NCES Study: Fourth-Graders Competent To Be Assessed By Online Writing Tests


Education Week (8/6, Heitin) reports that according to a recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics, fourth-grade students “are capable of using a computer to type, organize, and write well enough to be assessed.” The piece notes however, that the report did not address the efficacy of measuring students’ writing ability via such tests. The study includes recommendations “for making computer-based exams more accessible to 4th graders, including by simplifying and reading aloud directions.” The piece also notes that the report precedes most states’ impending switch to online Common Core-aligned tests.

        Fourth Graders Struggle With Basic Functions Of Computer-Based Writing Assessment. The Education Week (8/4, Heitin) “Curriculum Matters” blog reported that a study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that fourth graders had issues with “the basic functions on a computer-based writing assessment, including drop-down menus, editing icons, the highlighter tool, and text-to-speech,” which may indicate problems to come with “computer-based common-core tests.” According to the article, students, no matter what kind of technology they can access, likely will need “direct instruction and practice with computer-based writing tools.”