Using Technology to Improve Assessment
A single idea unifies the development of the new consortia assessments designs for K–12: If we want to accelerate the learning of our nation's students, we must create more powerful assessment systems that support improved instruction and yield timely, useful information for students, educators, parents and policymakers.
Looking for faster results and cost efficiencies, PARCC, Smarter Balanced and several states are pressing for the inclusion of more complex tasks that can assess the skills needed in a next-generation assessment system. They also plan to transition to computer-based testing (CBT), a format that has the potential to enhance the fairness and quality of assessments, the range of skills and constructs that can be assessed, and the educational utility of the results.
Technological advances provide opportunities to:
- improve the precision of measuring difficult-to-measure constructs
- better align assessments to instruction
- engage and motivate students
- improve accessibility of assessments for English-language learners and students with disabilities
- expedite return of test results
- improve the ease of interpreting test results
ETS Research Capabilities Drive Innovation in Assessment
ETS works closely with states and the consortia to bring these technological innovations and the opportunities they provide to K–12 assessment. Our research on automated scoring technologies and computer adaptive testing (CAT), both at the item-level and the section-level testing (i.e., multistage), extends back more than 25 years, and we are at the forefront of creating innovative solutions to item development.
Working together, we can create assessment and reporting tools that will push the frontiers of the assessment field and revolutionize how tests are developed, delivered and scored. The data they provide will:
- enhance instruction
- personalize learning
- provide timely, accurate and useful information on student and school performance
But the ultimate goal is not just better, faster, more informative tests. It is the creation of a robust teaching and learning assessment system that improves and advances quality and equity in education for all.
Learn More about Technology-enhanced Assessments
We invite you to view the videos below and try our interactive demos to learn more about these innovations and how we are using them to improve education.
Since 1993, ETS, on behalf of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), has developed content, analyzed data and reported results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often called “The Nation’s Report Card.” Try out Technology-enhanced Items on the NCES website.