Can young students master digital writing assessments?

How did young students perform with a computer-based writing assessment pilot?

writing-pilotA new pilot study reveals that fourth grade students are well-equipped to successfully take computer-based writing assessments.

The National Center for Education Statistics conducted the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade 4 Writing Computer-Based Assessment (WCBA) study to determine if fourth-grade students were in fact able to effectively use computers to complete a writing assessment.

“We found that fourth-graders were able to organize and convey their thoughts well enough to be assessed against the NAEP rubric,” said Cornelia Orr, executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board, during a webinar briefing that addressed the results.

Results showed that students typed enough words to enable evaluators to evaluate their writing skills, she added.

“The significance of writing right now is something that we have to hold onto, and because of that, the notion of what it means to prepare young people as writers is ever more significant,” said Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, executive director of the National Writing Project. Eidman-Aadahl served as a member on the 2011 NAEP Writing Framework committee.

(Next page: Results from the writing pilot test)

Laura Ascione

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