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The Development and Validation of a Computer-Based Test of English for Young Learners: Cambridge English Young Learners

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Abstract

This chapter summarises the rationale for the development and validation work that took place over 2.5 years before the launch of the computer-based (CB) format of the Cambridge English Young Learners English tests (YLE). Several rounds of trials were carried out in a cyclical way, in a number of different locations across various countries, to ensure data was collected from a representative sample of candidates in terms of geographical location, age, L1, language ability, familiarity with the YLE tests, and experience of using different computer devices – PC, laptop and tablet. Validity evidence is presented from an empirical study, using a convergent mixed methods design to explore candidate performance in and reaction to the CB YLE tests. Regression analyses were conducted to investigate which individual test taker characteristics contribute to candidate performance in CB YLE tests. The results indicate that CB delivery presents a genuine choice for candidates in line with the Cambridge English ‘bias for best’ principle. Positive feedback from trial candidates, parents and examiners suggests that CB YLE tests offer a contemporary, fun, and accessible alternative to paper-based (PB) YLE tests to assess children’s English language ability.

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... The administration process lasted for 2 weeks as there were two test formats including receptive and expressive EPVT. One of the possible reasons is stated by Papp and Walczak (2016) in their study that if there are various test formats that will be conducted consecutively, the results of the tests can be negatively affected due to some factors, such as inattention, fatigue, and boredom. The other reason is that the answers in Receptive part can affect children's answer in Expressive part. ...
Article
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Research Findings: The aim of this study was to construct and validate “English Picture Vocabulary Test (EPVT)” that aimed to assess the very young learners’ (VYLs) receptive and expressive vocabulary knowledge for specific content areas in English as a foreign language (EFL). In this context, EPVT was created in several stages. One of them was initial construct identification with the literature review on various aspects of assessment in early year’s FL learning and development aspects of very young EFL learners. The other stages were “pre-piloting” with 4 experts and 20 VYLs to obtain their perspectives on the test construction and administration and “final piloting” implementation with 5–6 years old private pre-primary school children (251) to ensure reliability, validity, and test quality. After designing the process of the EPVT was clarified considering the ethical and effectiveness issues, the item analysis with Kuder-Richardson 20 and Point-Biserial Correlation was conducted. Besides, the distribution of the items among the ranges of difficulty and the discrimination index values were specified. Practice and Policy: The findings support that EPVT is child-friendly and effective in assessing preschoolers’ English vocabulary receptively and expressively. Furthermore, it could also serve to provide feedback for teaching and supporting for learning L2.
... Closely related to the discussion of proficiency development is the third main area that arose from the studies in the 2000 Special Issue: the need for quantifiable targets that describe in detail what children are able to do at certain stages in their FL development. This need for benchmarks in both national and international assessments resulted primarily in standard-setting and corpora-based research (e.g., Baron & Papageorgiou, 2014;Benigno & de Jong, 2016, 2017Hasselgreen, 2003Hasselgreen, , 2005Papp & Salamoura, 2009;Papp & Walczak, 2016;Pižorn, 2009;Szabo, 2018aSzabo, , 2018b. Baron and Papageorgiou (2014), for example, conducted a standard-setting study to map scores from the largescale standardized TOEFL Primary ® test to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). ...
... This problem can be resolved by allowing examinees to choose their preferred mode of testing, one which is consistent with their regular routine (as pointed out by Maycock & Green, 2005). Given that we cannot assume that all learners have easy access to digital technologies, this may be the best way to guarantee fairness (Papp & Walczak, 2016). On the other hand, this solution may simply not be a viable option in many situations. ...
Article
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For many students and teachers working in online environments during the current pandemic crisis, the use of computers for educational testing is often an unavoidable predicament. This may be due to the fact that computer- based materials are not merely a useful addition to the learning and teaching resources, but rather the only option available. However, although in some contexts computers may indeed be a significant hindrance to test developers and test takers alike, they actually offer a number of substantial benefits. It is also worth pointing out that, by and large, educational tests delivered through online platforms with the aim of measuring progress and achievement in learning have a lot in common with traditional paper-based tests. This article is thus an attempt at balancing the advantages and disadvantages of computerized testing with a view to finding out whether this mode of testing can be recommended as the preferred choice. Based mainly on a literature review of research and practice in the area of computerized and online educational testing, the paper provides a synthesis of key issues relevant to using electronic devices for the purpose of constructing, administering, and analyzing tests and assessments. In particular, the discussion focuses on the models of test administration, the merits and demerits of computer-assisted testing, the comparability of paper-based and computer-based test scores, as well as selected features of web-based testing systems, such as text-to-items converters, test generators, full-screen delivery mode, automated scoring (and human verification thereof), score reporting, feedback, as well as quantitative analysis of test scores. The article also puts forward some arguments in favour of developing one’s own testing application.
... In a recent YLL assessment validation study, Papp and Walczak (2016) Additionally, number of years of English language instruction is the main significant predictor in explaining young EFL learners' performance both in formats. This particular finding provided evidence for test validity as construct-relevant experience has been shown to significantly correlate with language test performances in previous research (e.g., Gu, Lockwood, & Powers, 2015). ...
Article
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Given the increasing emphasis of communicative competence in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts and the lack of validation research on speaking assessments for adolescent EFL learners, in the current study we examined the validity of the TOEFL Junior® speaking test, a new speaking assessment developed by Educational Testing Service. We utilized Messick’s integrative view of construct validity (1996) and Kane’s interpretation argument framework (Kane, 2013), and focused on two sources of validity evidence: internal structure and external relations to other variables (AERA, APA, and NCME, 2014). We used a cross-sectional design with 252 seventh-to-ninth graders in Taiwan, which aligns with the spectrum of the TOEFL Junior®’s target age group. All adolescent participants took the TOEFL Junior® speaking test and two researcher-developed speaking tests. They also completed a survey reporting their history of English learning experiences from kindergarten to present and evaluating their own English language skills. Adolescent participants’ teachers provided evaluations of participants’ English language skills. Results from correlational tests and confirmatory factor analysis showed robust evidence for the test’s internal structure. Correlation and multiple regression models also demonstrated strong positive relationships between TOEFL Junior® test scores and external variables, providing evidence for TOEFL Junior®’s construct validity.
... One of them is to give examinees the opportunity "to select the response mode that reflects their usual practice" (Maycock & Green, 2005, p. 8). This may be the best way to ensure fairness because we cannot assume that all learners have easy access to digital technologies (Papp & Walczak, 2016). On the other hand, if examinees do not all take the test in the same conditions, questions arise about the relevance of standardization as it may "no longer [be] a guarantee of fairness" (N. ...
Book
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This book is about developing language tests with the aid of web-based technology. The technology is represented by WebClass (webclass.co), a learning management system (LMS) that I have been developing and using in blended environments for the last several years. The WebClass platform started off as a simple online system for administering language tests consisting mostly of multiple-choice and gap-filling items. At present, it includes two main modules, Materials and Tests, which can be used to author, manage, and deliver learning materials and assessments. Most importantly perhaps, the testing module can be utilized for the entire process of test development, which includes test and item analysis.
... In the construction and evaluation of teaching tasks and assessment tools for young learners, special attention is being paid to the developing cognitive capacity and affective characteristics of younger learners (Bailey, 2017). With a focus on assessment, research has also begun to investigate the age appropriateness, validity and reliability of young learners' tests in various educational contexts (Papageorgiou & Cho, 2014;Papp & Walczak, 2016;Wolf & Butler, 2017). ...
Article
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This study investigated the role of working memory (WM) in the second language (L2) writing performance of young English language learners. It also examined how L2 writing achievement relates to task type and grade level and whether the effect of cognitive abilities varies across different task types and grade level. The participants were 94 young learners (Grades 6 and 7) in Hungary, who performed four writing task types as part of the TOEFL ® Junior™ Comprehensive test-battery and completed cognitive tests that assessed their WM functions. Participants scored high on the email writing and integrated Listen-Write tasks. Irrespective of WM functions, on average learners in Grade 7 outperformed those in Grade 6 on the Listen-Write task and the Email task. Students gained lower scores on the non-academic version of an editing task than on most other types of tasks. WM functions had no significant relationship with L2 writing scores, except for the academic editing task. In Grade 7, the effect of WM was not significant on the integrated Listen-Write task, but it resulted in the change of expected score. Learners with high working memory in Grade 6 showed somewhat more consistent performance across tasks than did learners with low working memory.
... Computer and language literacy develop together as the use of touch-screen tablets in homes and early education is increasing (Neumann 2016). In response such new practices for literacy development, The Cambridge English Language Assessment allows young test takers to choose their preferred mode of test delivery by taking the test on a computer or on paper (Papp and Walczak 2016). The results of research investigating performance on both show that the two delivery modes were comparable, that "children are very capable of using computers, and that they especially like using iPads/tablets" (p. ...
Chapter
This entry presents an overview of the past, present, and future of technology use in language assessment, also called computer-assisted language testing (CALT), with a focus on technology for delivering tests and processing test takers’ linguistic responses. The past developments include technical accomplishments that contributed to the development of computer-adaptive testing for efficiency, visions of innovation in language testing, and exploration of automated scoring of test takers’ writing. Major accomplishments include computer-adaptive testing as well as some more transformational influences for language testing: theoretical developments prompted by the need to reconsider the constructs assessed using technology, natural language-processing technologies used for evaluating learners’ spoken and written language, and the use of methods and findings from corpus linguistics. Current research investigates the comparability between computer-assisted language tests and those delivered through other means, expands the uses and usefulness of language tests through innovation, seeks high-tech solutions to security issues, and develops more powerful software for authoring language assessments. Authoring language tests with ever changing hardware and software is a central issue in this area. Other challenges include understanding the many potential technological influences on test performance and evaluating the innovations in language assessment that are made possible through the use of technology. The potentials and challenges of technology use in language testing create the need for future language testers with a strong background in technology, language testing, and other areas of applied linguistics.
... Computer and language literacy develop together as the use of touch-screen tablets in homes and early education is increasing (Neumann 2016). In response such new practices for literacy development, The Cambridge English Language Assessment allows young test takers to choose their preferred mode of test delivery by taking the test on a computer or on paper (Papp and Walczak 2016). The results of research investigating performance on both show that the two delivery modes were comparable, that "children are very capable of using computers, and that they especially like using iPads/tablets" (p. ...
Chapter
This entry presents an overview of the past, present, and future of technology use in language assessment, also called computer-assisted language testing (CALT), with a focus on technology for delivering tests and processing test takers’ linguistic responses. The past developments include technical accomplishments that contributed to the development of computer-adaptive testing for efficiency, visions of innovation in language testing, and exploration of automated scoring of test takers’ writing. Major accomplishments include computer-adaptive testing as well as some more transformational influences for language testing: theoretical developments prompted by the need to reconsider the constructs assessed using technology, natural language-processing technologies used for evaluating learners’ spoken and written language, and the use of methods and findings from corpus linguistics. Current research investigates the comparability between computer-assisted language tests and those delivered through other means, expands the uses and usefulness of language tests through innovation, seeks high-tech solutions to security issues, and develops more powerful software for authoring language assessments. Authoring language tests with ever changing hardware and software is a central issue in this area. Other challenges include understanding the many potential technological influences on test performance and evaluating the innovations in language assessment that are made possible through the use of technology. The potentials and challenges of technology use in language testing create the need for future language testers with a strong background in technology, language testing, and other areas of applied linguistics.
... In what follows, several empirical studies on listening and reading in early language learning of EFL will be outlined with a particular focus on studies situated in Germany. In order to limit the scope of the overview, studies relating to other aspects of early foreign language education are not considered (however see in this volume Szpotowicz & Campfi eld, 2016 ;Papp & Walczak, 2016 ;Mihaljević Djigunović, 2016 ). ...
Chapter
Do primary school children achieve better listening and reading skills when they start learning EFL in year 1 instead of year 3? Addressing this question this chapter sums up an empirical study investigating the EFL achievements of more than 6,500 primary school children in Germany. Data was collected in 2010 and 2012 as part of the interdisciplinary longitudinal research study Ganz In allowing for the comparison of two cohorts who differ in the length and quantity of early EFL instruction due to curricular changes: Whereas the 2010 cohort learned EFL for 2 lessons per week over 2 years (beginning at the age of ~8) the 2012 cohort learned EFL for two hours per week over 3.5 years (beginning at the age of ~6). In summary the findings show that children with three and a half years of early EFL education demonstrated higher receptive achievements than children with 2 years of early EFL education. Independent of their mono- or multilingual backgrounds all learners seemed to benefit from extending EFL education. The results of a multilevel regression analysis indicate that the language background of young learners cannot explain any variance in their receptive EFL achievements. Instead, their reading skills in German (the language of schooling) in addition to their socio-economic status and gender were identified as factors.
... Besides aural/oral skills literacy skills are also included. How much work is devoted to developing and validating exams is discussed in three of the chapters(Benigno & de Jong, 2016; Hsieh, 2016; Papp & Walczak, 2016. Unfortunately, hardly any studies explore how these proficiency exams impact classroom processes or how children taking them benefit from their experiences in the long run. ...
Chapter
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This introductory chapter aims to achieve multiple goals. The first part outlines the most important recent trends in early language learning, teaching and assessment and frames what the main issues are. The second part discusses the most frequent challenges policy makers, materials designers, test developers, researchers and teachers face. Part III introduces the chapters in the volume and explains how they are embedded in the trends. The last part suggests ideas for further research and points out some implications for educational and assessment practice.
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Рассматривается проблема подготовки будущих учителей-дефектологов к профессиональной деятельности в процессе обучения в высшем учебном заведении. Подготовка специалистов представлена как взаимосвязанный процесс, включающий определенные этапы (мотивационный, деятельностный, рефлексивный), соблюдение последовательности которых позволит повысить уровень подготовленности обучающихся к профессиональной деятельности. Проблема рассматривается на примере направления подготовки 44.03.03 Специальное (дефектологическое) образование, профиль «Олигофренопедагогика», программы авторского специального курса. The article deals with the problem of preparing future teachers-defectologists for professional activity as a result of training in a higher educational institution. The training of specialists is presented as an interconnected process that includes certain stages (motivational, activity, refl exive), the observance of which will increase the level of preparedness of students for professional activities. The problem is considered on the example of the direction of training 44.03.03 Special (Defectology) Education, profi le «Oligophrenopedagogy».
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Рассматриваются результаты экспериментального исследования, проведенного с целью изучения особенностей влияния стилей семейного воспитания и диспозиций насильственного экстремизма родителей на формирование параметров авторитарного потенциала личности детей в контексте семейных взаимоотношений. Общее количество респондентов, принявших участие в эксперименте, составило 104 человека – 52 родителя (45 женщин и 7 мужчин) и их дети (по принципу один взрослый и один ребенок). В результате проведенного исследования было установлено, что авторитарный потенциал личности ребенка может обуславливаться стилями семейного воспитания, отдельные диспозиции насильственного экстремизма родителей, имеющие высокие уровни выраженности, коррелируют с параметрами авторитарного потенциала личности детей. This article examines the results of an experimental study conducted to study the features of the infl uence of the styles of family education and the dispositions of violent extremism of parents on the formation of parameters of the authoritarian potential of the personality of children in the context of family relationships. The total number of respondents who took part in the experiment was 104 people – 52 parents (45 women and 7 men) and, accordingly, their children (according to the principle of one adult and one child). As a result of the study, it was found that the authoritarian potential of a child's personality can be determined by the styles of family upbringing of parents, while individual dispositions of violent extremism of parents, which have high levels of severity, correlate with the parameters of the authoritarian potential of a child's personality.
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Предложены пути решения проблемы повышения качества подготовки обучающихся по программе подготовки специалистов среднего звена, специальности 23.02.03 Техническое обслуживание и ремонт автомобильного транспорта на основе внедрения в процесс реализации учебной практики технологии проблемного обучения. The article proposes ways a solution to the problem of improving the quality of training of trainees under the program for the preparation of mid-level specialists, specialty 23.02.03 Maintenance and repair of road transport, by introducing problem learning technology into the process of implementing educational practice.
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Раскрыты формы работы со студентами педагогического вуза, способствующие обсуждению в молодежной среде вопросов создания семьи, традиционного представления о ней. Сделан акцент на осмыслении в процессе дискуссии функции и традиций института семьи, значимости сформированности представлений о ней у современной молодежи. The forms of work with students of a pedagogical university are revealed, contributing to the discussion among young people of the issues of creating a family, the traditional idea of it. The authors focus on understanding the function and traditions of the institution of the family in the process of discussion, the importance of forming ideas about it among modern youth.
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Описываются особенности трансформации, происходящей в социальных сетях, мессенджерах и видеохостингах в настоящее время. Раскрываются перспективные направления развития архитектурных особенностей социальных сетей, специфики содержащегося в них контента, видоизменения технологического базиса для обеспечения мобильного доступа к информационнотелекоммуникационной сети «Интернет» в будущем. Отмечается, что более востребованным аудиторией становится контент в формате видео. Сделан вывод о дальнейшем увеличении числа людей, получающих информацию и потребляющих новости в основном из социальных сетей, блогов и мессенджеров, о тенденции постоянного снижения роли телевидения в качестве источника информации для россиян. В качестве перспективных указываются исследования по укреплению суверенитета личности, общества и государства в виртуальном пространстве. The article describes the features of the transformation taking place in social networks, messengers and video hosting at the present time. The perspective directions of development of architectural features of social networks, specifi cs of the contained content, modifi cation of the technological basis for providing mobile access to the information and telecommunication network “Internet” in the future are revealed. It is noted that video content is becoming more popular with the audience. The conclusion is made about a further increase in the number of people receiving information and consuming news mainly from social networks, blogs and messengers, about the trend of a constant decline in the role of television as a source of information for Russians. Studies on strengthening the sovereignty of the individual, society and the state in the virtual space are indicated as promising.
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Цель статьи – представление авторской модели, описывающей технологии и методы разработки индивидуальной образовательной траектории для обучающихся с ограниченными возможностями здоровья по слуху на базе анализа требуемых для этого компетенций выпускника с учетом результатов изучения факторных личностных портретов студентов и преподавателей, профиля учебной группы. Представлены подходы к реализации модели средствами электронной образовательной среды. Рассмотрены пути решения двух задач: создание подходов к динамической адаптации компетентностной модели обучения студентов и к использованию сетевых групп и дистанционного обучения для формирования трудового коллектива. The purpose of the article is to present the author's model describing the technologies and methods of developing an individual educational trajectory for students with hearing disabilities based on the analysis of the required graduate competencies, taking into account the results of studying factor personal portraits of students and teachers, the profi le of the study group. Approaches to the implementation of the model by means of an electronic educational environment are presented. The ways of solving two problems are considered: the creation of approaches to the dynamic adaptation of the competence model of teaching students with hearing disabilities and to the use of network groups and distance learning for the formation of a workforce.
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Представлены основные теоретические выводы по организации разработки и реализации содержания учебного курса английского языка в рамках гибридной (модульной) языковой подготовки контингента инженерного профиля. Автор анализирует свой практический опыт представления осваиваемых аудиовизуальных материалов через призму лингводидактической фреймологии. The article presents the main theoretical conclusions on the development and implementation of the English language course within the framework of hybrid (modular) language training for the contingent of engineering profi le. The author analyzes her practical experience of presenting mastered audiovisual materials through the prism of linguodidactic frameology.
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Рассматриваются предметные и методические аспекты единого государственного экзамена по информатике. Анализируются особенности решения сложной части заданий единого государственного экзамена по программированию на языке Python, приводятся примеры решения таких заданий. Subject and methodological aspects of the unifi ed state examination in informatics are considered. The peculiarities of solving a complex part of the exam tasks in Python programming are analyzed, examples of solving such tasks are given.
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Given the exponential growth in the popularity of early foreign language programs, coupled with an emphasis of evidence-based instruction, assessing young learners’ (YLs) foreign language abilities has moved to center stage. This article canvasses how the field of assessing young learners of foreign languages has evolved over the past two decades. The review offers insights into how and why the field has developed, how constructs have been defined and operationalized, what language proficiency frameworks have been used, why children were assessed, what aspects of their foreign language proficiency have been assessed, who was involved in the assessment, and how the results have been used. By surveying trends in foreign language (FL) and content-based language learning programs involving children between the ages of 3 and 14, the article highlights research into assessment of and for learning, and critically discusses areas such as large-scale assessments and proficiency examinations, comparative and experimental studies, the impact of assessment, teachers’ beliefs and assessment practices, young learners’ test-taking strategies, age-appropriate tasks, alternative and technology-mediated assessment, as well as game-based assessments. The final section of the article highlights where more research is needed, thus outlining potential future directions for the field.
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This paper reports the findings of an investigation of children's performance and attitude towards a paper based and computer based test. Twenty children, aged between 7 and 8 of mixed gender, participated in this study using a commercial software application. The children's attitude towards the software was captured through the use of a smarty-o-meter to indicate their level of preference and the performance was based on their tests scores. The conclusions highlight the children's preference for using computer in their assessment and shows that there was no difference in performance between the two test modes.
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This study conducted a meta-analysis of computer-based and paper-and-pencil administration mode effects on K-12 student mathematics tests. Both initial and final results based on fixed- and random-effects models are presented. The results based on the final selected studies with homogeneous effect sizes show that the administration mode had no statistically significant effect on K-12 student mathematics tests. Only the moderator variable of computer delivery algorithm contributed to predicting the effect size. The differences in scores between test modes were larger for linear tests than for adaptive tests. However, such variables as study design, grade level, sample size, type of test, computer delivery method, and computer practice did not lead to differences in student mathematics scores between computer-based and paper-and-pencil modes.
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This paper is intended to synthesise available evidences on the emergence of a generational approach to learning and knowledge management strongly influenced by having always been living surrounded by and interacting continuously with information and communication technologies (ICT).
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Despite the plethora of new electronic media aimed at very young children, little is known about which media are available to children and whether or how children engage with them. This study reports on a nationally representative telephone survey of more than 1,000 parents of children ages 6 months through 6 years, conducted in Spring 2003. The most significant findings cited in the study are as follows: (1) children six and under spend an average of 2 hours daily with screen media, mostly TV and videos; (2) TV watching begins at very early ages, well before the medical community recommends; (3) a high proportion of very young children are using new digital media, including 50 percent of 4- to 6-year-olds who have played video games and 70 percent who have used computers; (4) two out of three 6-year-olds and under live in homes where the TV is left on at least half the time, even without viewers present, and one-third live in homes where the TV is on "almost all" or "most" of the time-- children in the latter group appear to read less than other children and to be slower to learn to read; (5) many parents see media as an important educational tool, beneficial to their children's intellectual development, and parents' attitudes on this issue appear to be related to the amount of time their children spend using each medium; and (6) parents clearly perceive that their children's TV watching has a direct effect on their behavior, and are more likely to see positive rather than negative behaviors being copied. (KB)
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The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of using computer-based tests (CBT) with children in preschool and kindergarten. Children were administered paper-and-pencil (PPT) and CBT versions of a rhyme awareness scale. An embedded mixed methods design was used to explore to what extent children could complete the CBT independently, how children reacted to the tests, and how the results from the CBT and the PPT compared. Findings were that children needed help with the CBT and enjoyed using the computer. Preliminary evidence indicated that test mode mattered. These results have implications for future test development and use.
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This large-scale study describes what children know and can do when they start school in Scotland. The description became possible because a third of Scottish Authorities are involved in a single, broadly based, on-entry baseline assessment of children. The study also looked at variations by home background, sex, age and pre-school experience within Scotland. Comparisons were then made with the cognitive development of children starting school in England, New Zealand and Western Australia, concentrating on children whose first language was English. Surprising differences were found between Scotland and other countries. New Zealand also stood out on some measures. The results are discussed in terms of pre-school provision and what on-entry assessment can and cannot tell us.
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This paper draws attention to literature surrounding the subject of computer-assisted assessment (CAA). A brief overview of traditional methods of assessment is presented, highlighting areas of concern in existing techniques. CAA is then defined, and instances of its introduction in various educational spheres are identified, with the main focus of the paper concerning the implementation of CAA. Through referenced articles, evidence is offered to inform practitioners, and direct further research into CAA from a technological and pedagogical perspective. This includes issues relating to interoperability of questions, security, test construction and testing higher cognitive skills. The paper concludes by suggesting that an institutional strategy for CAA coupled with staff development in test construction for a CAA environment can increase the chances of successful implementation.
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As testing moves from paper-and-pencil administration toward computerized administration, how to present tests on a computer screen becomes an important concern. Of particular concern are tests that contain necessary information that cannot be displayed on screen all at once for an item. Ideally, the method of presentation should not interfere with examinee performance on the test. Examinees should perform similarly on an item regardless of the mode of administration. This paper discusses the development of a computer interface for passage-based, multiple-choice tests. Findings are presented from two studies that compared performance across computer and paper administrations of several fixed-form tests. The effect of computer interface changes made between the two studies is discussed. The results of both studies showed some performance differences across modes. Evaluations of individual items suggested a variety of factors that could have contributed to mode effects. Although the observed mode effects were in general small, overall the findings suggest that it would be beneficial to develop an understanding of factors that can influence examinee behavior and to design a computer interface accordingly, to ensure that examinees are responding to test content rather than features inherent in presenting the test on computer.
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As computer technology becomes increasingly prevalent throughout society, concerns have been raised about an emerging "digital divide" between those children who are benefitting and those who are being left behind. This article presents results from new analyses of national survey data describing children's differential access to computers in school and at home, and the varying conditions that affect how children experience computers. For example, responses from a nationwide survey of teachers suggest that, as of 1998, more than 75% of students had access to computers at school. In fact, those teaching lower-income students reported weekly use of computers more often than those teaching higher-income students. But the nature of children's experiences using computers in school varied greatly by subject and teacher objectives, and the data suggest that lower-income students use computers more often for repetitive practice, whereas higher-income students use computers more often for more sophisticated, intellectually complex applications. Differences between low-income and high-income children's access to home computers were far less subtle. Survey data indicate that only about 22% of children in families with annual incomes of less than $20,000 had access to a home computer, compared to 91% of those in families with annual incomes of more than $75,000. And among children with access, those in low-income families were reported to use the computer less than those in high-income families, perhaps because most low-income families with computers lacked a connection to the Internet. The two most predictive factors of children's use of home computers were the child's age and the computer's capabilities. The author concludes that home access to computers will be a continued area of inequality in American society, and that schools must play a critical role in ensuring equal opportunity for less-advantaged children to access the benefits of the more intellectually powerful uses of computer technology.
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This study aimed to comprehensively investigate the impact of a word-processor on an ESL writing assessment, covering comparison of inter-rater reliability, the quality of written products, the writing process across different testing occasions using different writing media, and students’ perception of a computer-delivered test. Writing samples of 42 international students taking two tests, a paper-and-pencil based ESL placement writing test and a computer-based one, were analyzed. The results showed that while there was no significant mean difference in the holistic ratings across test occasions, all the analytic components of the computer-generated essays were marked significantly higher than those of the paper-based essays. In a holistic measurement, rater’ reliability was significantly higher in word-processed essays than in paper-written essays. A student survey revealed that habitual computer writers preferred a computer-delivered writing mode to a traditional testing mode. Suggestions and implications for further study for implementing computer-based ESL writing tests are discussed.
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The increasing use of computer-based testing raises concerns about equity and bias. Specifically, many in the field of language testing are concerned that the introduction of a computer-based TOEFL test in 1998 will confound language proficiency with computer proficiency and thus bring construct-irrelevant variance to the measurement of examinees' English-language abilities. In a Phase I study (Kirsch, Jamieson, Taylor, & Eignor, 1998), TOEFL examinees were surveyed regarding their computer familiarity and classified into one of three computer familiarity groups: low, moderate, and high. In this study, Phase II, more than 1,100 “low-computer-familiar” and “high-computer-familiar” examinees from 12 international sites were identified from the Phase I survey and administered a computer tutorial and a set of 60 computer-based TOEFL test items. The relationship between level of computer familiarity and performance on the computer-based items was then examined. The examinees in Phase II were largely representative of those in Phase I, who were representative of the general TOEFL test-taking population. Thus, results from this phase of the study are considered generalizable to the current TOEFL examinee population. The effect of computer familiarity after adjustments for language ability was examined by performing a series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs), using TOEFL paper-and-pencil test score as the covariate. These analyses were followed by a series of ANCOVAs involving the computer familiarity variable and a number of other variables: gender, reason for taking the TOEFL test, times the TOEFL test had been taken, and location where the TOEFL test was taken. In a final set of analyses, the TOEFL paper-and-pencil test scores of the low- and high-computer-familiar examinees were weighted such that the groups had identical distributions on the covariate. After controlling for language ability, the researchers found no meaningful relationship between level of computer familiarity and level of performance on computerized language tasks among TOEFL examinees who had completed the computer tutorial. This finding was consistent for all but one of the subgroups considered. A small but practically significant interaction between computer familiarity and reason for taking the test was found on the set of computerized reading items. Researchers concluded that there was no evidence of adverse effects on the computer-based TOEFL performance due to lack of prior computer experience.
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The cross-mode equivalence of paper-and-pencil (P&P) and computer-based clerical tests was examined. 411 undergraduate students at two large Midwestern universities were administered 10 timed clerical tests. Although Mead & Drasgow's (1993) meta-analysis found that speededness moderated cross-mode equivalence, the current study found no differences across modes between P&P tests and computer-based tests (CBTs). When speeded CBTs follow the same administration and response procedures as the P&P format, differences across modes can be minimized. Equivalence is discussed at three levels: parallel, r-equivalent, and congeneric. The statistical and practical implications of test equivalence are presented. Although structural equation modeling determined the tests to be congeneric, results showed only small distributional differences cross-modally. No differential validity across formats was found.
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This study investigated the equivalence of scores from computerized and paper-and-pencil versions of a reading placement test. Concerns about score equivalence on the computerized versions were warranted because of the speeded nature of the paper-and-pencil version and differences in text delivery and response modes. The results indicated that both forms of the computerized versions produced higher vocabulary scores than the paper-and-pencil format and one form also had higher comprehension and total scores on the computerized version. These difficulty differences, especially for the vocabulary scores, appeared related to the differences in response speed associated with use of a mouse to record responses in contrast to a pencil and answer sheet. Scale scores for the computerized versions had similar predictive power for course placement as paper-and-pencil scores. However, because these results were based on students from only seven institutions, additional studies are needed to investigate the comparability of these versions.
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Structural equation models (SEMs), also called simultaneous equation models, are multivariate (i.e., multi- equation) regression models. Unlike the more traditional multivariate linear model, however, the response variable in one regression equation in an SEM may appear as a predictor in another equation; indeed, variables in an SEM may in‡uence one-another reciprocally, either directly or through other variables as intermediaries. These structural equations are meant to represent causal relationships among the variables in the model. A cynical view of SEMs is that their popularity in the social sciences re‡ects the legitimacy that the models appear to lend to causal interpretation of observational data, when in fact such interpretation is no less problematic than for other kinds of regression models applied to observational data. A more charitable interpretation is that SEMs are close to the kind of informal thinking about causal relationships that is common in social-science theorizing, and that, therefore, these models facilitate translating such theories into data analysis. In economics, in contrast, structural-equation models may stem from formal theory. To my knowledge, the only facility in S for …tting structural equation models is my sem library, which at present is available for R but not for S-PLUS. The sem library includes functions for estimating structural equations in observed-variables models by two-stage least squares, and for …tting general structural equation models with multinormal errors and latent variables by full-information maximum likelihood. These methods are covered (along with the associated terminology) in the subsequent sections of the appendix. As I write this appendix, the sem library is in a preliminary form, and the capabilities that it provides are modest compared with specialized structural equation software. Structural equation modeling is a large subject. Relatively brief introductions may be found in Fox (1984: Ch. 4) and in Duncan (1975); Bollen (1989) is a standard book-length treatment, now slightly dated; and most general econometric texts (e.g., Greene, 1993: Ch. 20; Judge et al., 1985: Part 5) take up at least observed-variables structural equation models.
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Part one of this paper highlights how students today think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors, as a result of being surrounded by new technology. The author compares these “digital natives” with the older generation who are learning and adopting new technology naming them “digital immigrants”.
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A computer testing program designed by the authors using HyperCard was tested for equivalence with written formats of a test. The study group in this research consisted of 50 adult basic education students enrolled in an introductory computer course at a small community college. Each student completed 3 written and 3 computer-administered tests. Additional information about these tests was collected through the use of student pre- and posttreatment surveys and by an innovative HyperCard script that tracked each student’s path through the tests. The results of the comparative analysis of tests scores indicated that there were no significant differences between computer-based and written test scores. Additionally, survey responses indicated a student preference for the computer-based test over the written format and that this preference increased after exposure to the different test formats. Finally, an analysis of student test-path data recorded by the computer indicated that the computerized tests took, on average, 2 min longer for students to complete. The computer test-path data and survey responses also gave an indication of which test-design features were the most useful for students.
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In this article, we propose to follow up on the most recent ARAL survey article on trends in computer-based second language assessment (Jamieson, 2005) and review developments in the use of technology in the creation, delivery, and scoring of language tests. We will discuss the promise and threats associated with computer-based language testing, including the language construct in relation to computer-based delivery and response technologies; computer-based authoring options; current developments; scoring, feedback, and reporting systems; and validation issues.
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by John Fox. This document may be freely copied and distributed subject to the following conditions: The document may not be altered, nor may it be incorporated in whole or in part into any other work. Except with the direct written permission of the author, the document must be distributed in its entirety, including this title page.
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Computer-based assessment (CBA) is yet to have a significant impact on high-stakes educational assessment, but the equivalence between CBA and paper-and-pencil (P&P) test scores will become a central concern in education as CBA increases. It is argued that as CBA and P&P tests provide test takers with qualitatively different experiences, the impact of individual differences on the testing experience, and so statistical equivalence of scores, needs to be considered. As studies of score equivalence have largely ignored individual differences such as computer experience, computer anxiety and computer attitudes, the purpose of this paper is to highlight the potential effects of these. It is concluded that each of these areas is of significance to the study of equivalence and that the often inconsistent findings result from the rapid changes in exposure to technology.
Article
The present study investigated the influence of word processing on the writing of students of English as a second language (ESL) and on writing assessment as well. Twenty-one adult Mandarin–Chinese speakers with advanced English proficiency living in Toronto participated in the study. Each participant wrote two comparable writing tasks under exam-type conditions—one on a Macintosh computer that traced and recorded their writing and revision processes and the other written with pen. Think-aloud protocols were also recorded. It was found that participants paid more attention to higher order thinking activities while evaluating their written texts in the computer session, that they revised significantly more at most levels on the computer, and that their computer-generated essays received higher scores in argumentation than the hand-written ones, suggesting that educators should seriously consider the impact of computers on writing assessment.
Article
Computer use has grown rapidly during the past decade. Within the educational community, interest in authentic assessment has also increased. To enhance the authenticity of tests of writing, as well as of other knowledge and skills, some assessments require students to respond in written form via paper-and-pencil. However, as increasing numbers of students grow accustomed to writing on computers, these assessments may yield underestimates of students' writing abilities. This article presents the findings of a small study examining the effect that mode of administration - computer versus paper-and-pencil - has on middle school students' performance on multiple-choice and written test questions. Findings show that, though multiple-choice test results do not differ much by mode of administration, for students accustomed to writing on computer, responses written on computer are substantially higher than those written by hand (effect size of 0.9 and relative success rates of 67% versus 30%). Implications are discussed in terms of both future research and test validity.
Article
This investigation seeks to confirm several key factors in computer-based versus paper-based assessment. Based on earlier research, the factors considered here include content familiarity, computer familiarity, competitiveness, and gender. Following classroom instruction, freshman business undergraduates (N = 105) were randomly assigned to either a computer-based or identical paper-based test. ANOVA of test data showed that the computer-based test group outperformed the paper-based test group. Gender, competitiveness, and computer familiarity were NOT related to this performance difference, though content familiarity was. Higher-attaining students benefited most from computer-based assessment relative to higher-attaining students under paper-based testing. With the current increase in computer-based assessment, instructors and institutions must be aware of and plan for possible test mode effects.
ESRC Framework for Research Ethics (FRE) 2010
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The RESPECT project code of practice. The European Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme. Retrieved from http
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The development of a computer-based version of PET
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The comparability of computer-based and paper-based tests: Goals, approaches, and a review of research
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The effects on performance of computer familiarity and attitudes towards CB IELTS
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IPIPS: An international study of children’s first year at school
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&Joint3position3statement3 from3the3National3Association3for3the3Education3of3Young3Children3and3the3National3 Association3of3Early3Childhood3Specialists3in3State3Departments3of3Education:3Where3we3 stand3on3curriculum,3assessments3and3program3evaluation.&Retrieved&from& http
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