While various states have experimented with delivering statewide assessments via the Internet, many educators still have mixed emotions related to the academic benefits of online testing.
Recently, Oregon Department of Education officials celebrated the academic gains shown by students taking the TESA (Technology Enhanced Student Assessment). In the eSchool News article, “State: Online Testing Helped Raise Scores”, Oregon students showed between a 3% to 5% gain in reading, math and science.
Developed internally, the TESA allows teachers to assess students’ knowledge, skills and understanding multiple times throughout the year. Further, by integrating technology into the assessment process, both teachers and students are provided with immediate results, further supporting what we know to be effective practices related to motivation and feedback. In lieu of testing students and receiving feedback months later, teachers can utilize assessment data to make informed instructional decisions. Coupled with the reduced cost of assessing students, this new system seems to provide states an avenue to not only improve the instructional process, but also realize cost savings. Isn’t it time for all states to consider deliver technology-enhanced assessment or are there other factors that need to be considered?