3 Ways Edtech Can Make Test Prep More Effective

Thursday, February 2, 2017 -- Sarah Cornelius

Test preparation is a big undertaking for educators and students alike. However, if you’re proactive in your preparation efforts with students, you can all go into test day feeling calm and confident. And with the right tools, designing a rigorous and effective test preparation program for your learners doesn’t have to be a Herculean effort. Online programs can be a great solution for educators to help familiarize students with the testing process and question format while providing ongoing data to inform instruction. Check out these top three reasons to embrace technology as a part of your test prep program!

1. Get students familiar with online testing environments

A majority of high-stakes state tests are now administered online—and that’s a very different experience for students than the traditional #2 pencil test. Online tests feature technology-enhanced item types, like hot text, constructed response, and sequencing questions, to assess for deeper learning and concept mastery. Additionally, online tests are software—and every software has a different user interface and navigation. While an online program may not exactly replicate the experience of your students’ online tests, it can serve as an approximation, and help your students build comfort with tasks such as starting and stopping a session or accessing online support tools. If students aren’t familiar with item types and online environments, when test day rolls around their score will be as much a reflection of their ability to decode what they’re being asked to do as an assessment of their concept knowledge.

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2. Implement classroom assessment strategies

Even though it’s top of mind now, all educators know that test preparation is truly a year-long undertaking. Implementing classroom assessment strategies that formatively monitor learning is one of the best ways to see how those ongoing efforts are working, track student progress, and pinpoint areas to work on when preparation crunch time hits. A strong classroom assessment strategy is all about utilizing quick, frequent, and low-pressure checks for understanding in the classroom. While online tools certainly can’t do this for educators, they can be a great resource for finding effective standards-aligned activities and building customized interim assessments.

3. Maximize student data for individualized preparation

One of the most powerful aspects of online tools is their ability to do the legwork of data analysis for you. When these programs are leveraged formatively teachers get clear and immediate feedback on each student’s instructional needs. By collecting this data over time, and utilizing online tools to access and analyze it, teachers can quickly see classroom trends. You’ll gain valuable insight into what concepts and skills students have mastered and where additional instruction is needed to create individualized test prep plans for each student. Armed with this level of data, teachers can make sure students are getting the practice and reinforcement they need to be successful on test day.

Interested in learning more about how Edmentum’s online solutions can support test prep efforts in your classroom? Watch this quick OnDemand webinar for 10 Tips for Testing Success or explore Study Island, our standards-based, fully-customizable practice and assessment tool!