Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its Role in Educational Assessment

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) AND ITS ROLE IN EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT

This writing explores the role of information communication technology in assessment practices in education. The significant factors that schools and teachers should consider include the benefits it can provide to improve and enhance assessment. The primary focus of this writing is: What are the roles ICT can provide to support assessment in education? ICT has several roles and supports in educational assessment practices. This writing emphasizes its roles in two parts: testing, and tasks. ICT can be used in testing to administer tests, to score the tests, to analyse the result and to facilitate teachers in assessing learning outcomes. Besides, ICT can be integrated in completing student’s task such as portfolio and project-based assessment. ICT provides opportunities for students to create electronic versions of their portfolio. ICT can also support students to complete their project. It is essential for teachers to realise that the rubric used to assess e-portfolios and projects must also assess students’ technology use.

Schools in the modern day have become more sophisticated in terms of the development of their instruction infrastructure and facilities. Previously, the school environment was limited to having a class with chairs, tables and a board. Most of the instruction activities were conducted in class in front of students and most of the assessment processes were performed in class with paper and pencil tests. Given that technology has developed very rapidly and has influenced every aspect of life, including education, technology, computers and the Internet should be integrated into education to support instruction and assessment processes.

In ICT environment, instructional activities do not have to occur in class all the time. Teachers and students can also communicate through email or other online media. Specifically, in relation to assessment, ICT are used to support  assessment practice in various ways. Computers can be used as the medium for testing, to score students’ tests using automatic scoring software and as a tool for doing assessment tasks. This phenomenon is considered as a new way of measuring educational outcomes and is well known as technology-based assessment. John and Wheeler (2008) state that because of current advances in ICT, assessment of learning is now experiencing change in ways that have lead it to revision of the methods, rationale and process of testing. In addition, Jonassen et al (2009) point out that the use of technology to support assessment is not only done by converting traditional forms of assessment into a digital format, such as computer-based testing, quizzes or surveys, but it can also be used to assess higher-order learning outcomes.

Education constitutes one of the important aspects in developing nations because it is through education that people will be able to develop their human capital. Quality education needs good assessment. Nitko and Brookhart (2011, p. 3) define assessment as ‘a process for obtaining information that is used for making decisions about students; curricula, programs, and schools; and educational policy’. Based on studies of classrooms, Stiggins et al (as cited in Nitko & Brookhart, 2011) state that teachers should use many sources of information to assess students’ achievement. Therefore, to gain complete and accurate information about students, it is better for teachers to use a wide range of assessments.