Setting up Ad Hoc Assessments

Ad hoc assessments can be used to assess things normally not collected in standardised tests, or for extra non-academic assessments you would like to record. In this article, we'll create an ad hoc assessment link it to a summative marksheet if needed.

Ad Hocs Assessment marks can be recorded at:

  • one single point in the year. Top Tip: When using this option, students added to the assessment after this date won't have a mark.
  • recorded in regular assessment periods to accompany a grade achieved in a summative assessment by linking the ad hoc to the summative assessment marksheet.

You can also display ad hoc assessments on report cards. 

You can choose to assess all your students for all subjects, or only assess a specific subject or key stage.

Some examples of things schools track using ad hoc assessments:

  • Attitude to Learning (AtL)
  • UCAS teacher referral comments
  • Coursework grades
  • In-house exam results
  • Reading age
  • APS (Average Points Score)
  • FFT (Fischer Family Trust) assessment marks
  • Mock EYFS, End of Key Stage 1 (KS1), End of Key Stage 2 (KS2), Phonics or Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) tests
  • Mock GCSE, BTEC or A-level results


Setting up an Ad Hoc assessment

Step 1 (Optional) - Preparing to create a linked assessment

If you will be linking your Ad Hoc to a summative assessment, make sure you have:

  • Added the summative assessment to your Assessment Framework and Annual Policy if you want the ad hoc marks to appear on your summative marksheet.
  • Linked your summative assessment to the right course. When a summative assessment and ad hoc assessment are linked to the same course, this makes the ad hoc appear in the summative assessment marksheet.

To link your summative assessment to the right course, go to Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Manage Assessments. Select the summative assessment.



Click +Add in the Linked courses section.



In this example, I've linked my KS1 maths assessment to my Registration subject, but in a secondary school, you would usually link the assessment to the Mathematics course.



Step 2 - Add the assessment to your Assessment Framework

To add the assessment to the Assessment Framework go to Students > Assessments > Assessment Framework > Assessment Catalogue and click the Create new Assessment button. 



Click the Create new ad hoc assessment button.



The first step (selecting an Ad Hoc assessment category) is optional - you can click Skip at the bottom of the page.




In step 2 you can choose the assessment details. Choose the name, key stage, subject, how you will mark, and the mark type. These settings will impact which students are assessed and where you can input marks from.

  • Key Stage - Select a specific key stage to only assess students in that key stage, or select Mixed to assess multiple key stages (e.g. if you wanted to assess year 9s and year 11s).
  • Marking strategy - Choose Single mark to record one stand-alone mark for each student, or choose One mark per course to collect multiple marks for each student, for each course they are enrolled in (you will be able to select the specific courses later on).
  • Mark type - Select the type of mark you will record (grade, number or text). You'll only need to complete the next step (shown below) if you select Grade.



If you selected the mark type of Grade, you'll need to define the grades that will be available in the marksheet. Click +Add to add new grades, then click Next when you're happy.



The final step is to review your settings. If you need to change anything, just click Back. If you're happy with everything, click Complete setup



Step 3 - Check your assessment periods

An assessment period is a set of dates that are used to define the frequency at which an assessment will take place. Within Arbor, there are four default assessment periods you can choose when setting up an assessment: monthly, half termly, termly or annual basis.

Check you can select the right assessment period frequency from to Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Assessment Periods. The default assessment periods (monthly, termly, annual or half-termly) will only appear here if an assessment is using them (Custom ones will always appear).

In some cases, your assessment may not fit into the default assessment periods that are available. You can create your own custom assessment to assess a subject as frequently as you need. If you need to add a new assessment period click +Add.



Click +Add and update the slide over with the name, all your assessment periods and the dates of the assessments, then click Create Periods. You'll then be able to select this custom assessment periods when adding your assessment to your Annual Policy (shown in the next step).



To edit the assessment period names or dates, or delete the Assessment Periods, click the assessment periods. Please note, you can only delete an assessment period if no assessments are currently using it.


Step 4 - Add the assessment to your Annual Policy

To add the assessment to the current year, go to Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Manage Assessments and click the Add assessment to policy button. 



You can then select an Assessment type, and select which assessments to add to your policy. Then click Next.



In step 2 you can choose the assessment details. Choose the students and the assessment data. These settings will impact which students are assessed and when.

  • Subjects - If you selected the Marking strategy of One Mark per Course and only want to assess the courses of a specific subject, you can specify which courses to link this ad hoc to. If you want to assess all courses, leave this field blank and the assessment it will be linked to all the courses.
  • Students - If you selected a specific key stage when setting up the assessment, you can choose a specific year group from here. You can also select more than one year group if you selected Mixed key stages. 

Assessment date and assessment periods - Either:

  • Select a date to assess. Top Tip: When using this option, students added to the assessment after this date won't have a mark.
  • If you'll be linking this ad hoc assessment to a summative assessment, choose the assessment periods of the summative assessment.

Do not add both.



The ad hoc assessment will now be linked to your summative assessment on the Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Manage Assessments page!




Can an ad-hoc be added to different assessment periods for different groups?

No, you'll need to set up a new version of the ad-hoc assessment for each set of assessment periods.

For example, if your KS3 students are assessed termly but your KS4 students are assessed half-termly we'd recommend setting up the ad-hoc for each keystage (with a slightly different name - for example, KS3 ATL).


What's next?

Once you have set up your assessment, be able to input marks into your ad hoc assessment!

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