OWL Blog

Bethel Park School District is using the OWL TMS for World Language Testing

PITTSBURGH, PA (December 17, 2015) - OWL Testing Software is proud to announce that the Bethel Park School District is now using the OWL Test Management System (TMS). OWL Testing Software is a premier provider of complete, Web-based test management for the building, delivering, rating, and reporting of computerized assessments. The Bethel Park School District is located in Western Pennsylvania just south of Pittsburgh and has current enrollment in excess of 4,000 students.

Bethel Park will use the OWL TMS to build and deliver world language testing including simulated oral proficiency interviews (SOPI). The district will use OWL to test students at the middle and high school levels who are studying Spanish, French, German and Latin. Because Bethel Park has selected the hosted version of the Web-based TMS, there is no additional hardware or software to install. That means the district was able to roll out the technology to their instructors immediately. Language teachers are currently learning to use the software by building their own customized online activities and some have already started delivering practice exams to students.

Many school districts choose the OWL TMS because it offers flexibility in assessment creation. Educators often express frustration with prepackaged computerized activities because they do not adequately reflect the current learning objectives. With OWL, teachers are not restricted by pre-defined tests typically provided by textbook providers. Instead, they can build customized activities that are responsive to current classroom requirements. Additionally, because OWL is accessed over the internet using secure logins, there is more flexibility around test delivery. Online assessments can be delivered to the students where they learn. High stakes testing no longer need be confined to a dedicated language lab.

The OWL TMS also gives school districts a way to realize efficiencies and consistencies in their assessments. For example, OWL’s copying and sharing features allow the task of content building to be spread among instructors. And this content sharing is not restricted by language. With OWL’s target language feature, instructors teaching different languages can share activities by simply uploading their own target language audio prompts. Once created, content is stored in an online item bank. This allows instructors to reuse, and if needed, refine testing activities year after year. Administrators like these features because they improve test building efficiency and create consistent assessment items over time and across languages. Furthermore, results data can easily be retrieved from the OWL data warehouse, enabling instructors and administrators to evaluate overall program performance from year to year, and from language to language.

The OWL TMS offers benefits to students as well. OWL captures and stores digital versions of each student’s oral responses and creates an electronic portfolio. This can be a powerful way to demonstrate and motivate student performance over their entire academic career. What's more many leading colleges and universities use the OWL Test Management System for placement testing. This means that high school students who are familiar with the interface have an advantage when taking those tests.

 

"School districts in Pittsburgh and across the country have had proven success using the OWL Test Management System to manage all aspects of their online assessments including high stakes world language testing," according to OWL Testing Software Managing Member, Chris Dalessandri. "Our users like that fact that OWL puts control back in the hands of the educators. And once their test content is developed, they find the OWL TMS is an extremely efficient way to evaluate their students using the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview format. We look forward to Bethel Park students and teachers realizing those same benefits."

 

About OWL Testing Software
OWL Testing Software is a leading provider of enterprise-level test management systems to academia, business, and government organizations. For more than 15 years, the OWL Test Management System has been the proven online assessment solution to some of the world’s finest organizations. Built as a Web-based solution for test creation, administration, and management; the OWL Test Management System is a flexible online test builder that can be applied to any situation. With OWL you can easily incorporate multimedia to create items that assess all four communication skills – speaking, listening, reading and writing. OWL is available as licensed software and as a hosted solution to meet the needs of any global organization concerned with enhancing the assessment process and improving outcomes.

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