ERIC Number: ED340771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec-21
Computers in Educational Assessment: An Opportunity To Restructure Educational Practice.
Bunderson, C. V.; And Others
This paper examines ways in which hardware and software technologies can be used for effective educational assessment. The analysis considers current uses of computer technology in educational assessment and future applications. Computer systems can integrate administration of measurement instruments, presentation of instructional materials, recordkeeping, and management of instructional activities. Computers can provide a new kind of growth environment for classrooms and learning laboratories, and their introduction is a promising way to stimulate productive learning. Models that do not involve teachers, other educators, and students in slow growth will probably not work. It is best to start where users now are, and introduce formative evaluation as a fundamental aspect of implementation. Eight specific recommendations are given for increasing computer use in schools. Three recommendations dealing with the purposes and methods of testing in the schools are: (1) greatly increase the frequency and variety of help services compared to high-stakes assessments, but balance the two; (2) greatly increase the frequency of formative evaluation, and provide funding and incentives to use the evaluation data for ongoing improvement of educational programs; and (3) increase the use of alternate methods of assessment (i.e., that require human judgment and that measure more complex, integrated, and strategic objectives.) Three recommendations dealing with the new infrastructure for Computerized Educational Assessment (CEA) are: (4) foster new item types and uses of portable answer media in order to utilize the current testing infrastructure more creatively; (5) encourage the development of a localized infrastructure of Integrated Learning and Assessment Systems, and the coordinated evolution of central sites for development of help systems and tests, and for research and development; and (6) encourage the professional development of teachers and other professionals who are knowledgeable and skilled about both the human judgment and the technical aspects of CEA, and are skilled at integrating assessment with instruction. Recommendations dealing with policy are: (7) federal and state policy should both provide research and development funds and stimulate private sector investment in improving technology-based assessment practices; and (8) high professional testing standards must be maintained and must continue to evolve for CEA systems. Eight tables present study data, and two illustrative figures are included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Office of Technology Assessment.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Computer Uses in Education, Pennington, NJ.
Note: Contractor report prepared for the Office of Technology Assessment titled "Testing in American Schools: Asking the Right Questions." For related document, see TM 018 025.