The State Educational Technology Directors Association, or SETDA, launched a new website and published a whitepaper to help navigate the new technology-based assessments coming out in 2014-15 that will be aligned with the common core state standards.
The website, Assess4ed.net, will provide a platform for state and district education leaders to discuss and tackle the challenges of preparing for this assessment transition. The website will also allow for communication and collaboration with private and public partners, as well as schools, districts, and states, says a press release from SETDA.
The whitepaper, “Technology Requirements for Large-scale Computer-based and Online Assessment: Current Status and Issues,” includes profiles of states that have begun offering online testing (there are 33 total). The profiles detail the hardware and software needed for testing, the assessment vendor or vendors, the bandwidth and connectivity of the state, as well as the extent of online and computer-based assessments in the state.
The whitepaper also includes recommendations and topics to consider while the assessments are being created, such as the length of the testing window. A smaller testing window will require a greater disruption to teaching and learning, the whitepaper warns. Streamlining the technology infrastructure needed for the assessments with other technology goals, such as online and blended learning, was another factor to consider. As states beef up systems for online assessments, they should also plan for future technologies, while making room for more obsolete technologies to drop out of the overall infrastructure, the report says.
The paper itself is up on Assess4ed.net for public comment and review, so if you see something you disagree with, or if you don’t see something you think should be mentioned, head over there to make yourself heard.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.