Lessons Learned from the 2012 Grade 4 Writing Computer-Based Assessment (WCBA) Study
Computers are becoming increasingly important in today’s classrooms as tools for both teaching and learning, but little is known about the knowledge and skills of elementary students in large-scale computer-based writing assessments. The Grade 4 Writing Computer-Based Assessment (WCBA) study was conducted to determine if fourth-grade students could effectively demonstrate their writing knowledge and skills during a computer-delivered assessment.
The Grade 4 WCBA Study consisted of two parts:
small-scale usability testing to inform development of the assessment platform for fourth-grade students; and
a pilot writing assessment administered to a sample of 13,000 students nationwide.
Lessons learned from the study can inform future development of computer-based assessments as well as shed light on what fourth-grade students know and can do. Additionally, we were able to gain insights on fourth-grade students’ use of editing tools to compose their responses.
Note that the sample used in this study is not representative of the nation. The performance results only pertain to participants in the pilot study. Please use caution when interpreting these findings.
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