Monday, November 25, 2013

Rushing into high-tech testing

Sent to the Buffalo News, Nov. 25.

Buffalo educators are concerned about whether students are tech-savvy enough to take the new computerized tests, and whether districts will have up-to-date equipment ("Pencils out, keyboards in for future exams," Nov, 25). But only a few people are asking whether we should be rushing into high-tech testing.

Williamsville Superintendent Martzloff points out that the tests will be expensive. The cost of setting up online testing, replacement equipment regularly will indeed be enormous and will continue to escalate as new "progress" is made in technology.

Nobody has asked whether there is any evidence that high-tech testing will do any good. So far, there is no evidence that it will help anyone except the testing and computer companies. No small scale studies have even been planned, to my knowledge.

Stephen Krashen

original article:

1 comment:

  1. Many computerized tests (even on "top of the line" systems) do not allow the test taker to utilize test strategies that they might commonly use on the traditional 'paper and pencil' exams. Most do not allow the test taker to move around on the exam. They cannot go back and consider a previous question. As for me, I like to jump around on an exam, answering the questions I know for certain first. This is a technique used to manage test anxiety. I once had a student who used a large index card to block out text that he was not currently reading to alleviate his anxiety. None of these strategies work on a computer screen.