Metacognitive Test Taking for the Digital Age: How Do We Prepare Our Students for Professional Certification Exams?

Concurrent Session 4

Session Materials

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Brief Abstract

When transitioning from traditional paper and pencil to an online assessment, students need to know how to adjust their test taking strategies for successful outcomes.  Encouraging the use of effective test taking strategies for online assessments can greatly benefit students in pre-professional programs that require an online certification examination.


Celia is an Instructional Designer, Sr. for Academic Innovation within the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University, where she works closely with faculty developing face-to-face, flipped and online courses, supporting faculty and course management in the LMS, providing workshops and collaborating with media specialists on new and evolving projects. She has over 10 years of experience in a variety of roles in education starting with K-12 classroom education and mentoring of educational technology instructors prior to moving into higher education and instructional design. She believes that technology is a tool for learning, prepares students for their future and should not be used for 'technology sake' but in a conscious manner.

Extended Abstract

As we move further into the digital age, we are seeing more assessments take advantage of technologies and the efficiency they have to offer.  One such advantage has been the movement from the traditional face-to-face classroom environment to the online classroom environment.  New ideas for delivering content, promoting participation and developing assessments are naturally progressing with these changes.  One consideration that needs some attention is the use of skills students practice to be an effective test taker.  Students in K-8 are first exposed to strategies they can use to become better test takers for standardized exams like highlight key words, cross out the answers that are not possible, circle the question word etc.  Students continue to use these strategies as they move from secondary education to higher education.  Many students then move on to professions that require a certification exam, such as the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for nurses.  Similar to traditional academic assessments, these types of examinations have made the move to an online, computer-based approach as well.

How does moving to computer-based assessments change the way students should prepare for online examinations?  Can a student use the same test taking strategies they used for a paper and pencil exam?  How can faculty help better prepare students?  We will focus on these questions as we take a look at useful paper and pencil test taking strategies and how they can or cannot be effectively adapted for an online computer-based environment.  Participants will be invited to share their experiences and how they have been encouraging the use of effective test taking strategies to fit the online computer-based environment.