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Software To Support Assessment Essay

538 words - 3 pages

Software to Support Assessment
Nicole Rusk
Grand Canyon University

Software to Support Assessment
a) In what ways can technology facilitate the ongoing effort to assess student learning? Technology can facilitate student assessment of learning when the quiz and performance test questions displayed by the computer are coded to the instructional standards of the educational program content. The computer can then effortlessly track and report on which learners have mastered which standards, derived on their test and quiz performance, and which learners have not. This is an enormous help to teachers, who are commonly fairly time-pressured, which is why these sorts of results-based data are not routinely generated. Computers are also renowned for previewing content about to be presented, for remedial lessons on ...view middle of the document...

They can be very informal, such as a teacher oral question during class, or merely an observation, as mentioned. Summative assessments are those which occur at the culmination of instruction, to gauge student learning at the end of a unit or lesson - was the content mastered? Generally, these are more formal, written assessments, but not always. They can also be a performance observation, as well, or a portfolio, or any of a number of other authentic assessments of student work and comprehension. Several of the journal articles cited above comment on using computers to enhance student engagement, interest and performance in the classroom.
c) What are the pros and cons of using technology to assess student learning?
The pros include the ease of generating reports on performance. However, a con: a computer cannot observe a student performing a task, unless it is a set-up onscreen which has one fairly predictable outcome (a simulation). There are limits to what a computer can be programmed to do, although those limits are further expanded on a daily basis. For objective tests, computers are great at tracking student performance. They do save teachers time.

d) Should a teacher only use technology to assess student learning? Why or why not? Technology should NOT be the only resource. Contrary to what the journal article says about the computer-based essay scoring software, students do need to write essays, and teachers need to score them. Performance cannot always be effectively gauged using a computer-based simulation, although those are getting better and better. Informal observations are hard to conduct via computer, even though the computer can be used for rough drafts, peer review and editing, and other tasks that computers could not perform just a few years ago. What a computer can help a student and a teacher to do is increasing more and more, but they are not a substitute for a teacher, just a supplement to one.

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