Thursday, July 7, 2005

Testing Students for Their Internet IQ

California State University and some colleges are working with Educational Testing Service (ETS) to create a test to evaluate Internet intelligence. The test will measure whether students can find online information and then verify if it is reliable. The test will also try to evaluate if the students know how to properly use and credit the material.

California State University realized that while students are comfortable with instant-messaging and downloading MP3 files, they're less comfortable using technology in ways that require real critical thinking.

Basically, while students may be tech-savvy, it doesn't necessarily mean that they have a high Internet IQ.

Lorie Roth, assistant vice chancellor of academic programs at California State University feels the test will help the university find out if students "are lacking some skills that educated people are expected to have."

Hopefully an analysis of the test results will help design remedial programs for students with low Internet IQ and address the "click, copy and paste" approach to papers and homework.

Read the full report here.

The issue here is not new -- it's just shifted to a new technological context. It's the age old issue of students being unable to make out which book (of the many) in a library is important for a topic. Students need to be taught skills that'll enable them to make these judgements on their own, rather than relying on teachers to make these decisions for them -- students have to learn to think "critically."

In India, in mainstream education, where spoon feeding of notes and the easy availability of (sub-standard) guides is the norm, students still have a long way to go before they learn to think for themselves.

I think our educators and students too need a similar test.


Antonio Saccoccio said...

Are you a teacher?
Antonio (Italy)

mandar talvekar said...

hello Antonio,
Visited your blog. . . unfortuantely I don't understand Italian (I am assuming it's in Italian).
I was a teacher (in the tradtional sense of the term) earlier. I used to teach english literature and allied subjects in college.
Today I continue to teach by writing content and designing for e-learning programs.