SOURCE: EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE

Educational Testing Service

March 24, 2010 12:07 ET

Update: Report: School Leaders Interested in Learning About Open Source Platform for Internet-Based Testing

State Assessments Increasingly Delivered Online

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - March 24, 2010) - Educational Testing Service (ETS) today released a study conducted by Grunwald Associates LLC and Education Development Center, Inc., with support from ETS, which found a strong interest among education leaders in learning more about how an online open source platform would operate in the context of state accountability testing.

An Open Source Platform for Internet-based Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders' Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open Source Environment synthesizes the findings from over 80 interviews with state assessment and technology leaders (representing 27 states) and national education opinion leaders (representing both public and private organizations). The study found that more and more states are rapidly moving toward Internet-based high-stakes testing, and that there was interest in understanding how an open source platform might work in an online assessment environment.

"Open source software is being used in both higher education and K-12 today, though not for high-stakes assessments. Given the right circumstances, as revealed in this study, we believe it is an option for the future and could be used in the K-12 education community to a great advantage," ETS Senior Vice President and General Manager, K-12 Assessment Programs, John Oswald, explains. "Not just for assessment, although this research is specifically around that idea, but as an innovative way of using technology -- we are aware of open source technology and naturally wanted to explore its benefits."

The study suggested that while education leaders were intrigued by the idea of open source, most do not yet know enough about the intricacies of an open source platform for them to make an informed decision about using it for Internet-based assessment. More information is needed, said study participants, on possible hidden costs, security, support and adequate expertise at the state level. Interestingly, the study found that quality of product was ultimately far more important to educators than its cost. In addition, state leaders felt that before their state could commit to an open source platform, they would need to be sure that others will stand with them, according the report.

An Open Source Platform for Internet-based Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders' Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open Source Environment examines some of the study's key findings in the following areas:

  • Perceptions of online assessment
  • Interest in an open source platform for online assessment
  • Collaboration on an online open source platform

In addition, the report provides case studies on what two states are already doing with online and open source-based assessment, as well as observations about what the overall findings may mean.

An Open Source Platform for Internet-based Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders' Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open Source Environment can be downloaded for free at http://grunwald.com/pdfs/Grunwald_Open_Source_Public_Report_v3.pdf.

About ETS
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English-language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

About Grunwald Associates LLC
Grunwald Associates LLC is a full-service research and consulting firm that provides guidance and insights on technology use and attitudes among educators, students, and parents. Grunwald research has helped define the education and family technology markets, and has been called the "gold standard" in the industry. Grunwald Associates also works directly with major companies and organizations, providing competitive analysis, quantitative surveys, qualitative research, and advisory group management. More information is available at http://www.grunwald.com.

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