Gender differences in computerised and conventional educational tests

Horne, Joanna (2007). Gender differences in computerised and conventional educational tests. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23(1) pp. 47–55.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2007.00198.x

Abstract

Research has demonstrated girls to outperform boys on conventional literacy tests. The present studies concern gender differences on computerised educational tests. Seventy‐one children were tested using LASS Secondary and a set of seven conventional measures. No significant gender differences were found on any of the LASS Secondary modules, although females did outperform males on a conventional spelling test. A further 126 pupils were tested on computerised and paper versions of the LASS Secondary reading, spelling and reasoning modules. No gender differences were found on the computerised versions, but there were significant differences on the paper versions of the reading and spelling modules favouring females. In a third study, 45 children were administered computerised and paper versions of the LASS Junior reading and spelling modules. There were no significant differences on the computerised modules, but girls performed significantly higher than boys on the paper version of the spelling module. It is possible that computerised assessment does not detect the established gender effect due to differences between males and females in motivation, computer experience and competitiveness. Further large‐scale studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

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