What is Baseline Assessment?

What is baseline assessment and how do I set a baseline assessment for my students? Is this the same as recalibrating?

Jo Kiddell avatar
Written by Jo Kiddell
Updated over a week ago

What is Baseline Assessment?

Baseline assessment mode is a time-saving, stress-free alternative to traditional tests. It identifies each child’s learning gaps and ensures that their Doodle work programme is at just the right level for them. When a child first starts using Doodle, our clever algorithm, Proxima™, will ask them a series of questions to determine their current level and confidence. This helps Doodle to create them a unique work programme tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Baseline assessments are broken up into short sets of exercises. These can be completed in school or at home, so learners can answer them in relaxed conditions in their own time.

We recommend using baseline assessments once a year for children in Reception and Year 1, and at the start of each term for pupils in Years 2 to 6. Additionally, If you think the programme is not at the right level for a student (they are finding it too easy or too difficult), you can reassess the account by using baseline assessment (this was previously known as reassessment).

It is really important that children use Doodle independently, especially during the baseline assessment.

How to set a Baseline Assessment from the Teacher Dashboard

  1. Head over to the Teacher Dashboard and hover over Work programmes and select View understanding.

  2. Select your class from the drop down box in the top left hand corner.

  3. Click Start new baseline for whole class and select the students you'd like to reassess.

  4. OR, select the student's name down the left hand side and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Start new baseline assessment for X to start a baseline assessment for just that student

If you wish to set a baseline assessment for a different programme, be sure to toggle to corresponding subject icon at the top:

If you see a red exclamation mark next to a student's name it indicates that Doodle is recommending that you start a new baseline assessment for this student.

How do Baseline Assessments work?

The number of questions a child is asked in baseline assessment mode will depend on their age and the programme they’re using:

In DoodleMaths:

  • Children under the age of 4.5 will go through two sets of five questions

  • Children with a starting age of under 5.5 will go through 4 sets of five questions

  • Children with a starting age 5.5-7.5 will be asked eight sets of five questions

  • Children age 7.5 and above will be asked ten sets of five questions

In DoodleEnglish and DoodleSpell:

  • Children under the age of 5.5 will have no assessment, but will start the work programme with a DA of 5.5

  • Children age 5.5-6.5 will be asked four sets of five questions

  • Children at 6.5 and above will be asked six sets of five questions

Children do not need to complete a whole baseline assessment in one go.

Children will see a purple baseline icon in their Learning Zone. When they tap on this the baseline assessment will begin.

At the beginning of the assessment children will confirm their DOB. It is really important the DOB is set correctly as this will play a big part in determining the right level for the child. If children are working well below their actual age we suggest setting the DOB to reflect closer to where they are working.

Additionally, children will also be asked to say how confident they feel in the subject. We recommend using the following as a guide:

  • Set it right next to Not confident if they’re working below their year group

  • Set it right next to Super confident if they're working above their year group

  • Set it in the middle if they are working at average in their year group.

Younger pupils may need to complete this stage with a grown up. It’s important that the confidence slider is set as accurately as possible so the assessment will begin at roughly the right level for a child. If it isn’t set correctly, they may initially be asked questions which are too challenging for them, which could shake their confidence.

As children complete the questions within the baseline assessment, they will not know if they have answered them correctly or incorrectly. Children will see their star gauge fill up as they progress through the questions and once the baseline assessment is complete the stars will appear within their target gauge.

At the end of each set of questions children will be asked how easy or difficult they found the questions.

All of this information will work together to determine the personalised work programme that is created for the child.

How long does a baseline assessment take to complete?

The length of the assessment will vary depending on a child’s age and ability.

Younger children and/or those with a low confidence rating will complete a shorter assessment.

Children may be asked up to ten sets of five questions. These don’t need to be completed all at once and can be broken up over a number of days to fit with the recommended 10 minutes of Doodling a day, whether in school or at home.

After completing the first set of questions, they’ll be taken to Doodle’s hub, the Learning Zone. They can start the next set of exercises in the calibration by pressing the purple Baseline icon when they’re ready.

How to answer questions

Encourage children to work independently through the questions and have a go at anything they’re unsure about. Helping them may cause the programme to become too challenging.

Questions are unlikely to be at the right level to begin with, so don’t worry if they’re finding them too hard or too easy. The purpose of the assessment is to find their correct level.

If a child is finding the questions too easy:

  • Each set of questions will become more challenging until they’re at the right level for them

If a child is finding the questions too difficult:

  • encourage them to have a go or skip any questions they’re unsure about

  • if they take a long time to answer questions, take multiple attempts, answer a question incorrectly or skip any questions, Doodle will know that the level is too high. It’ll decrease the difficulty with each question set.

How will I know when a baseline assessment is completed?

Children will know when they’ve completed the assessment as the baseline icon will not appear as their next exercise in their Learning Zone.

You may find that a child's DoodleAge goes down after a baseline assessment - this is totally normal and to be expected. This will happen if the algorithm feels that your child needs to consolidate their learning on a few topics to ensure that those areas are fully embedded before moving them on to new learning, resulting in a stronger foundation for them to build their learning upon.

Please check out this page with a helpful step by step guide and support sheet for teachers to use when completing a Baseline Assessment with their class.

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