How the Internet Will Help Large-Scale Assessment Reinvent Itself


  • Randy Elliot Bennett Educational Testing Service



Computer Assisted Testing, Educational Change, Internet, State Programs, Technological Advancement, Test Construction, Test Use, Testing Programs


Large-scale assessment in the United States is undergoing enormous pressure to change. That pressure stems from many causes. Depending upon the type of test, the issues precipitating change include an outmoded cognitive-scientific basis for test design; a mismatch with curriculum; the differential performance of population groups; a lack of information to help individuals improve; and inefficiency. These issues provide a strong motivation to reconceptualize both the substance and the business of large-scale assessment. At the same time, advances in technology, measurement, and cognitive science are providing the means to make that reconceptualization a reality. The thesis of this paper is that the largest facilitating factor will be technological, in particular the Internet. In the same way that it is already helping to revolutionize commerce, education, and even social interaction, the Internet will help revolutionize the business and substance of large-scale assessment.


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Author Biography

Randy Elliot Bennett, Educational Testing Service

Randy Bennett is Distinguished Presidential Appointee at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and service in educational measurement. Dr. Bennett began his employment at ETS in 1979. Since the 1980's, he has conducted research on the applications of technology to testing and teaching, on new forms of assessment, and on the assessment of students with disabilities. Dr. Bennett's work on the use of new technology to improve assessment has included research on presenting and scoring open-ended test items via computer, on multimedia in testing, and on generating test items automatically. Dr. Bennett is the editor or author of seven books and many other publications including a widely-cited monograph, "Reinventing Assessment: Speculations on the Future of Large-Scale Educational Testing" ( He has made presentations on this and related topics throughout the world. Dr. Bennett is currently leading a series of studies designed to lay the groundwork for introducing computerized testing to the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress.




How to Cite

Bennett, R. E. (2001). How the Internet Will Help Large-Scale Assessment Reinvent Itself. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 9, 5.