Thursday, July 14, 2005

New test would measure students' Web wisdom

New test would measure students' Web wisdom. I found a link to this CNN article over at KC Tipton's We Interrupt This Broadcast Blog. In essense, the Educational Testing Service is trying to devise a test that will allow for the measurement of Web evaluation skills.

While I admire the approach to this, I wonder if it matters? I truly believe most college students know that some resources are better than others on the Web. In addition, many are quite apt at picking out the better more scholarly resources. They just do not care. Students will usually choose to pick the easiest to find and read resources if the person grading the paper will accept it.

From the site:

Students apply to college online, e-mail their papers to their professors and, when they want to be cheeky, pass notes in class by text-messaging.

But that doesn't necessarily mean they have a high Internet IQ.

"They're real comfortable instant-messaging, downloading MP3 files. They're less comfortable using technology in ways that require real critical thinking," says Teresa Egan of the Educational Testing Service.

Or as Lorie Roth, assistant vice chancellor of academic programs at California State University puts it: "Every single one that comes through the door thinks that if you just go to Google and get some hits -- you've got material for your research paper right there."

That's why Cal State and a number of other colleges are working with ETS to create a test to evaluate Internet intelligence, measuring whether students can locate and verify reliable online information and whether they know how to properly use and credit the material.

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