Journal article

Assessment in the time of COVID-19: Understanding patterns of student disengagement during remote low-stakes testing

June 2022

Published in:

Educational Assessment, 27(2), 136-151, DOI: 10.1080/10627197.2022.2087621

By: Steven Wise, Megan Kuhfeld, John Cronin


The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on K-12 education. Most schools transitioned to remote instruction, and some used remote testing to assess student learning. Remote testing, however, is less controlled than in-school testing, leading to concerns regarding test-taking engagement. This study compared the disengagement of students remotely administered an adaptive interim assessment in spring 2020 with their disengagement on the assessment administered in-school during fall 2019. Results showed that disengagement gradually increased across grade level. This pattern was not meaningfully different between the two testing contexts, with the exception of results for American Indian/Alaska Native students, who showed higher disengagement under remote testing. In addition, the test’s engagement feature – which automatically paused the test event of a disengaged student and notified the test proctor – had a consistently positive impact whether the proctor was in the same room as the student or proctoring was done remotely.

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This article was published outside of NWEA. The full text can be found at the link above.

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