Electronic testing, also referred to as computer-based testing, is a test conducted using a personal computer or an equivalent electronic device. This is the direction in which CXC is moving starting with the multiple choice papers in the January 2017 CSEC offerings.
Four of the major benefits of e-testing include:
1) Improved Quality
Electronic testing brings improved validity to the test forms candidates are given. The use of a variety of stimuli and response formats using different media adds to the authenticity of the tests. Thus allowing for more accurate judgement being made about the candidate’s competence.
2) It fits into candidates’ skill set
Today’s candidates are digital natives who know and live and breathe digital technology every day. E-testing therefore is a natural fit as it leverages the skills that they are developing on a daily basis. Candidates will be able to take advantage of their texting, typing, and keyboarding skills as well as their general tech savviness with e-testing. They use electronic devices regularly for social purposes. This is an opportunity to use those skills for educational purposes.
3) It enhances the possibilities for disabled candidates accessing the examinations.
E-testing makes testing more accessible to candidates with disabilities than paper-based testing. With the flexibility provided by the technology, screen readers can present text as synthesized speech, prints can be magnified, and use of graphics and videos enhances the authenticity of the test and provides for various ways of giving responses.
4) Candidates perform better
The research shows that candidates who use the electronic platform to take their tests perform better than those who take the same tests using pen and paper. There are many reasons attributed to this including reduction in transcription errors.
To learn more about this issue, please read this article in the British Journal of Education Technology: www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/r/b/rbc4/test_mode.doc