Testing time is almost upon us and this year brings a new twist to the testing format. For the first time teachers across the country, and right here in Indiana, are having to prepare students for new “technology-enhanced” question types. Here in Indiana we are preparing students for entering numbers via a number pad, selecting or adding points to a graph, using drop down menus, highlighting sections of a text that support an answer, and dragging parts of a sentence to complete the sentence. In addition, students will face new multiple correct questions. These skills are mirrored at the national level with tests from PARCC and SmarterBalance including technology-enhanced items. Check out NextGen Assessments’ granular list of all of the skills a student will need to be successful on these tests.
The challenge we as educators have is to find online resources that students can use to help practice these item types while simultaneously practicing curriculum. Here are few resources that will help you do just that:
- LearnClick – LearnClick is a terrific tool for creating your own technology-enhanced quizzes. The site allows the teacher the ability to quickly create drag and drop matching and fill-in-the-blank questions as well as drop downs and multiple correct questions. The site is straightforward and learning how to create a quiz is quite simple. Access to the site does cost $39, however this provides the ability to receive detailed reports of how your students scored and the ability to look at data on each question asked. Definitely worth a look.
- Mathematics Common Core Toolbox – The Mathematics Common Core Toolbox allows for practice of most of the technology-enhanced question types. Choosing a grade span on the left-hand side of the screen will bring up between 5 and 8 practice questions based on the PARCC test. The site is free and would be good practice for students.
- Edcite – Edcite is another site that allows teachers to create technology-enhanced questions and deliver them to students. In addition, you can discover and use questions created by other teachers and aligned to Common Core standards. Highlighting, graphing, and drag and drop are some of the question types the site supports. Edcite site is currently in Beta and free.
- Annenberg Learner – Annenberg Learner is another free site that contains example questions for students to work on and practice technology-enhanced questions. The site contains many questions and most of the technology-enabled question types can be found within. Controls on the left side of the page allow for sorting by grade level, contents area, and audience.
- TV411 – TV411 is a site aimed at comprehension of reading and videos. Following each passage or video students are presented with multiple question types including drag and drop and multiple select.TV411 is free.
- ReadWriteThink: ReadWriteThink offers student interactives that cover topics from inquiry to summarization. Most of the technology-enabled question types are represented within the sets of interactives. The site allows for filtering by grade level, interactive type, learning objective, theme and more – just use the tools on the left side of the screen.
The bottom line is that students will be facing a brand new paradigm in testing and need to be prepared so that their ability to understand and utilize the technology does not stand in the way of them answering questions correctly. The best thing that we as educators can do is provide meaningful practice of these new technology-enhanced question types for our students. With sufficient meaningful practice, no matter the site used, students will come to recognize and understand how to answer these new question types and will be able to let their intelligence shine without being overshadowed by the need to engage with technology.
If you know of any additional sites for meaningful practice of technology-enhanced questions please share them in the comments. Happy practicing!