The use of technology changes rapidly, especially in the classroom. It’s only natural to adapt that schools will want to adapt, even if it means changing how students learn. Technology affects everything from how lessons are taught to how tests are taken, but will it stay that way? Is online testing here to stay?
Technologizing Standardized Tests
Over the past few years, educational testing companies have turned to technology when it comes to standardized testing. These timed, identical tests are a way of determining how to best educate students. They can range from aptitude tests or state tests. However, college entrance exams such as the ACT or the SAT seem to be the most popular. All students have to take them, though each state has a different approach in testing. Some schools have even adapted to online forms of these tests, to varying results.
Pros of Online Testing
Online testing comes with many positive outcomes. For one, students can take them during school days as opposed to weekends. They make cheating more difficult. Also, they provide students with their score more quickly than print tests. Plus, it also allows students to gain experience with technology. This experience will benefit them in future college or work pursuits.
Cons of Online Testing
However, there have been negative experiences with online test taking, as well. One study found students’ scores to be lower due to them having trouble going back to previous questions. Written tests come with a booklet that lets students easily refer back to the passage about which they’re answering questions, while the online component is laid out differently. This goes along with an incident in which low PARCC scores were attributed to the devices being used. Additionally, some students may not be familiar with some technology, leaving them at a disadvantage come test time.
As it appears, online standardized testing can be a useful tool, but in some cases, it can also be hazardous to a student’s performance. However, the new form certainly seems to be the way testing is going in the future. Schools need to prepare students for this form of test-taking.
Text by Nick Adrian