Coronavirus Impacts on Today’s Educational Assessments

Coronavirus Impacts on Today's Educational Assessment

Drew and Chad recently co-authored an article in a special issue of Educational Measurement: Issues and practices. The entire issue was focused on the coronavirus and the events of 2020 and how it could impact the landscape of educational assessment. Their article (Your Guess is as Good as Ours) reviewed how some of these events have impacted the professional credentialing field, and the lessons that could apply to educational assessment.

One immediate and widely witnessed response has been the introduction of remote proctoring for many credentialing programs. While organizations are rapidly switching to remote proctoring, there are multiple issues that threaten the security and equitability of the exams. One of the most critical issues that needs to be addressed is the fairness and equity associated with may of the “bring your own device” models used with remote proctoring. For many test candidates, and students, even if the program works to ensure that all candidates have a baseline level of electronics, such as purchased laptops, many other inequities can still arise, such as home bandwidth and workspace options.

Another issue that has potential long-term consequences within the professional credentialing community is the temporary waiver of some requirements for obtaining the license or certificate. The waivers are giving the outward appearance that the licensure process is not a critical part of the mission of public protection, nor is it a verification of competency. Drew and Chad argue that in these cases, programs need to be responsive but not reactionary to the changes in the credentialing and licensure industry and not jeopardize long-term credibility and validity for short-term needs.

In the education sector, it appears that there may be some support for moving away large-scale end-of-year standardized assessments. Instead, the path forward could move in the direction of a more formative approach, with multiple test opportunities tailored to individual students. For both educational and credentialing programs, it is essential that any shifts or changes are not treated in isolation or solely within the delivery section of the organization. The changes must be reflected in all aspects, from blueprint design, item development, and reporting.

To see the entire issue and review the entire special issue, please click on the link below.


Buckendahl, C.W. and Wiley, A. (2020). Your Guess is as Good as Ours. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 49-52

Please view Chad and Drew's paper in its entirely here.