Using computers to test students - administrators thought about it, they considered it, they made preemptive what-ifs about it, they argued for it and they argued against it. Now, administrators are actually doing it.
The American Council on Education and Pearson, two major education companies, have recently announced their plans to create a computer-based General Education Development (G.E.D.) test, according to an article in the New York Times.
The G.E.D. has always been a traditional, paper-and-pencil test, typically administered in high schools. But, the new, computerized test will replace the old version in 2014. The new version will be tested in California, Georgia, Florida and Texas in the spring of 2011.
The organizations announced that these tests will only be available by computer at official testing centers. As of now, there are no plans to offer these tests widely online.
The G.E.D. tests students’ academic levels on five subject areas, Language Arts (writing), Language Arts (reading), Social Studies, Science and Mathematics. If passed, the student then receives a General Education Diploma also known as the Graduate Equivalency Degree, verifying that he/she has passed high school and has high school-level academic skills.
Computerized versions of the test could make it more ubiquitous, gaining interest from non-high school students, allowing more people to receive their Graduate Equivalency Degree. Also, these new, computerized tests – once implemented – will be easier to grade, saving time and state/federal education dollars.