Making the Transition to Computerized Educational Testing
Skilled workers who can think, reason, communicate and collaborate effectively are increasingly needed around the world as the emphasis on information technologies and knowledge services continues to grow. Such dramatic global changes are shaping how educational tests are created and delivered.
Computerized educational testing is fostering the development of a highly skilled workforce by helping students acquire essential 21st-century skills. Computers allow educators to administer tests more frequently so that students can receive feedback continuously while they develop skills and competencies. Since tests are being given more frequently, a constant supply of unique, content-specific assessment items is needed.
Dr. Mark Gierl, Canada Research Chair in Educational Measurement, is researching automatic item generation, an emerging research area in which cognitive and psychometric theory (which measures a number of psychological variables) guide the creation of tests that contain items generated through the use of computer technology.
Gierl’s research is leading to the development of an innovative approach that will generate the large number of test items educators will require for the full transition to computerized educational testing.