Both Reading and Numeracy assessments can be created as Adaptive, Non-Adaptive, Non-Adaptive for Printing, or Snapshot, whereas Vocabulary assessments may only be set as Adaptive by default, and Writing assessments can only be printed out and performed as written, offline assessments that are then marked and entered into the Assessment Tool to be automatically assigned a Scale Score.
Adaptive assessments (also called Computer Adaptive Tests, or CAT Assessments) mark the learner's response as they progress through the assessment, selecting the next set of questions that are presented to the learner based on the results of the answers given. In this way, the Assessment Tool can usually arrive at a more precise assessment of the learner's ability as it is able to dynamically adjust the questions the learner answers, thus avoiding an assessment that is too difficult or too easy overall for the specific learner.
Non-Adaptive assessments are also performed on the computer, but use an algorithm to determine a likely spread of questions based on a starting point that is chosen when creating the assessment. Non-Adaptive assessments have the advantage that everyone is answering the same set of questions, but run the risk of the assessment being too easy or too hard for some learners.
Non-Adaptive for Printing assessments are Non-Adaptive assessments that are specifically created to be printed and handed out to the learners for completion - for example when an online assessment cannot be performed. The answers for these types of assessments are automatically compiled in a Marking Guide, which is downloaded and used to mark the assessment, after which the marks are entered into the Assessment Tool by the Educator or Organisation Administrator.
Snapshot assessments (available only for Reading or Numeracy) are shorter adaptive assessments aimed at using a minimum number of items to make a broad estimate of a learner's achievement level. When creating a Snapshot assessment, Educators must either set a step level Threshold or choose "No Threshold". When a Threshold is set, the Assessment Tool will terminate the assessment when there is sufficient confidence around the result to categorise the learner as achieving either below or above the threshold step. If the Assessment Tool cannot categorise the result after about 16 items, it will terminate the assessment and report a Threshold decision of "Undecided". If the "No threshold" option is selected the Assessment Tool will not attempt to categorise a learner as above or below a threshold step and will simply terminate after about 16 items. Snapshot assessments will always report a best fit step and a scale score (with a margin of error) whether or not a Threshold has been set.