Technology and the Future of Student Assessment

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A new Carnegie Corporation-funded report argues that technology has the potential to drastically improve our current assessment systems and practices, leading to significant improvements in teaching and learning in the nation's classrooms. Beyond the Bubble, published by the Education Sector, evaluates a number of new research projects that demonstrate how information technology can both deepen and broaden assessment practices in elementary and secondary education by testing new skills and concepts and doing so more comprehensively. And, importantly, these research projects have produced assessments that reflect what cognitive research tells us about how people learn.

Read the report or press release.

The Education Sector report comes at a time when students are tested more than ever—and test results are used to make critical judgments about the performance of schools, teachers, and students—yet our testing methods don't serve our educational system nearly as well as they should. Since the late 1930s, fill-in-the-bubble test score sheets and scanners have remained the dominant methods used in local, state, and national assessments. But according to the report, these technologies and the approaches underlying them do not align well with what we know about how students learn, nor do they tell us much about how to help students do better.

An important component of Carnegie Corporation of New York’s goal of creating pathways to educational and economic opportunity focuses on strengthening accountability through the development of data management systems, and the capacity to use data to advance teaching and learning. 

This work including efforts that improve the usefulness of national, state, district and school data; build the capacity of states, districts and schools to track students longitudinally and create links for value-added data analysis; increase transparency and access in order to facilitate data-driven instructional improvements, including for English Language Learner programs and link K-12 and higher education through innovation in data-management and accountability systems.