Student assessment plays a vital and growing role in primary and secondary education today. The days of laboriously handwriting test answers in little blue books to be interpreted by graders are drawing to a close. Measuring how well students and districts are performing relative to state educational standards is now being accomplished through online testing, both summative and formative. Often all students in an entire school or district will undergo simultaneous testing using online devices. The move to online testing accompanies the growing use of digital content in education as an important means to improve educational outcomes. Two national consortia have developed online tests related to many state curriculum standards: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Both have now completed field testing. Below are the critical technology issues that school districts must address as they implement class and school-wide online assessment. Solving these IT barriers will lead to smooth online testing on the way to achieving successful learning for all students.
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