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NIFL-ASSESSMENT 2005: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1263] RE: Computer asses

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From: Dianna Baycich (
Date: Thu Oct 06 2005 - 14:33:03 EDT

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Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1263] RE: Computer assessment and adult learners
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I tutor an adult struggling reader who has not used a computer or a
typwriter. He also has a condition that causes his hands to shake. Asking
this student to use the computer to take a test would be unkind to say the
least. The tutorial that Julie directed us to is helpful (yes, I went
through it) but my student would have to repeat this tutorial several times
before he would be prepared to take the test. One thing I noticed on this
tutorial was that if you miss the period at the end of a sentence when
highlighting, the answer is counted wrong. 
This requires a degree of precision that many new computer users would not
Dianna B.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Marie Cora
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 9:30 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1259] Computer assessment and adult learners

Hi everyone,
I wanted to prod you all to add your thoughts to Nancy's questions from
the other day regarding testing via computers in ABE/ESOL.  What are
your thoughts, and what have been your experiences on this?
I have done a little bit of work using the BEST Plus with adult learners
- but in that case, it is the teacher/test administrator who actually is
using the computer and asking questions of the test-taker.  As an aside,
the great thing about this type of computer testing is that the software
program automatically stops you when the student has reached as far as
they can go, and it also jumps over questions that it realizes the
student will have no problem answering.  Thus, you avoid the unnecessary
and sometimes painful process of forcing students to answer way too easy
questions, for example.
But!  This is not the situation Nancy is describing here - so do folks
have thoughts on adult students personally using a computer for
assessment purposes?  I am also sending this reply to the
NIFL-Technology List to see if folks over there have something to
contribute to this discussion.
marie cora
Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and 
LINCS Assessment Special Collection at
On Wed 10/5/2005, Nancy Hansen wrote:
I also have a question to those who test using
> computers:  Do you find the skills of the learner
> who
> has had next to NO exposure to computers and LITTLE
> literacy skills are accurately being portrayed via
> this style testing?
> I have men and women in our adult literacy program
> who
> had never sat down at a computer - much less used a
> mouse before.  I cannot imagine that their extensive
> life skills would be evaluated appropriately when
> they
> hit and miss at the computer - sometimes even
> striking
> incorrect keys.
> Nancy Hansen
> Sioux Falls Area Literacy Council

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