Computer-based vs. Paper-based Writing Tests: A Comparative Study of Test Taking Strategies

Masoud Zoghi, Elnaz Reshadi

Abstract


This study was an attempt to compare the use of test taking strategies in computer-based writing test (CBWT) and paper-based writing test (PBWT) in an Iranian context. To that end, the researchers selected 30 test takers from Payam-Nour University of Shabestar and assigned them into two groups i.e. the CBWT group (n=15) and PBWT group (n=15). The participants in both groups took a writing test and produced verbal reports. Collecting the data, the researchers coded the verbal reports based on Mu's(2005) taxonomy of ESL writing strategies. The result showed that test takers in both groups were similar in the use of top four sub-strategies (i.e. organization, planning, sense of readers and revising). Also, it was known that both groups did not draw on two types of social/affective strategies (resourcing and summarizing) and on one kind of cognitive strategies (summarizing). This study contributes to the language testing field in several ways: (a) by providing insight into individual differences among test takers, and (b) by revealing the importance of test taker differences in different test administration modes. Overall, the findings may be beneficial not only to test-takers but also to test developers and administrators in particular. The conclusions and recommendations for future studies are discussed accordingly.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v1i3.3559

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