Scores Were Lower When Mass. Students Took PARCC Exams on Computers, Study Finds

Feb 1, 2019 by

Unfamiliarity with technology contributed to lower scores for online test-takers in 2015, but the effects diminished over time, researchers found.

Massachusetts students who took state exams online in 2015 scored significantly worse than their peers who took the same exams on paper, according to a new study by the American Institutes for Research.

The so-called “mode effect” was particularly pronounced in English/language arts, where the discrepancy amounted to nearly a full year of learning, AIR found. Lower-performing students, special education students, and English language learners suffered particularly sharp penalties when they took the ELA exams online.

In both ELA and math, however, the negative effects of taking the exams online diminished considerably during the second year of testing.

“To our knowledge, this is the first large-scale study of PARCC test-mode effects conducted with multiple years of data across an entire state,” according to the paper, titled “Is the Pen Mightier Than the Keyboard? The Effect of Online Testing on Measured Student Achievement,” and published in the February edition of the academic journal Economics of Education Review.

Source: Scores Were Lower When Mass. Students Took PARCC Exams on Computers, Study Finds – Digital Education – Education Week

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