Although midterms have long been over, standardized tests are still relevant as ever, especially at Malden High School, where Mastery Connect is becoming more relevant. The midterms were taken via Mastery Connect, a program which replaces the scantron sheets and physical tests.
The switch to Mastery Connect was a decision made by the superintendent over the summer. Abbey Dick, the humanities director, noted that the job of the “directors was to make sure that every teacher had his/her test online.” This, according to Dick, was the work of two months. Although there were some glitches the first day, in which not all computers had the internet blocked, “the rest of the week went pretty smoothly.” “We anticipated that there were going to be some glitches,” says Dick. For some of the students this was the first time taking a test like this, online, but for others, this was not new. Mastery Connect will be used for grades 6-12 for both midterms and upcoming finals.
Many students had mixed feelings about the midterms and their new platform. Sophomore Santiago Portillo thought that the platform “made things harder for most people”, and called the change of platforms “unnecessary”. Seniors, who have taken midterms and finals on paper in the past years, also commented on the change. Stephen Deng, a senior, took six of his midterms online and said that they “went smoothly for the most part”, but “prefers paper and pencil.” Senior Allyson Kummins took 3 of her midterms online. Kummins believes that the midterms went “better than [she’d] thought it would”. Kummins was excited to find out about the switch, because she says she has “messy handwriting” but that was not addressed, as only the multiple-choice questions were taken online. Kummins “definitely likes paper better though.”
Like expected, there was some positive outcomes as well as some problems, that arose with the switch to an online platform. During finals, students and teachers will both see if there are the same outcomes as during the midterms.