This past year educators had to solve how to teach students online. Publishers rose to meet the testing challenges. Still, educators continue to struggle with testing obstacles. Here are tips for publishers to use to beat these testing barriers.
Make it hard to cheat.
Publishers must keep on making tests that enforce student honesty. Publishers may return to old school solutions to beat testing challenges. Tricks like disabling cut-and-paste functions in text blocks work. Course authors might dust off essay questions. They may shelve multiple choice question tests. Likewise, many testing barriers can be beaten by AI fixes.
Be picky about AI.
Even so, publishers need to be choosy where they use AI fixes. They work best in high stakes testing challenges. Proctors must trust sitting in the test seat is the same person registered to test. Identity verification processes work well for remote proctors. Password protected test sessions work with most audiences. Publishers should stay with proven solutions. Random order answering software works. Password protections reassure students and educators the test is secure.
Keep it simple.
At the same, publishers should keep solutions easy. Developers ought to focus on direct solutions, such as question skips. Also, editors can lower the testing hurdles caused by too much tech. Tests with minimum graphics move quickly over shaky wireless networks. Gamification wins with students. Yet too many graphics is a testing challenge. Again, publishers must focus on simple solutions.
Plan to take the heat.
Besides that, publishers should plan for failures. Test fails frustrate both students and educators. Yet, shoddy execution impacts the publisher’s credibility. Publishers should keep on validating that the test works. Likewise, much of the test’s success lies outside the publisher’s control. Still, publishers get the negative review. Editors must keep on improving current solutions. Tests must work across operating systems. Tests must work on mobile devices. Tests must work on wireless networks. Tests must work in proctored rooms. Tests most work on old computers. Publishers need to create test content the school network can handle. Even so, publishers must let educators know the test is reliable.
Make it accessible for all students.
The transition shone a light on testing barriers many students face. Students with disabilities could not sit for tests. Blind students could not see. Hearing-impaired students could not read lips. At-risk students could not connect. Students did not have privacy. Bandwidth was a problem for many students. Publishers must listen to educators. Together, they must find out how to beat these testing challenges. Not only that, they must figure out how to beat these challenges on a budget. Publishers must not look at these testing barriers as impossible to beat.
In sum, publishers can use these testing challenges to spark creativity in their teams. They can listen to educators. Editors can push course authors to design tests that enforce student honesty. Publishers can continue to invest in proven tech solutions. Editors can curtail flashy tech use. Yet, publishers can use AI fixes where they make the most sense. Likewise, publishers can continue partnering with educators to build on what works.