DoodleMaths, DoodleEnglish and DoodleSpell have always automatically calibrated work to a child's level. Previously, this was done subtlety by blending calibration questions into the initial 5/6/7-a-day exercises. Now this is done much more explicitly through a series of six - or in the case of DoodleMaths, eight - baseline exercises, each consisting of five questions.

Previously, children's calibration questions got gradually harder until their score for their last eight questions dropped below a certain threshold. Whilst this was effective at finding their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) in most cases, it didn't always pick up specific weaknesses very easily, and could be ended quickly if a child made a series of silly mistakes or pressed the 'skip' button repeatedly.

By fixing the length of the baseline assessment we can guarantee much richer information. Now, we more accurately determine the ZPD because silly mistakes can be disregarded in light of a bigger picture. We also gain a better initial understanding of strengths and weaknesses - this information can be found in the Parent Dashboard. Additionally, we determine understanding in a much more sophisticated way, by leveraging the huge volume of question response data we have amassed in our database. Now, we compare the number of attempts and time spent on each question to the average for all other children of the same age, giving a picture of their relative understanding as well as their absolute understanding.

We recommend you conduct a new baseline assessment two or three times per year and compare results in the Parent Dashboard to get the best picture of how your child is progressing. More information on how to do this can be found here.

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