Many states are already using online state assessments, or plan to do so in the near future, a new survey has found.
Researchers interviewed officials in educational assessment and technology offices in 27 states, as well as “opinion leaders” from the public and private sectors. They found that 23 of the 27 states were conducting state assessments online or will soon be.
Educators cited easier logistics, quicker data turnaround, and the option of more customizable reporting among their reasons for using online assessments or being interested in using them.
Among the challenges of online testing cited were infrastructure problems such as inadequate bandwidth, too little district-level technology expertise, and difficulty with more complex items such as constructed-response questions. Respondents also said they lacked an understanding of open-source platforms for state accountability testing.
The study was conducted by Grunwald Associates LLC and Education Development Center Inc., with funding from the Educational Testing Service.
A version of this article appeared in the April 21, 2010 edition of Education Week as Online Assessment