R&D Connections, No 24

People in this video: Mark Hakkinen

On-screen: [R&D Connections, No 24]

On-screen: [Assistive Technologies for Computer-Based Assessments]

On-screen: [Mark Hakkinen, Research Scientist, ETS Research & Development Division]


Transcript Body

Narrator: Hello, I am Mark Hakkinen. I work in the R&D division of ETS. I wrote an article for the R&D Connections series on assistive technologies for computer‐based assessments. In it I discuss how technology has changed the landscape for educational assessment, especially for test takers with disabilities. At ETS our mission is to provide fair and valid assessments for all test takers worldwide. This includes test takers with disabilities. This is an important challenge as about one billion people worldwide have some form of disability.

It is true that technology has opened up many new opportunities to learn and communicate for people with disabilities, but it also poses challenges, which we must face, not only because it is required by laws and legislation, but as it is fundamental to ETS’s mission.

In my article, I explore these new technologies and how they affect education and assessment.

Assistive technologies enable people with disabilities to access and work with computer‐based information. Historically such technologies have been expensive add‐ons to computer‐based systems and often required extensive training, but that has all begun to change thanks to a growing supply of consumer products, from PCs and tablets to smartphones, which come with assistive technologies built in.

Technical standards have played a key role in making these technologies affordable and broadly accessible to those with disabilities, but there are also testing standards that require assessments to be fair and valid for all test takers. Bridging those two areas of standards is a key focus for our work.

At ETS we are doing research that examines how existing and emerging assistive technologies can work with computer‐based testing for test takers with disabilities. The goal is to make sure that assessments are fair and valid, no matter what technologies are being used.

On-screen: [R&D Connections]

Narrator: R&D Connections is a free publication which you can download at no cost by visiting the research section of ETS.ORG.

On-screen: [ets.org/research]

[End of R&D Connections, No 24.]