The English diagnostic assessment is the second vital cog of our SkillsBuilder process. Without the diagnostic, a tutor would have to base a learner’s programme of work on the level of their initial assessment, so a learner could be presented with resources covering the entire curriculum at their initial assessment level. This is inefficient and potentially demotivating to a learner faced with having to work through topics which they already have a clear understanding of. Best practice would be for every learner to sit a diagnostic to properly assess their strengths and their skills gaps.
The English diagnostic assessment is driven by the levels of the initial assessment, so if a learner is exhibiting a spiky profile with different levels in reading, spelling, punctuation, and grammar, they would sit a mixed-level diagnostic. However, if desired, a tutor may make an intervention so that a learner sits their diagnostic at the overall working-towards level. Diagnostics are available from Entry 1 to Level 2, and the questions are banked so a learner will always sit a unique assessment.
The colour-coded results’ page clearly displays all the learner’s skills gaps along with the topics that they are proficient in and the topics that they may need to review at a later stage.
The English diagnostic also produces an electronic individual skills plan (ISP) with links that will take the learner directly to the resources they need to cement their skills gaps; so if a learner is struggling with complex sentences, they get instant access to video tutorials and practice questions about complex sentences. The ISP will sign off topics as they are completed by the learner, and on-screen reports track the progress by individual, group or whole organisation.
SkillsBuilder allows a tutor to set further diagnostics to build a learner up through the levels. As the English diagnostic is sectioned into the four key areas of reading, spelling, punctuation, and grammar (SPaG), different levels may be set for each section; so if, for example, a learner is functioning at Level 2 in reading and spelling, these areas may be skipped and a mini diagnostic run in punctuation and grammar.
Optionally, a distance-travelled diagnostic may be run at the same level/s as the first diagnostic and the results’ pages viewed side-by-side to show progression in each topic.