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This paper describes the approach of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) to ensuring that all students have basic competence in computer use. It describes the development and implementation of the UTA computer proficiency examination. UTA students currently have two options. They may take the computer proficiency course designated in their major department or they may take the UTA Computer Proficiency Examination. The test is a performance-based, or authentic, assessment that is a modified combination of product-oriented and portfolio assessment. Rather than measuring a students ability to memorize keystrokes and pulldown menus, it is a measure of a students ability to use the tools available in order to perform meaningful, real-life tasks, although in a proctored environment that makes it an abbreviated version of a portfolio. The five test components are: word processing, spreadsheets, Internet research and evaluation, e-mail, and online library use. A student who fails a component may take it again 6 weeks later. A small student survey (n=22) has indicated that students generally felt prepared for the test and found that it tested content they expected. (SLD)

Descriptors: College Students, Computer Literacy, Higher Education, Student Evaluation, Test Construction

Autor: Cardell, Cheryl D.; Nickel, Patricia M.


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