Should MN colleges require computer-skill placement tests?

How good are students at using these?

A commentary in City College News, the student paper of Minneapolis Community and Technical College, says the college needs to assess students’ computer skills before they start taking classes.

It argues they need to overcome any technology gap stemming from their age, income or culture if they are to succeed in their studies:

… Older students may simply have never seen the need for such gadgets. Some are poor, or have been homeless; computers are hard to come by when you’re in poverty and on the street. Some are coming from nations with less technological infrastructure, and may have had only the most fleeting of acquaintances with computers.

… They struggle to set up their email accounts, get lost in the labyrinth of MCTC’s strange online infrastructure and multiple account set-up (which can be frustrating even for the technologically initiated), and slog through word processing programs they’ve never seen before, making errors they would never make in the hand-written form.

I have a feeling that’s the situation at many other colleges as well.

Read the full commentary here.

  • http://twitter.com/jrolson1013 John Olson

    No. It would become an additional cost, equipment would have to be purchased, maintained and upgraded, and provisions would have to be made to administer this “test” to persons who need adaptive technology. This would be right down there with the wasted effort (and money)years ago in Minnesota that required emissions testing of vehicles.