An Investigation of the Impact of Computer Skills on Test-Takers' Writing Processes and Scores in the TOEFL iBT Writing Section

Investigator:

Funding Program:

Education Testing Service (ETS)

Funding Amount:

$105,855

The study investigated the role of keyboarding skills in performance on a computer-based second language (L2) writing test, the TOEFL iBT writing section. Specifically, the study examined and compared the scores and writing activities and processes of L2 learners with different levels of keyboarding skills (low vs. high) and English language proficiency (low vs. high) when responding to the independent and integrated writing tasks in TOEFL iBT. The study addresses an important validity question: Whether and how L2 learners' responses to a computer-based L2 writing test are influenced primarily by task type and learner English language proficiency or by learner keyboarding skills as well. Additionally, the findings provide a better understanding of the influence these individual and contextual factors on L2 learners' performance when writing on the computer in their L2.