Testing has developed a bad reputation because of the number of standardized tests being required in the United States. But while the sheer number of tests may seem daunting, there are many benefits to testing for both students and teachers.
Tests are a form of summative assessment, an evaluation of student learning at the end of an instructional unit or cycle.
They test student knowledge after a series of learning activities have taken place. The results provide a very detailed picture of each student’s progress since an instructional unit or cycle began.
The many benefits of using testing in the classroom include:
- Shows what a student has learned and retained
- Demonstrates which skills a student can apply to real-world situations
- Pinpoints a student’s strengths
- Identifies a student’s weaknesses
- Indicates how a student performs in relation to their peers
And once test results are collected, it helps both the student and the teacher make critical decisions on how to move forward in the learning process. For example, the student can set personal learning goals and the teacher can differentiate lessons to help the student progress.
And this whole cycle of learning, testing, interpreting results, and making critical decisions is just as important for students in a virtual learning environment as it is for students in a brick-and-mortar classroom.
The question remains, how can virtual teachers administer secure testing in a virtual environment so the test results are beneficial for the student and the teacher?
Testing integrity is an important part of the learning and testing cycle. Without testing integrity the results don’t matter. Testing integrity simply means making sure the correct student is the one testing and that they are not cheating or receiving any unfair guidance while testing.
In a virtual classroom, this means making sure the identification of the student is verified and watching the student to make sure they are not checking a cell phone, looking up answers online, or being coached by someone else in the room.
Testing integrity is the basis of obtaining accurate testing data that can be used to make those critical decisions in the virtual classroom, so companies like Jigsaw Interactive have created secure testing rooms for teachers. These secure testing rooms make it almost impossible for students to receive coaching or answers from parents, siblings or others in the household. They also secure communications with other students so they can swap answers back and forth.
The secure testing rooms offered by Jigsaw Interactive were created with the ease of testing in mind. Teachers can monitor each student simultaneously on one screen, making sure they’re not being coached by others at home. The teacher can have private conversations with a student and others cannot hear. They can also privately chat with students individually to answer questions or provide additional guidance.
The teacher controls any information that might appear in the classroom so students have no way of viewing information that might help give them the answers.
Having to utilize physical rooms to test virtual schools can be very costly and inconvenient. Jigsaw Interactive’s testing rooms are a part of the overall virtual classroom solution so there is no additional cost of testing.
Virtual schools have a variety of needs. These generally include engagement tools, small group learning rooms, testing rooms, the ability to quickly give quizzes during class and many more. Jigsaw Interactive was built specifically for teaching and learning so the focus of Jigsaw is getting the students working so they have hands on learning.