Digital tools are reshaping the education landscape, with the last few years seeing a rapid swing towards digital testing as a favored method of assessment among educators. With schools shuttered during COVID-19, in-person testing became impossible, and teachers were forced to adopt remote testing, which brings with it its own benefits but also its own set of challenges. If you’re carrying out digital testing at your education institution and grades are lagging behind what they should be, you may be unsure how to turn that trend around. Here are our top tips on how to improve test scores when your assessments are carried out online.
Leverage Formative assessment
The last year has led to a shift to more formative assessment approaches in order to keep students engaged. This model – adopted heavily during the pandemic – allows educators to conduct regular, low-stakes formative assessments leading up to formal assessments in order to gauge students’ progress along the way, and help them with any stumbling blocks they may be facing. Examples of this type of assessment include (but aren’t limited to):
- In-class discussion
- Weekly quizzes
- Ungraded group work
By introducing low-stakes (often un-graded) assessments into the curriculum, educators are able to identify students who are struggling and help them catch up before other, more meaningful tests, like summative assessments.
For example, by developing summative assessments based on overall learning goals first, and creating formative assessments along the way designed to support these goals, you gain a more complete picture of student learning. This approach can help you pinpoint areas in your curriculum that may require extra focus, and ultimately implement measures that will boost students’ test scores in the process.
Introduce game-like scenarios to Digital Testing
Many children – and indeed many adults – struggle to engage with digital learning for long periods of time if they are simply being lectured at. Assessments driven by AI and Gamification are great ways to get your students to creatively engage in learning. By introducing game-like questions that simulate real-world scenarios into your digital tests, you can create authentic assessments that provide real-world context to learning, leading to better engagement. And in the long run, better engagement tends to lead to better test scores.
No matter the age of students you teach, one fact holds true: any student will be more engaged with a topic that they enjoy studying, and less engaged with a topic they don’t enjoy. Personalized assessments allow students to immerse themselves in topics relevant to their interests during learning, while highlighting areas that require improvement for educators.
Digital assessments can also be personalized for difficulty. If a student is finding a test far too difficult, or far too easy, they can have a tendency to switch off. The student who is performing well becomes complacent, while the student who is performing badly becomes frustrated. Both of these emotions can lead to lower test scores. Adaptive testing, on the other hand, makes a test easier or harder depending on how the student is doing. This helps to limit issues of frustration and complacency, keeping students fully engaged and having a positive impact on results in the process.
Check out our post on how to create personalized assessments for post-pandemic learning for strategies and tips.
Use the Data
In 2021, there is more data available to educators than ever before. With a focus on remote learning that doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon, it’s crucial that educators have access to digital testing data and student analytics. This data offers a number of benefits. Firstly, it allows educators to pinpoint areas that require more focus as the semester goes on. For example, if the data seems to indicate that there is a general lack of understanding of a certain topic, this can be revisited at a later date to ensure that the class understands it properly.
Additionally, the data can help to identify students that are lagging behind their peers either in certain subjects or overall. This allows educators to step in and intervene, raising the issue with the student in question and asking if they need help to attain the required understanding.
With more and more eLearning tools gaining traction in education, it’s clear that future of digital testing is bright. By implementing strategies to promote creativity, authenticity and engagement in learning, educators will no doubt see improvements in their students’ testing scores.
Contact us to find out more about implementing digital assessment tools for your classroom or institution.