This essay is a summary of the interview that was conducted on Mr. Alison Lebeau who is the primary school psychologist. The interview was about how technology is used currently in the assessment and progress monitoring of young learners in school system. Mr. Alison acknowledged that since technology become integrated in school systems a lot of improvements in student assessment and progress monitoring has been realized.
Usage of technology in assessment and progress monitoring of young learners
Technology or use of ICT in schools helps teachers and students to handle education and knowledge learning easily and enjoyably. The use of computers in the assessment process is comprised of computer -adaptive testing, computer- assigned instruction and computerized data collection about student performance. Moreover, computer assessments entail data management, performance analyses using computers, and reporting of scoring, graphing or displaying relationships between student progress and computer goal lines. Technology or ICT has enabled teachers to mange data concerning student’s performance and use the progress monitoring report generated by the computers to plan instructional interventions accordingly. In monitoring progress of students in a mathematics class, the teacher assigns an instructional objective to the class and the computer generates worksheets that are within the scope of student mathematics knowledge (Goldenberg, Russell, and Cook, 2003).
With technology teachers allocate assignments or instruct students to practice solving mathematical problems and the computers are used to score and record their performance. Immediately, after the assessment the computer gives a feedback to students about the scores they obtained, the items the scored correctly, the items they scored wrongly together with corrections and finally are provided with their level of mastery of the subject (Goldenberg, Russell, and Cook, 2003). The report on mastery of the subject helps teachers to draw important conclusions about the subject and individual pupil performance. Therefore, Computers assist teachers to monitor student progress by storing all relevant data which enables teachers to track individual, class or grade level results.
Through technology teachers receive dairy printouts showing the position of every student in the class, flagging students who need help and indicating young learners who are ready to be assessed. They make use of this information to organize students into groups for instruction or assign instruction. Additionally, Technology has helped teachers to employ ICT to plan their lessons. Lessons prepared by ICT are more effective and up to date due to amore collaborative approach to sharing of curriculum plans with colleagues and managers. Technology has opened avenues which the parents use at home in collaboration with teachers to support dairy instruction (Goldenberg, Russell, and Cook, 2003).
Web- based interventions assist parents to monitor the progress of their children in school. User friendly instructional programs provided by websites can be implemented by parents a home and record the data that they will share with the students classroom teacher. Having parents involved in implementing interventions has created a bidirectional partnership, which has enhanced student assessment, and progress monitoring easier and efficient. Web- based systems are used by educators to create and administer formative and summative assessments online. This resolution allows instant results, generates modified reports, and monitors pupil classroom progress. This program helps school leaders and district education coordinators to collect high level data about student performances for analysis and formulation of improved methods of assessment and instruction delivery.
Web- based programs further, helps educators to quickly and easily create significant assessment reports of cumulative and disaggregate data to meet local needs and reporting requirements that can be accessed online by all education stakeholders (Goldenberg, Russell, and Cook, 2003).
ICT is very powerful in presenting and representing information in many ways. This can be through, texts, pictures or tables and graphs. This representation enables changes to be shown diagrammatically. For student assessments the scores can be provided more clearly and help in clear visualization of the progress even if it is very small as compared to past score. By using computers it is possible to manipulate information so that a pupil can make changes and evaluate the effect of such changes. Finally, Technology has helped teachers to create a living record of the student performance /progress over the span of academic career (Goldenberg, Russell, and Cook, 2003).
In conclusion, technology has improved pupil assessment and progress monitoring significantly. Schools which have not yet embraced technology in school systems are lagging behind. Technology is not only beneficial to classroom teachers, but also to parents and students. When technology is well integrated in curriculum the rate of teacher output is high as well student’s performance is improver significantly.
Goldenberg, A., Russell, M., and Cook, A., (2003). The effect of computers on student writing: A meta- analysis of studies from 1992 to 2002. Journal of technology, learning, and assessment.2.1pp 1-52 (available from http:/www.jtla.org).