Testing, Tablets, and Transitions: A View From Maryland June 22, 2013 Dale Cornelius, Project Manager, Online Testing and ScienceMaryland State Department of Education
History of Testing in Maryland: From Tablets to Tablets In the 21st Century students continue using tablets for learning and testing. In the 1800s and 1900s students used tablets for learning and testing. Schools want to assess students on tablets, but it needs to be done right.
Maryland Today: At a Glance • State School Demographics • 25 districts (county level) • Approx 1500 schools • Approx 852,000 students • High Stakes Online Assessments in Maryland • MSA Science online since 2007 • High School Assessments (4) online since 2009 • MSA Reading online (grades 5 & 7) since spring 2013 • (1980s and 1990s: CAT “diploma” assessment)
High Stakes Online Testing in Maryland High School: 58% online Middle School: 51% online Elementary Schools: 48% online Challenges: Not all schools test 100% online. Not all tests offered online. Some districts 100% online and others are 5-10% online. Many schools prioritize benchmark and diagnostic online testing because they provide immediate, actionable data.
Tablet Study-Three Focus Areas • Touch User Interface: Does the touch user interface present challenges? • Keyboard for tablets required for PARCC and recommended for SBAC • Students testing on tablets should be using tablets for instruction • Students testing on tablets should be taking practice tests on tablets • Ergonomics: Do the ergonomics of tablet usage create fatigue or strain? • Students testing on tablets should be familiar with tablets used in instruction • Screen Size: Do smaller screens and device features impact the user experience? • We have standardized on screen resolution, 1024x768, but not screen. • Is the experience of taking an assessment on a 9.5” screen different from a 15” screen?
Testing on Tablets: Financial Challenges TCO for PARCC-ready Tablets Outweighs Laptops for many districts whose management and support infrastructures already exist. Additional Expenses: • Keyboards: PARCC Mandated • New management services for WIFI environments • PD for teachers • Additional tech support
Testing on Tablets: Logistical Challenges • Keyboards: PARCC Mandated Bluetooth keyboards need to be configured to speak to only one device. • WIFI environments need to be configured, PD for teachers, and additional tech support will likely be required. Are WIFI environments robust enough to support high stakes testing? If not, WIFI is an additional possible point of failure.
Testing on Tablets: Opportunities • Increase Learning: Tablets offer opportunities for teachers to provide more robust learning opportunities for students. • Greater Equity: Tablets provide equal access to digital learning for students unable to access computer labs occupied for instructional purposes. • Flexibility: Tablets allow for assessments to be given in a variety of settings. In many schools the only way to test large populations online is with mobile devices because access to labs is limited.
Testing on Tablets: Conclusions • INSTRUCTION IS KEY: Students will have more and often better instructional opportunities with tablet s and should be assessed on them. • NOT IF BUT WHEN: Four counties in MD have already confirmed that they will be administering PARCC assessments via tablets. The early adopter model works! • THE TRANSITION IS CRITICAL: Moving to tablets for high stakes testing has to be done right. Schools must follow best practices. Practice tests need to be available months in advance of the operational test.
THANK YOU For more information, please contact Dale Cornelius at MSDE: Dale Cornelius Project Manager, Online Testing and Science Department of Accountability, Assessment, and Data Systems Maryland State Department of Education 200 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21201-2595 P: 410-767-3308 F: 410-333-2017 email@example.com