The Memory Ability Test: An alternative way of testing, scoring and analysis

Year: 1996

Author: Leow, Gad H. P., Wong, Lily Y. S.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Since the first Apple computer found its way into our schools, the availability and use of the computer in education have undergone rapid changes that have a major impact on pupils, teachers, and the educational process. While the potential for direct instruction by computer is increasingly making itself felt, progress is also being made in another area where computer serves as a tool for testing.

Starting from 1993, most Singapore secondary schools are equipped with 40 or more IBM compatible computers. This opens up the possibility of testing a class of 40 pupils at the same instance.

The objective of computer-based testing (CBT) is to collect and process information to enable the teachers to obtain immediate knowledge and provide prompt feedback to their pupils. The focus of this demonstration is on the effectiveness of a computer-based Memory Ability Test. It includes the appropriate use of a number of variables such as personalized feedback, intuitive screen design, the effective utilization of color, immediate scoring, database storage, and the like.

While each of these variables is important, the interaction between computer and the testee may be one of the most important aspects of effective computer-based testing. As computer has infinite patience while the testee tries to recall what has been flashed on the screen just awhile ago, forgetting plays a smaller part than retrieval which is the variable to be measured and analysed.