, we are able to identify student strengths and weaknesses that paint a complete picture of mathematics ability. When there is a hole in one strand, there is a gap in student achievement. So while both assessments are diagnostic, they are based on different models of the cognitive processes they assess; the reporting must reflect those models and, therefore, cannot be the same.
In DOMA Basic Math Skills, only two of the NCTM strands are assessed. According to NCTM, “School mathematics programs should not address every topic every year. Instead, students will reach certain levels of conceptual understanding and procedural fluency when they plan their mathematics instruction.” Let’s Go Learn has chosen to focus DOMA Basic Math Skills on two strands on which elementary math education often focuses instruction.
In DOMA Basic Math Skills, the detailed list of all the constructs tested indicates where you need to work with the student. Let’s Go Learn doesn't provide additional recommendations because the unchecked boxes in the student's zone of instruction are exactly what the student needs to work on.
Additionally, Let’s Go Learn offers a tool to examine student performance in one strand against performance in others. The Class Profile Report provides summary paragraphs, identifying traits of students with differing performances across the strands and offering instructional recommendations, much like in the DORA report.
The group strand report is also an amazing tool to help differentiate instruction in small groups within a classroom. Here is the video:
1. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. 2000.
Tags: dora reports, doma reports, diagnostic math assessment