Today, I’m pleased to release a new research brief entitled Pencils Down: The Shift to Online & Computer-Based Testing – U.S. K-8 Market (2015-16 School Year). The top line finding is eye-opening:Pencils Down: The Shift to Online & Computer-Based Testing

The 2015-16 school year will mark the first time that the majority of state mandated summative testing in U.S. elementary and middle schools will be administered via technology and not in a paper and pencil format. In fact, only 15 percent of all end-of-year state tests will not offer an online administration option.

Among other findings, the research reveals that while older students are slightly more likely to have the option to test online, large numbers of 3rd graders (aged 8 and 9 years old) are already testing online successfully. The brief also includes new data and information on:

  • Which states are online testing leaders and which are laggards;
  • The top test vendors (as measured by the number of general assessments they will deliver to students this school year); and,
  • Top issues for states, test vendors, technology leaders, and policymakers to watch closely and address to ensure both a smooth and equitable test administration this spring.

Count the 2015-16 school year as the tipping point in the ongoing shift to online and computer-based testing.

More information about the research brief (which is available for download free of charge) and its findings can be found at: https://www.edtechstrategies. com/research-and-writing/usk- 8-testing/

I think there are some fascinating findings and information in the brief (and much more that is only alluded to), so be sure to let me know what you think by leaving any questions or comments about the topic in the comments section below.