The Perceived Advantages of the Computerized
The first question to report concerns the perceived advantages of the computerized test. Table 1 shows the categories of the responses given, the frequency of the response category in each group, and the percentage of the total of responses. Replica Watches Due to space limitations, only the categories with a frequency greater than 2 percent are reported. It can be seen that the most frequently reported advantage is the instantaneous report of the grade obtained. Several authors have mentioned this advantage as a significant advancement over paper-and-pencil tests, from the perspective of institutional pressure to obtain the grades in standardized tests such as TOEFL, GRE, or GM AT (Brown op. cit; Dunkel 1999).
In the context of this study, however, the perceived advantage of knowing the grade instantly may relate to the natural wish of students to know the results of their performance as fast as possible. The time that elapses between the day the test is administered and the day the teacher hands out the corrected tests, can be a source of stress. The instantaneous report of results allowed by the computerized test would seem to spare students this distress and thus the high frequency of perceived advantage of this category. Secondly, subjects found the computerized test convenient and fast to do. This is no surprise, since subjects belong to the post-Nintendo generation, and computers are second nature to them, given their socio-economic status. The third category of responses refers to the practical aspect of the computerized test. For subjects, practical seems to mean not having to write and therefore, not making mistakes. The university students were used to taking multiple choice tests which required filling out ovals in an answer sheet. The sheets would be corrected either manually or by a scanner. In both cases, the correct filling out of the ovals was an issue, since erasing or incorrectly filling the oval would bring scoring problems. The ‘mistakes’ this group refers to could be of the type just mentioned. However, the high school students, the ones to mention this advantage with a higher frequency, had no experience with filling ovals in their regular classroom tests. Their comments could well relate to the loss of points in paper-and-pencil tests because of spelling, morphological, and/or syntactic errors. This perceived advantage can be attributed to multiple choice tests, whether computerized or not; however, high school students seem to be assigning this advantage to a test in which they use a mouse to submit their answers.
In the fourth place, we find that subjects state they feel proud to be in an institution that administers computerized tests. In informal conversations with students on this respect, they claimed that a teacher who integrates technology into his/her teaching, gains their respect. This can be taken as an acknowledgement on their part of the efforts made to seek teaching and testing possibilities that go in the same direction as their continually growing computer skills, as they use technology for entertainment and other activities in their everyday lives. A fifth reported advantage is that students find the computerized test dynamic and motivating. This is a valuable finding, since it implies not only an acceptance of the computerized test, but also a good disposition to be evaluated through this instrument. This category is also encouraging for teachers. It is not difficult to create a motivating atmosphere during a teaching situation, but the same cannot be said of a testing situation. The use of the computer for testing purposes could well be a means of increasing motivation and lowering anxiety. For the sixth category, subjects empathize with teachers and highlight the fact that with a computerized test, the teacher does not have to carry out marking. This feature brings a number of benefits for teachers.
First, there is the obvious saving of time and resources. Secondly, the time saved in correcting hundreds of tests, leaves teachers time to perform thorough analyses of results, a fact which contributes to better feedback and to a betterment of the evaluation and teaching process. Additionally, not having the time and mental pressure to correct relieves anxiety from teachers and leaves them better prepared to manage other complex professional tasks. The seventh advantage reported by subjects is the accurate and reliable nature of the scores. Replica Tag Heuer Carrera This is an aspect for which computers are simply made for. Assuming that human error in programming has been eliminated from the equation, a computerized test, as subjects clearly appreciate; guarantees that the scores obtained faithfully reflect student performance and are not the product of human error in the correction process. For designers of computerized tests, this finding is encouraging, since it shows that subjects trust the computer in the scores it reports.