ERIC Number: EJ865418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
Developments and Challenges in the Use of Computer-Based Testing for Assessing Second Language Ability
Ockey, Gary J.
Modern Language Journal, v93 ns1 p836-847 Dec 2009
Computer-based testing (CBT) to assess second language ability has undergone remarkable development since Garret (1991) described its purpose as "the computerized administration of conventional tests" in "The Modern Language Journal." For instance, CBT has made possible the delivery of more authentic tests than traditional paper-and-pencil tests. CBT has also made it possible to more reliably, practically, and almost instantaneously score essays, oral speech samples, and other types of test responses. Unfortunately, however, due to a number of unresolved problems, CBT has failed to realize its anticipated potential. CBT has limited usability because systems that ensure test and score security have yet to be developed. Computer-adaptive testing, one of the most promising areas of CBT has not met expectations because of failure to solve problems with the statistical techniques on which it is based and the lack of resources necessary to implement it in most assessment contexts. In spite of these and other limitations, given the growing capability of CBT to deliver more authentic tests than paper-and-pencil, its use for assessing second language ability will undoubtedly continue to expand.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Adaptive Testing, Computer Assisted Testing, Language Aptitude, Essays, Scores, Oral Language, Problem Solving, Statistical Analysis, Computer Security
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A