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Score Comparability across Computerized Assessment Delivery Devices

The shift from traditional paper-and-pencil testing to computer-based assessment may result in better information to support learning and promote equity, and to measure progress and improve outcomes for our nation's students, but it also introduces threats to the comparability of state assessment results across students, schools, districts and states. As state assessments move beyond bubble tests, they are leaving behind many key contributors to standardization, including the No. 2 pencil and the bubble. For all of their faults and limitations, No. 2 pencils are ubiquitous and minimal training is necessary to correctly fill in a bubble on a paper test. In contrast, with large-scale, school-administered, computer-based testing, it is inevitable that state assessments will be administered to students via a wide variety of technological devices. Variations in the manner in which test information is presented to students, and in the manner in which students interact with that information, must be carefully considered and accounted for in the design of assessments, in the production of student scores, and in the interpretation and use of assessment results. To ensure fairness, states must be able to confidently claim that the comparability of state assessment results is not impacted by variations introduced through the use of different types of technological devices to administer those state assessments.

Contact:Adam Petermannadam.petermann@ccsso.org202-336-7076