Screen Reading impacts to Consider on AssessmentsIn Ohio beginning in 2014, state high stakes standardized testing will be administered online. Online assessments although valuable will require a whole new approach to test taking strategies and instruction. This is also coming at a time of great change in all districts in the state to implement curricula fully aligned with the common core state standards, and the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System which are still relatively new to teachers and administrators. Both are increasing the amount of pressure to perform that hinges on many factors ranging from teaching ability and instructional practice, to progress monitoring, to student achievement data accounting for half of a teacher's professional evaluation from a district. Below are several points to consider implementing this fall with respect to screen reading and technology which impacts the upcoming year of testing.
Screen Reading, Technology Instructional Strategies
1. Find an online Common Core based teaching resource and commit to presenting content from it on your smart board or using a projector at least twice per week. Websites like McGraw Hill CCSS are common core aligned and easy to navigate so that part of your lesson can be presented whole group and then a practice piece can be assigned and printed or completed on a computer and emailed to you. It is important that as instructors, we take the time to explain the way we navigate through the page or lesson making note of side margins and site maps, and what we know we should pay attention to on the screen.
One of the most glaring issues students may have could be the use of a "split screen" interface. Much of the content may be presented on the left hand side of the screen with its own scroll bar, while the actual questions to be answered are on the right. Students may have trouble with the awareness that the left side of the screen is the information that could help them to answer the questions on the right.
2. Content vocabulary may be a challenge. The students may be presented with reading selections about very specific terms and vocabulary, especially in nonfiction selections. As a teacher, know the vocabulary terms in the common core for your grade level before you start the year and if your district-mandated curricula doesn't address the comprehension and pronunciation of the terms, be prepared to supplement. Teach, reteach, and reinforce context clues. We may not be able to tell them what a word says, but if we've taught them how to guess what it means, it may be the difference between a 399 and a 400.
3. Students will most likely have many questions that require them to "click and drag" the answers into graphic organizers and many extended response and short answer questions which require them to type a complete and competent answer. The typing is going to be a real time killer, especially for those kids whom we know want to do well and are very meticulous. Get your hands on a good website or training cd rom for your class computer time that allows them practice with basic keyboarding. Try these free typing games and tests
To view information on the Ohio Common Core State Standards and the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System, visit The Ohio Department of Education Website.