BC On-line Journal Focuses on Education, Technology

BC On-line Journal Focuses on Education, Technology

Boston College's first entry in the world of on-line journals offers a new perspective on educational testing and assessment, its founders say, by focusing on the impact of computer technology on teaching and learning.

The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment [www.jtla.org] is a peer-reviewed, scholarly Web-based publication designed to provide an interdisciplinary forum for sharing information about initiatives that combine technology, learning theory and assessment. It also is intended as an easily accessible resource for researchers, educators, policy makers, the media and others.

JTLA articles explore the increasing and diverse roles of computers in society and how these uses will inevitably impact testing and assessment; the feasibility of using computers to score student responses to open-ended items on state tests, and the use of computers to measure student understanding and learning by examining the decisions and tools they use as they solve complex problems.

The journal is housed jointly in two Lynch School of Education research centers, the Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative - a not-for-profit research group that works with schools, educational institutions and businesses on research and development related to technology and assessment - and its Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy, one of the nation's foremost testing and assessment research organizations.

JTLA Editor Michael Russell, a senior research associate at CSTEEP, says the journal was created in response to two pressing issues: the need for new approaches to assessment that are based on contemporary models of learning and that capitalize on the powers of computer-based technologies, and the need to more fully examine the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

The JTLA differs from other journals in the field in that it focuses more narrowly on practice than on policy, the better to increase the rigor of technology research and to advance testing and assessment, said Russell, who is the author of a nationally-noted study of the comparative performance of students taking standardized tests using computers vs. pencils and paper.

"By advancing the development of new methods, tools, and approaches that apply technology to learning and assessment, the JTLA offers emergent perspectives and views for researchers, assessment and test developers, cognitive scientists, educational technology developers, teachers, school leaders, policy makers and test users," Russell said.

-Patricia Delaney


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