TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario's Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) is starting a multi-year project to move its provincial student assessments from paper-and-pencil to computer-based.
EQAO will start with just one assessment—the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) written by students in Grade 10.
The current 2014–2015 school year will be a year of consultation, research, analyses, field tests and trial runs. If all goes as planned, the first students to have an opportunity to write the OSSLT online will be those scheduled to write it in the 2015–2016 school year.
Having students write tests online is only one component of EQAO's efforts to modernize the provincial assessment program. Other aspects include a more extensive use of technology for test creation and scoring.
- The purpose of this move is ultimately to:
- bring the provincial assessments in line with the digital world we live in and the digital classroom that plays an increasing part in education;
- make the assessments more engaging for students by allowing them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a number of different ways;
- broaden the evidence EQAO can provide about student learning and achievement;
- offer assessments with built-in accommodations for students who need them;
- provide schools with more flexibility in scheduling the assessments and simplify the logistics around administration;
- improve the consistency of assessment administration across Ontario schools while increasing assessment security and, in certain cases, providing the results more quickly;
- leverage technology to enhance the creation, delivery and reporting of EQAO assessments to stay current with modern large-scale assessment practices; and
- reduce the environmental impact of Ontario's provincial assessment program
Some benefits won't be fully realized until later in the transition
- Throughout the transition, paper versions of the test will remain available for schools that are not yet ready for an online version of the test.
"Like so many other areas in life, technology has opened up new opportunities for different, more sophisticated, more engaging student assessments. It's important that we bring the provincial assessments in line with the digital world we live in and the digital classroom that is an increasing part of education."
— Bruce Rodrigues, CEO, EQAO
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EQAO's assessments measure student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to Ontario Curriculum expectations. The resulting data provide accountability and a gauge of quality in Ontario's publicly funded education system. By providing this important evidence about learning, EQAO acts as a catalyst for increasing the success of Ontario students.
The objective and reliable results from EQAO's assessments complement the information obtained from classroom and other assessments to provide students, parents, teachers and administrators with a clear and comprehensive picture of student achievement and a basis for targeted improvement planning at the individual, school, school board and provincial levels. EQAO helps build capacity for the appropriate use of data by providing resources that educators, parents, policy-makers and others in the education community can use to improve learning and teaching. EQAO distributes an individual report to each student who writes an assessment, and posts school, school board and provincial results on its Web site.
SOURCE: Education Quality and Accountability Office
For further information: and to arrange interviews, please contact : Angele Dufresne, Communications Officer, 416-212-7047