SETDA just released a white paper on Technology Specifications for Large Scale Computer Based Online Assessment.

The report provides lots of background on the current state of online assessment.  33 states offer some online but only a handful–Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas and Oregon–require online summative assessments.  Over a third of the states offer some or all of their end of course exams online.  30 states are participating in Smarter Balanced and 24 in PARCC (DE & SC belong to both).

The report details current hardware and connectivity requirements.  Most states recommend hard wired connectivity (which is understandable historically but is unscalable)

The report recommends planning on tech-heterogeneity.  It weighs access v timing issues (ie, you need more computers if everyone must take tests simultaneously).  The report sensibly urges state to coordinate the shift to online assessment with the shift to online instructional materials and professional development.

The report urges states to accommodate competency-based progress models and balancing comparability and validity.


Here’s the EdWeek summary

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.



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