Are test scores reliable for kindergarten students who have very little computer experience?
This is an important question and one you can answer by carefully watching your students during their Track My Progress test sessions.
- Do you see your students struggling to drag answers to their intended location?
- Do you find you are constantly moving around the computer lab helping students and showing them what to do?
- Are students more interested in exploring the computer-mouse interface and not really working to answer questions and show what they can do?
Some schools use the fall and sometimes winter test events for kindergarten students as purely an introduction to computer test taking. In other words, they do not use the data for educational decision making. Other schools will not test kindergarten students in the first or second test windows of the year but will work on computer skills.
Your strategy in how you use Track My Progress will depend on your specific students and their familiarity with computers. Some educators find it helpful to compare computer-based assessments for young students to other forms of assessment. For example, we have seen kindergarten students early in the school year who are completely overwhelmed by the one-on-one reading screening with an adult they have only just met. They are not familiar with interacting with adults this way and don't have a conception of what the assessment means. We suggest thinking of the computer-based assessment in a similar way. When a student is placed in a new context for an assessment (whether it is computer-based, one-on-one, or pencil and paper) we have to interpret any resulting scores or findings with this in mind.