Keystones Moving Online


Rocco, Staff Writer

As the 2019 school year continues to drag on, the annual Keystone testing has started to commence. Next time around, some important changes will have taken place to some of the subject testing.  In the past, students have endured the regular old paper and pencil test that has been taking place since 2012.

This year, or possibly the next, some students attending Quakertown Community School District could be taking the test online. “Thank god,” ninth grader Owen Jaegers says about potentially taking them online. “I hate taking paper and pencil tests, computer tests are just far easier to do, and also can be faster.”

The Keystone for Biology this year is making the move to the computers this year. Some students, including Owen Jaegers, thinks that it is a great move to transfer into the new age of the world.  “Basically everything we do in school nowadays is online,” he explains. “I think changing the test to the way we do everything on is beneficial to us taking the test.”

It certainly makes sense to modify the way we take part in the standardized test considering most; if not all subject material, students do in class takes place online. However, some potential drawbacks could take place because of this change. “I think moving the test to computer could cause more of a distraction,” “Some tests online don’t allow students to highlight text, cross out answers, or even skip problems to come back to them.”

That has been the main concern for students that are taking the test. Manipulating the way everyone has taken the test in the past seems very illogical and unreasonable, but after the first two year, better results should be coming. “I think after all of us get used to it we will improve with them,” he states. “At first it may be challenging, but in the long haul it will probably be beneficial.”

A study ran by Future Ed showed that students scored much lower in the subject testing for English Language Arts. It likely has some correlation to do with the formatting of long passages in the reading section. Test takers said they did not favor the way the stories/articles display on the screen, citing the way the section looked endless.

Multiple people said this caused them not to feel encouraged to continue reading the entirety of the passage. “That definitely makes sense to me,” Freshmen Blake Koehler states. “Reading some of those passages can be very tedious, and the way it looks on computer makes some of us to just skim and scan.”  Outside of testing for English, scores remained the same or improved. This should fulfill their need for results to continue to provide the test online.

Despite the possible increasing success in scores, there are some potential dangers in shifting the test to a completely new universe.  If connected to an online source improperly, there could always be a risk for a student’s results to be hacked. Similar to rumors about what happened during the 2016 election.  On top of the possibility of the test being hacked, there is a chance that some students may have issues saving their responses correctly, causing them to lose all of their progress.

The future is upon is. The regular old pencil paper test is extinct as schools and states transition into the new state of the world, technology.