Most standardized testing has shifted to modern formats. This means students are expected to take critical assessments on computers rather than on traditional bubble answer sheets, essay paper, or testing books. As it becomes the norm, students in the earliest grade levels will become familiar with the process. But since we are still in the transition stages, it’s up to the teacher to help prepare today’s students for computer-based testing.
PRACTICE IN CLASS WITH COMPUTERS
The best way to prepare students for computer-based assessments is to have them put theory into practice by taking tests on computers. This requires the right tools, such as Castle Learning. If a teacher has access to the tools, then developing quizzes and benchmark assessments is easy. Practice helps students develop the skill sets necessary to succeed on any computer-based test.
There are also ways to practice elements of online testing without a program.
WRITING ON COMPUTERS
Writing can be challenging enough for students, even when they have time to develop an essay. Computer-based tests come with the added pressure of having to quickly type out answers, both short and long form. Teachers will find that introducing learning drills, where students read a passage and then have to type a response in a timed manner, will help them become more comfortable with typing answers on the spot. It also helps develop the time management skills necessary to succeed on the exams.
Encouraging students to write response journals or assignments on computers to a regulated class social media site or even through email, is another way they can gain typing skills and confidence with an online testing format.
LISTENING COMPREHENSION DRILLS
Students will likely encounter listening passages on exams. Teachers can prepare their students by modeling listening and responding in the classroom. For example, a teacher can play a speech online (think TED Talks or other educational podcasts) and have students answer questions based on what they heard. This practice will help students develop the skills needed to succeed on the real exam.
Practicing the elements of computer-based testing in class or for homework can go a long way toward preparing students for the future of testing. Break the elements of the computer tests into manageable chunks and lead students through tutorials that will guide them to computer-based testing success.