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4 State Ed Departments Complete Online Mathematics Assessment Project

Pacific Metrics, in collaboration with state education agencies in North Carolina, Kentucky, New Mexico, and South Carolina, has completed the Online Mathematics Assessment Project (OMAP).

Funded through a United States Department of Education Enhanced Assessment Grant and launched in 2010, "OMAP studied the feasibility of using online assessments that consist entirely of constructed-response and technology-enhanced test items in two courses, grade 7 mathematics and Algebra I, and the reliability and validity of automated scoring," according to information released by Pacific Metrics.

As part of the project, the organizations developed an online assessment aligned with Common Core State Standards that was taken by 9,000 students in the participating states during the spring of 2012, then scored with CRASE (Constructed Response Automated Scoring Engine), from Pacific Metrics.

Test items used in the assessment included:

  • Graphing;
  • Drag-and-drop, which allowed students to match images or "sort and order components of a response," according to news release about the project;
  • Constrained response, which allowed students to click on an answer box to activate an input tool that provided buttons or allowed them to use their keyboards to respond;
  • Table entry, which allowed students to use the constrained response input tool to fill in a table;
  • Free text entry, which allowed students to use their entire keyboard to interface with the answer box; and
  • Mixed, which asked students to use the constrained response tool and free text entry to answer separate parts of a question.

"This study demonstrated that online, automatically scored constructed-response and technology-enhanced mathematics items can be administered in a variety of settings and yield reliable results," said Phoebe Winter, OMAP project manager and executive vice president of education policy at Pacific Metrics. "The administration can be successfully standardized, and students with disabilities and English learners can be accommodated via online or in-person accommodations. The findings will be helpful to state departments of education and the assessment consortia as they design their next-generation assessment systems."

To learn more about OMAP and the results of the initiative, visit pacificmetrics.com/omap.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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