Online Delivery Shows Promise for High Stakes Assessment

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?

Comments

  1. Chris Marshall

    It seems to make sense to me. In teaching, you always need to garner feedback on the progress of your students in order to determine the effectiveness of your curriculum and teaching methods. However, you must always measure the cost versus the benefit. The “law of diminishing returns” tell us that at some point the cost will outweigh the benefit. In education, the cost is usually measured in money spent on testing and the lost teaching time required to administer the tests. The benefits are in the feedback teachers obtain. However, often the feedback comes far after the evaluation and time has rendered it less effective.
    This system seems to have positive effects by bringing down the cost with cheaper to administer tests that can be taken in a more expedient manner. Thereby decreasing monetary expenditures and increasing teach time. Also, it gives more timely feedback that can allow for a teacher to adapt sooner to the specific needs of individual students.
    I think I basically just reiterated what you said, but that’s because I agree. Any way you slice it, it makes sense.

Leave a Comment

For your photo to appear next to your name, be sure you have a Gravatar.com account created matching your email address.