Computerized Testing in Florida Schools is Ideal for All States to Adapt

Computerized Testing in Florida Schools is Ideal for All States to Adapt

Florida’s goal for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year is to convert all testing to online, but they are apprehensive of possible challenges as the deadline arrives. Upgrading the technology could cause a bottleneck for the project, because of difficulties increasing the bandwidth range necessary to support an entire school. Additionally, the whole student body will need to have computer and internet access at home for test material guides.

These changes will cost the school districts over $7 million, with a potential increase after wireless access and over 13,000 computers are purchased. “You can’t flip the switch and expect to move from paper based to fully online in the course of a year and have a good experience, in my opinion,” said Walter Sherwood, president of state services with Pearson, an educational curriculum company.

Controversy is arising between faculty members who are pro and con about the idea. Positive attributes of online testing include 24 hours or less on score feedback and decrease in students cheating through computerized answer analysis. This detection will red flag potential cheaters easier and more efficiently than traditional paper testing. “As with any test, computer or paper, the biggest concern will always be staying a step ahead of the test-takers,” Fremer, co-founder of Caveon Test Security stated. Problems with this concept is ensuring proper policies are in place to support this technological advance. Funding support necessary for a complete online testing system is massive; many want to keep pencil-and-paper as a backup option.

The challenge Florida brought on will greatly excel their schools above other districts, while consequently decreasing reliance on depleting resources, such as trees to make paper. Education is turning to technological advances, a potential to positively impact education and sustainability collectively.

What are your thoughts regarding online testing? Do you prefer a paper test or are you just as comfortable taking a test online?