Way back in the Olden Days (you know, when we used to take tests with papers and pencils!), the test was the test. Question 1 was first, question 2 was second, and so on. Sometimes, to prevent students from copying answers, some teachers would mix up the questions and make multiple versions of the test so that students next to one another wouldn’t get the same version of the test. A lot of work, right?
Once testing started to happen on computers, adaptive testing was born (sometimes called computer adaptive testing). So aside from helping to prevent students copying one another’s answers, how does adaptive testing challenge learners?
Let’s turn it into a physical body analogy:
If you started working out in a gym and lifting five pound weights, but never continued to increase the weight, would your fitness/tone continue to increase?
No. Your fitness level would probably plateau, because you aren’t continuing to challenge your body. Those 5 pound weights might have seemed hard at first, but once you got used to them, they became easy for you.
Adaptive testing uses this principle for exercising your brain, and it can be particularly useful for students who are prepping for standardized testing. The test starts out with easier questions, and they get progressively harder as the user answers correctly. EdWeek recently released a great video that helps explain it a bit better – check it out below. And think of it as pumping iron for your brain.