The Writing Online (WOL) study is one of three field investigations in NAEP's
Technology-Based Assessment Project, which explores the use of new technology in administering NAEP. The study focused on issues associated with delivering existing constructed-response NAEP writing tasks on computer. Existing NAEP writing items were guided by the
writing assessment framework, and sample writing items are available in the
NAEP Questions Tool.
Results of the study are available in the report Online Assessment in Mathematics and Writing: Reports from the NAEP Technology-Based Assessment Project, Research and Development Series.
The WOL study was intended to help NAEP learn how computer delivery affects the measurement of NAEP performance-based writing skills, to gain insights into the operational and logistical mechanics of computer-delivered writing assessments, and to evaluate the ability of eighth-graders to deal with writing assessments delivered on computer. Students used a NAEP-developed word processor to write their responses to two essay topics—one informative and one persuasive—from the 2002 NAEP writing assessment.
Another aspect of the WOL study was to investigate the feasibility of using an automatic scoring tool (e-rater) to evaluate student responses from NAEP writing assessments by comparing scores yielded by e-rater with scores given by human raters.
Data were collected in the spring of 2002 from a national sample of more than 1,300 eighth-graders in about 160 schools. The WOL study samples were composed of nationally representative groups of students drawn from the main NAEP 2002 reading and writing assessments.
The study collected background data concerning students' access to, uses of, and attitudes toward computers. In addition, students were administered hands-on exercises designed to measure their ability to input information into a computer.
The study was administered to students on school computers via the Web or on NAEP laptop computers brought into schools. Both writing tasks, or "essays," used in the WOL study were taken from the main 2002 NAEP writing assessment and were originally developed for paper administration. Students were given a tutorial before taking the assessment. Learn about the
tutorials developed for the WOL project.
Student performance on WOL was compared to that of a national sample that took the main NAEP paper-and-pencil writing assessment in the spring of 2002.
Read about the Mathematics Online study.
Learn about the Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments study.