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So much emphasis and effort is placed upon flashy presentation and delivery, the adventure. Little thought is given to the data collected, or what I see as the treasure. If collected and stored properly, the data gathered by a test management system is a powerful tool that improves learning and outcomes across an organization. Whether you are trying to improve a student’s ability to speak a language, learn a discipline, or if you are trying to find the right employee for your team or certify a candidate's knowledge; the data is critical to your success. Your ability to look at the data collected over the long term is the key to quantitatively improve your outcomes and reach your goals.
Ten years ago, the co-founders of OWL Testing Software knew that they were looking at a proposition that could change the face language learning. The small Pittsburgh-based software firm was approached by the world languages coordinator at the largest metropolitan public school district in southwestern Pennsylvania with a request to create a new kind of computer-based assessment tool. They were looking to accomplish more than simply turning their well-worn standardized tests into a computerize document -- simply replacing the pencil with a mouse click.
Time and time again our customers tell us what they like most about OWL Testing Software is it flexibility. Unlike most pre-packaged language learning systems, OWL can be applied to a multitude of language learning scenarios across a variety of organizations. And OWL’s development team is constantly working, in collaboration with our customers and partners, to find even more ways to increase language learning around the world.
Read about the state of computer-rated speaking assessments | Even among the most knowledgeable language instruction professionals, the misconception lingers that computers can evaluate and rate communicative speech and writing samples. While a great deal of technology can be applied to speaking assessments, human speech is very complex and computers are not yet capable of understanding it.
The University of Utah Assesses Student Oral Proficiency at Home and Abroad | Read how the University of Utah used OWL Testing Software to gain the valuable oral proficiency assessment data they needed to measure the communicative abilities of their students who spent their summer abroad. These students, who spent five weeks in the summer in one of eight foreign countries, were able to eliminate two semesters of study in the target language. Using their testing data, the university was able to justify the value of this program.
Help motivate language students by getting them to speak the language sooner. | Students tell us what they want to learn—we just have to listen to them! Most don’t say, “I want to learn to do grammar drills” — or read or write a new language. They say they want to learn to SPEAK the language! This doesn’t mean that reading, writing, and grammar shouldn’t be taught—but it does mean that teachers and programs should emphasize SPEAKING if they want to motivate their students!