Digital Literacy | News

Online Tool Gauges Student Computer Skills

A textbook publishing company has released an online program to help schools measure the basic computing skills of their students. Labyrinth Learning recently launched eLab Skills Evaluation Tool (SET), which tests users' understanding of computer concepts and use of the Internet, email, Microsoft Office applications, and other areas. The instructor can customize the test by selecting questions from a repository, creating his or her own questions, and modifying existing questions.

eLab SET includes functions for creating, administering, and evaluating computer skills before, during, and after coursework. Features include:

  • A question library with multiple choice, matching, sequence, and simulation questions;
  • A realistic testing environment that emulates the computing program being tested on;
  • Feedback and reporting, for tracking students as individuals and as part of a group; and
  • The ability to scramble questions or randomly select questions for each student, to provide fraud prevention.

"Students who lack basic computer skills struggle in standard computing courses and in online courses. eLab SET offers a quick and accurate way of confirming whether students possess the skills needed to succeed, and allows institutions and training centers to match them with the best course for their skill level," said Brian Favro, founder of the company. "And after the course, students can be assessed to measure the improvement in their skills."

Labyrinth's higher education customers include Suffolk County Community College in New York and San Bernardino Adult School in Southern California.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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