DNP Develops Tablet Terminal-Based Digital Classroom-Test System Cooperation from Microsoft Japan

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed a digital classroom-test system facilitating the use of tablet terminal-based teaching materials in place of paper.

Many current classroom-test systems are based on documentation prepared using Microsoft Word, and DNP and Microsoft Japan have cooperated to develop methods for switching these to tablet terminal-based tests.

Prefectural high schools in Fukuoka Pref. have decided to adopt this system, and field tests will commence in March, with a view to adoption by over 10 public primary and junior high schools throughout Japan. Alongside experimental teaching materials prepared as classroom-tests by teachers, several educational publishing companies, including Keirinkan Co., Ltd., Suken Shuppan and Kyoiku-Shuppan Co., Ltd. also provide schools with classroom-test teaching materials compatible with the system. It is also planned to use original teaching materials prepared by local authorities, to ascertain academic trends among children and pupils.

[Development Background]

Currently, in Japanese schools teachers attempt to ascertain their pupil' s degree of understanding throughout daily classes, and set classroom-tests to reflect the appropriate class guidance. In practical terms, however, it is difficult to ascertain in detail how far each pupil has understood the lessons, or which parts they are missing. And as a result, in many cases the tendency is for the teacher to rely on their intuition to judge overall understanding.

In addition, it has been difficult to use paper-based tests in time-constrained classroom lesson situations. This despite the fact that such classroom-tests provide valuable input that can be used in lessons, such as example answers or as the keys to solutions for producing the correct answers in just a short time.

At present, we are seeing the increased adoption of tablet terminals for pupil use at primary and junior high schools, and it is planned to provide one terminal per pupil at schools by 2020. Tablet terminals are currently used primarily for research-based study, such as viewing materials and internet based projects. They are also used in collaborative learning, whereby pupils write their thoughts on tablet terminal pages, and can share a variety of ideas with their classmates. Alternatively, tablet terminals are also used in drills, such as multiple choice problems and dictation classes used with kanji (Chinese characters). But, there is almost no record of tablet terminals being used to test pupil' s level of understanding via classroom-tests.

In answer to these needs, DNP has developed a digital classroom-test system that by using tablet terminals to set quizzes, allows teachers to ascertain the process followed by pupils in making their answers, and facilitates the easy collation of test results. And by providing the system with a marking function for teachers for use with essay questions, where it is difficult to use automatic scoring methods, it is now possible to ascertain the pupil' s level of understanding from the answering process. The newly developed digital classroom-test system also makes it possible to manage the normal learning conditions as data. This in turn facilitates the use of the system to review standard instruction contents and their relationship with academic progress, and learning condition-based pupil assessments.

[Digital Classroom-Test System]

The new system can be used in the following way:

1.  By creating original teaching materials in Word, then setting scoring parameters and correct answers on their own terminal, teachers can prepare digital classroom-test contents, and using the in-house file transfer environment, can distribute test questions to pupils.  

2.  Pupils directly answer the test questions distributed to their tablet terminals.

3.  Answer contents, and the answering process are saved in Word, and submitted to the teacher using the in-house file transfer environment.

4.  Teachers then aggregate the recovered answers on their terminal, and are able to confirm via Excel, each pupil' s total marks along with the percentage of correct answers for each question along with the time taken to answer.

The features of the new system are as follows:

  • It is possible for teachers to make use not only of their original classroom-test contents on their tablet terminals, but also of materials created by local authorities and educational publishing companies.
  • Marking functions for essay type questions have been enhanced, and it is possible to ascertain the detailed level of understanding that it has not been possible to achieve for multiple choice problems so far.
  • By using the video replay function, it is possible to ascertain the process by which a problem was answered. As a result, it is also possible to understand the points or places that the pupil stumbled, helping to facilitate more focused guidance in the future.
  • It is also possible to project pupils' answer examples on an electronic blackboard, and use them as teaching materials.
  • Teachers can view a list of answers for all pupils on their own terminals. The new system is also compatible with functions that facilitate visual scoring of essay type problems where automatic scoring is difficult, and by using the video replay function makes it possible to confirm the pupils answering process.
  • It is possible to upload pupils' answers to the teacher' s tablet, via direct inputting into tablet terminals, or using a digital pen to input test answers to tests on dedicated paper.  

This new system has been developed in conjunction with Zetta Linx Inc., a company engaged in the development and marketing of digital systems. The DNP classroom-test system will enter into full scale marketing from March, 2015. Sales will be conducted by Daiwabo Information System Co., Ltd., a major sales agent for tablet terminals and computers for educational purposes.

 

Current classroom-test image (left) / Test image using the newly developed system (right) 

[Pricing]

License: Open pricing (free license for school use)

  • Does not include Windows of Office software fees

By using licensing programs for educational purposes offered by Microsoft (in an OVS-ES and EES format) it may be possible to install and use Office products for use by pupil terminals at no extra cost. For further information please visit the Microsoft in Education website. (Japanese version only)

http://www.microsoft.com/ja-jp/education/

[Looking Ahead]

DNP will market the newly developed system mainly to schools and local authorities that have previously adopted tablet terminals or are planning to do so, through associated companies from March 2015. We aim for adoption by 1,500 schools in FY 2015.

In cooperation with educational material production companies, it is also planned to increase teaching materials that are compatible with the digital classroom-test system, and promote the development of an optimal digital testing environment at educational institutions which are seeing increased adoption of tablet terminals.

 

* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.