Online assessment research – overseas developments

This page is a repository of world-wide experience in relation to online assessment.
  • The new work order

Ensuring young Australians have skills and experience for the jobs of the future, not the past.

Read more in:

the Future of Work report by the Foundation for Young Australians (PDF 3.45 mb)

the New Work Order press-release (PDF 194 kb)

  • Inside the surprisingly high-stakes quest to design a computer program that ‘gets’ sarcasm online

One of modern computing’s most vexing puzzles is: could we ever teach a program to recognise sarcasm – a human quirk that even humans mess up half the time?

Read more in The Washington Post, 18 August 2015

  • Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data

Study of census results in England and Wales since 1871 finds rise of machines has been a job creator rather than making working humans obsolete.

Read more in The Guardian, 17 August 2015

  • What the opt-out movement teaches students (USA)

An experienced American teacher believes that standardised testing is an integral part of assessing students' strengths and weaknesses:

"With a balanced approach, we can use tests as one indicator to move our students forward to be prepared to succeed in a global society and to better ensure equity for all students".

Read more in the Education Week Teacher, 21 May 2015

  • Study on device comparability of tablets and computers for assessment purposes (USA)

In April 2015 the National Council on Measurement in Education (USA) published the results of a study on device comparability of tablets and computers for assessment purposes.

The study looked at the comparability of test scores across tablets and computers for high school students in three commonly assessed content areas and for a variety of different item types.

Read more on device comparability (PDF 744 kb)

  • States prepare public for common-core test results (USA)

The US states start administering new assessment tests. To prepare school communities and the general public for both the tests and the release of the test results, education authorities are taking a proactive approach.

Some of the states post answers to frequently asked questions, videos and other documents on their  websites. Others use a more diverse set of resources about the assessment process such as webinars for teachers and parents, post materials about the test a long time before the actual tests, work with parents groups.

Read more in the Education Week, USA,  17 March 2014

  • PARCC has now completed two million test sessions online (USA)

More than two million PARCC test sessions have now been completed online in the 11 states and the District of Columbia, which make up the PARCC consortium. The milestone was reached shortly before noon today EST. In addition to the online tests, about a quarter of all students in the group of states will take the test on paper with pencil.

Read the media release, 11 March 2014

  • California Department of Education (USA):

The California Department of Education has launched a new era of student testing in California, providing online exams to more than 3 million students.

"These tests reflect the exciting changes taking place in California classrooms. Instead of being asked to merely pick out multiple-choice answers, students are being tested on their ability to reason and think. They must draw logical conclusions and cite evidence from what they have read, and they must solve real-world math problems," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson,  "And now, like an academic check-up, these tests will give parents, teachers, and schools the feedback they need to help students succeed."

"This is about helping students succeed in the long run and realize their dreams of attending college and working in rewarding careers," Torlakson said.

See more in the the California Department of Education media release, 10 March 2015

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (USA):

Between March and June of 2014, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress, conducted a field test of its new online assessment system. Thirteen participating states provided the results of surveys given to students and adults involved in the test.

Overall, more than 70 per cent of test coordinators in each of seven US states indicated that the field test had gone either as well as or better than expected, and most students found the test interface easy to use.

See more in the Smarter Balanced "Tests of the Test" Successful: field test provides clear path forward report (PDF 848 kb)

  • US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics:

A pilot study administered as a part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress suggests that elementary school students are more than capable of taking an online assessment intended to evaluate their writing and composition skills.

The findings of the study demonstrate what students know and can do, and may also help inform related efforts to assess elementary students’ writing and composition skills as well as future development of computer-based assessments.

See more in the Lessons learned from the 2012 Grade 4 Writing Computer-Based Assessment Study document (PDF 811 kb)