TEL represented the University at the recent e-Assessment Question conference in London in March.
The theme of this years conference was ‘The Future: e-Assessment opportunities and barriers, risks and rewards’.
The presentation that most stuck out for me was that of Tim Burnett from BTL Learning and Assessment. He asked “What’s the future for written exams?”.
The context behind this being that education is changing and technology is being used more and more in the classroom by learners and teachers. Although technology is unlocking further potential in learning, it is struggling to do the same for assessment. If learning and assessment fail to develop together, we have to start asking the following questions: ·
- Is it fair to ask all students to write in assessments? ·
- Are we at risk of assessment being left behind with the growth of educational technology? ·
- Is there becoming a social divide in assessment technology use? ·
- Are we at risk of invalidating assessment?
In the session we looked for evidence to support change, listening to representatives from different aspects of the education sector and reviewing the options for change and the challenges that come with them. Delegates from all sectors contributed with their viewpoint as assessment specialists, but also as parents and lifelong learners.
Another interesting session was that of Jeremy Carter of Cirrus Assessment about educational technology systems (edtech) or using standalone solutions and the role of the assessment tools within them. There were some interesting discussion points that were raised including
- Are we providing the best experience for students
- Should we be in house or utilize 3rd party services in order to meet our objectives.
- Where does e-assessment fit within the learning and teaching
Although aimed at the level 1 -3 qualification ( Apprentice/NVQ) Ecom Scotland demonstrated a electronic version of an marking matrix that has replaced paper. Unlike previous methods this system can work with multiple devices and also offline. (Useful as many locations where apprentices where working do not have internet access or somewhere for laptops. )
There was also a couple of interesting presentations on how organisations have used e-assessment including how the British Council have overcome the issues of localisation in places like India where being chased by a rhino is as likely as powercuts.