Students completing their essays online as part of writing exams will be allowed to use spell check in Oregon, United States. This practice began last Wednesday across the state of Oregon, with spell check being used for the first time during exams. Whilst many students appear to be in favour of this, there are some students who fear that reliance on a spell checker will leave them vulnerable during other exams, where the tool will not be available. Others quite rightly point out that spell check will not detect grammatical errors or spelling errors of similar words with different meanings, such as ’their’ or ’there’.
English teacher at Parkrose High, Nerissa Ediza, believes that the use of spell check in exams will help students who are otherwise good writers to pass, such as pupils who are dyslexic. Some schools however, such as David Douglas High in Portland, will not have computers for the exams, which means that their students will not have the benefit of spell check. The results will be closely monitored to detect any significant differences in performance.
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