Technology and the CCSS Assessments

Because both the Smarter Balanced and the PARCC assessments will be computer administered and Smarter Balanced is computer adaptive, school districts will need the technology required to administer the assessments. Recently, Smarter Balanced conducted a technology survey to determine the extent to which school districts have or will have the necessary technology for the Smarter Balanced assessment administration in 2014-2015. While the results of the survey have not yet been made public, Smarter Balanced did recently update their technology guidelines for member states.

PARCC has made available information about the technology required to administer the PARCC assessments. PARCC has also developed a School Readiness Planning Guide to help schools plan for their technology needs.  During the fall of 2012, Smarter Balanced worked with the American Institutes of Research (AIR) to conduct cognitive laboratory research on how students engage with computer based assessment items. The final results will inform item development for the new assessment system.

To help with the transition, SBOE’s should work with their department to ensure that the state has an up to date technology plan and policy.
 

The technology requirements for both assessments to be administered will likely create a resource issue in terms of both actual computer availability for assessment administration and the broadband capability required to administer online tests to large numbers of students simultaneously. To help with the transition, SBOE’s should work with their department to ensure that the state has an up to date technology plan and policy.

SBOE that have the authority to make decisions regarding budgets for State Education Agencies and/or Local Education Agencies should examine the technology needs within their states and conduct a gap analysis to determine if funding for technology upgrades are necessary. With the new assessment systems and delivery platforms, systemic professional learning is critical. As a result, SBOE’s in collaboration with their school districts and departments should ensure that there is flexibility in time and resources to help districts transition to the new assessment systems.

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