Studies and research


The move to online assessment is informed by studies and research. Some of the current Queensland, national and international research is listed here, along with an overview of the findings.



National centre for educational statistics


National centre for educational statistics
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analysing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.

Programme for International Student Assessment Australia
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has just released the Australian report for the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Managed by ACER at the national level for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), every three years PISA measures how well 15-year-olds from across the globe are able to use their knowledge and skills in science, reading and mathematics to meet real-life challenges.

Performance of fourth-grade students in the 2012 NAEP computer-based writing pilot assessment (PDF, 1.9MB)
This study (National Centre for Education Statistics, USA) begins with the policy question, 'Can fourth-graders fully display their writing ability on the computer?' There is no simple yes or no answer. The data shows that prior exposure to writing on the computer is itself associated with writing performance.

Review of international large-scale assessments in education: Assessing component skills and collecting contextual data
The OECD has initiated the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for Development in response to the rising need of developing countries to collect data about their education systems and the capacity of their student bodies.

Are California's schools ready for online testing and learning?
Using survey data from the California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA), this report examined school districts' technology infrastructure and assesses their readiness for online testing.

Are schools 'tech-ready' for the Common Core Standards?
In this Great Schools article, the author summarises the issues experienced during a trial run of the Common Core Standards online assessment, which involved 36 million students in 36 USA states.

Common core testing points out tech divide in rural, poorer schools
This Aljazeera America news article reports the challenges remote areas face in meeting the demands of online education.

Getting ready for online assessments (PDF, 7.4MB)
This is the third in a series of interactive papers from Digital Learning Now! that provide specific guidance on the adoption of Common Core Standards and the shift to personal digital learning. The paper documents important learnings from the USA experience. The recommendations are written for policy writers and school and district personnel as they work to bring school districts up to speed and make them ready for online assessments and learning.

NMC Horizon Report Preview 2016 K-12 edition (PDF, 1.2MB)
This preview from New Media Consortium identifies 6 key trends, 6 significant challenges, and 6 important developments in education technology that will be featured in this year's full report.

Using computers widens the achievement gap in writing, a federal study finds
The research arm of the United States of America Department of Education found that 4-grade students with low digital capability did poorly in writing tests given by computer (The Hechinger Report). Students with good ICT skills performed better. The research involved 10,000 4-grade students who completed two 30-minute writing assignments.

Arizona State University Professor Steve Graham says 'Your familiarity with the tool makes a difference.' 'They actually do better writing by hand if they're less experienced [with computers]. And if they're more experienced, then there may actually be an advantage toward writing on the computer.'


Students, computers and learning: Making the connection 2015
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report highlights that students need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills before they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitised societies of the 21st century. The report highlights the importance of bolstering students' ability to navigate through digital texts. It also examines the relationship between computer access in schools, computer use in classrooms and performance in PISA assessment. As the report makes clear, all students need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills so they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitised societies of the 21st century.

Being a better online reader
This article explores the impact of digital texts on deep reading. As students learn how to read digital texts, do we need more immersive reading skills to be explicitly taught that deeper comprehension requires?

Raising literacy levels using digital learning: a design-based approach in New Zealand
This paper by The Curriculum Journal reports on a design-based intervention in urban primary and secondary schools serving culturally diverse students from low socio-economic status (SES) communities. The intervention capitalises on a partially implemented program in seven schools that use digital devices (netbooks) and applications to raise literacy levels.


An overview of automated scoring of essays (PDF, 754KB)
This study by the Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment is an overview of current approaches to automated essay scoring (AES). The study provides an overview of the main characteristics of AES programs and how they can be used in classroom assessment and standardised tests.

Contrasting automated and human scoring of essays (PDF, 779KB)
International research provides a balanced view of the contrasts between automated and human scoring of essays.

Teachers' perceptions for how to prepare students for success with the new computer-based assessment platform
'As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives, and standardised assessment moves to a computer-based testing platform, it is important to not only identify the possible effects of changing how student achievement is assessed, but also to examine whether the technology competency levels of teachers have an effect.' (Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference).

Last updated 12 June 2020