Roger G. Brown from the University of Leeds (UK) has written an article entitled Does the introduction of the graphics calculator into system-wide examinations lead to change in the types of mathematical skills tested? This article was published online in Educational Studies in Mathematics earlier this week. Here is the abstract of his article:
The paper reports on the introduction of the graphics calculator into three centralised examination systems, which were located in Denmark, Victoria (Australia) and the International Baccalaureate. The introduction of the graphics calculator required those responsible for writing examination questions to consider how to assess mathematical skills within this new environment. This paper illustrates the types of mathematics skills that have been assessed within the graphics-calculator-assumed environment. The analysis of the examination questions indicated that only two out of the six mathematics examinations considered demonstrated any significant change in the types of skills assessed in conjunction with the introduction of the graphics calculator. The results suggest that it is possible to reduce the use of questions assessing routine procedures (mechanical skills) with a graphics calculator, but it is also evident that there have not been major changes in the way that examination questions are written nor the mathematics skills which the questions are intended to assess.