Online Testing Should Be a Choice

high-stakes not hostage

Before You Mandate Our Tests Be Administered Online...

Teachers Need

confidence in systems that can withstand server traffic and other technical demands by thousands of students accessing data centers at one time



  • wireless access in the school should be dependable
  • laptops should have settings that ensure students stay on the testing site and do not drain bandwidth
  • remote sites that host the tests should be reliable and capable of handling more than the anticipated number of users

Teachers Need

reliability in applications by third party vendors so technology can be incorporated regularly



  • technical issues that require weekly hot fixes should be addressed transparently
  • district and state level managers should seek solutions to problems reported by users
  • district managers should provide access to alternative solutions that can be substituted for failing system apps and software


image by Christoffer Glosli licensed by Creative Commons NC-ND 2.0

No changes were made.

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Teachers Need

time to to develop familiarity with assessment technologies to demonstrate to students how to transfer strategies to online formats



  • students should have time to re-learn how to engage in strategic reading with text presented on a screen rather than paper
  • teachers should have time to collaborate to adapt lessons to visual texts and multimedia sources
  • teachers should be provided with ample training and continued technical support in technologies that enhance learning

Teachers Need

online assessment experiences to be similar to the learning and instruction that is being "measured"


slides from Measures of Student Learning Test Specification Meeting, October 26, 2011, presented by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction ACRE

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Students Need

the assessment environment to be similar to the learning environment for a true measure of learning that is aligned to context


Anything else is unfair and unreliable.

Whose Opinion is This?

Tori Mazur is a high school Instructional Technology Facilitator and Testing Coordinator, who spends her week scheduling paper-and-pencil and online exams throughout the school year. She is also supposed to make time to facilitate the integration of technology with her colleagues. Tori spends much of the week troubleshooting hardware and software issues with teachers and students. She collaborates with the school's Technicians to resolve network and logistical difficulties.