Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Testing Techniques

When I was asked to help administer a math test, I really didn't think much about it. Testing is testing, right?

All the students looked much the same as when I was in high school - young, studious faces; some a little nervous with others holding onto the "I can do this attitude." The most noticable difference was the technology piece available for them. Times have definitely changed. I had paper and pencil to figure out my solutions to the extensive questions. Some problems would take an entire sheet of paper. I watched the students read the problem and then reach over for their T1-84 calculators without a second thought to start plugging in the information. Within seconds, there was the answer. Of course, they still had to know the method to get the correct answer. It was exciting to see the changes from pencils flying across the page writing numbers and characters to fingers pressing buttons on the calculators confidently and quickly.

As the technologies advance and try to stay up with our thoughts and needs, I just wonder how we'll do testing in the future - touch screen with calculating capabilities built in, headset with microphone and individual testing areas, or devices that can read your thoughts and record the answers. The possibilities are endless. What direction do you think we're going?

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