E-assessment in The Netherlands, innovations for the 21st Century

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E-assessment in The Netherlands, innovations for the 21st Century

Cito, the Dutch National Institute for Educational Measurement, has invested much time and energy in research and development of innovative e-assessments in the past 10 years. From the beginning of it',s involvement in e-assessment, Cito has taken the position that computer use in assessment should contribute to the improvement of the quality of assessment in terms of validity, effectiveness and efficiency and furthermore, that the needs of the test taker should be leading, not the technology. Cito has never limited its efforts to one specific type of computer use. Instead a number of innovative new formats that provide versatile assessment options for modern education, learning and training were developed: computer supported assessments, computer based tests, computer adaptive tests and web based tests.Cito is expert in the field of valid, reliable measurement of learning performance. On instruction from the government, Cito develops the national examinations in the Netherlands for preparatory intermediate vocational education, higher general secondary education and pre university education. As an expertise centre, Cito also does research in and offers advice for modernizing national examinations. The examinations in the Netherlands are the responsibility of the minister of Education. Various parties collaborate on creating the examinations. As stated above, Cito is responsible for designing examination questions.Annually, at the end of secondary education, some 200,000 students in 700 schools take part in the national examinations. Each year, Cito designs more than 500 different tests for all subjects of the various types of education. In most cases the questions are presented to students on paper. However, more and more opportunities arise to administer examinations by computer instead of on paper. Schools1 are acquiring adequate ICT infrastructure and related knowledge to use this. Computers play an increasingly important role in education. And outside the schools as well, students are making use of ICT and computers in a growing number of situations.This lecture will focus on the use of computer based testing (CBT)2 in the national examinations in secondary education in The Netherlands (in 2009 about 17% of all examinations growing to about 30% in 2014), the goals, the conceptual framing and the process of introduction. Essential part of the introduction is the acceptance of the innovation by students, teachers and principals. Results will be presented.

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