Testing goes online in many states

January 7th, 2015

More states are starting to do their testing online instead of through traditional pen and paper. This has the advantage of letting teachers grade multiple-choice tests instantly, plus move through written portions more quickly. Additionally, multiple-choice exams can have their question order changed for each student, reducing the odds of someone cheating. Students generally also type more quickly than they can write, so that the written portion of exams will be more legible and lengthier. There will be more time devoted to the business of thinking instead of carefully putting down words.

These are the advantages coming from the point of view of the testing professionals who see whether state schools are doing their jobs, but there are additional advantages for college professors who want to have closer ties to their students through careful scrutiny of what questions were hardest to answer or took the longest time to resolve. They can also receive emailed questions and send out homework very quickly.

These benefits are especially useful when it comes to dental software.

Colorado has begun to consider online testing
Colorado is performing a statewide review of its standardized testing, according to the Denver Post. Students will begin a new program that will be done online this spring. Part of the reason the tests are being done that way is they help to test students' digital competence – i.e. their ability to use tools like cloud technology and web portals. It's a major question that some schools have not even addressed.

"The larger question for districts struggling to give assessments is 'How are they addressing this from an instructional point of view to make sure their students are prepared?'" said Joyce Zurkowski, executive director of assessment for the Colorado Department of Education.

In other words, students need to learn about digital tools.

Maryland is also considering a similar measure, according to the Baltimore Sun.

College students also need help
The question of whether students are prepared for their largely electronic future becomes more acute when considering that many dental students and people preparing to become oral hygiene workers are going to have to fill out electronic health records. This is advanced work that will have to be done on computers in order to be fully understood. EHR is different from paper records, and only a proper preparation with dental academic software can get a student ready for his or her future in the electronic age.

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