Five questions to ask when choosing a digital assessment partner
Whether you are looking to take your first step on your journey towards digital assessment, or you have already implemented assessment technology and are considering switching to a new platform, selecting a digital assessment partner is a complex decision.
As the capabilities of digital assessment technology grow and evolve, it has never been more important to focus in on your organisation’s assessment needs and plans before selecting a supplier.
Once you have a good idea of what you are looking to achieve with a digital assessment platform, you can start engaging with potential technology partners. Here are five key questions to ask digital assessment providers to help make sure you find the right fit for your organisation.
1. Is your online assessment platform customisable?
Not all digital assessment platforms are customisable. Some providers will offer an ‘off -the -shelf’ product, and while it may meet your organisation’s needs at the current point in time, you should consider how your requirements might change in the future.
If customisation is a priority for your organisation, then be sure to ask potential partners for more detail about the options they have for configuration. For example:
How many item types do they offer as standard? What are they?
Can you tailor the design and timing of tests to each candidate to cater for specific needs such as dyslexia, visual impairments, and cognitive differences?
Is there a library of multimedia assets and widgets to create engaging assessments?
Can they create adaptive tests that tailor assessments to the candidates based on their answers?
Can you make the necessary changes, or will you require supplier support?
2. What measures are in place to ensure secure, reliable assessment delivery?
Maintaining the security and integrity of assessments is likely to be a priority for many awarding organisations and rightfully so. The digital assessment provider you choose will be handling sensitive data and the delivery of assessments where the stakes can be high for candidates and your reputation can be at risk. So, it is important that you find out what measures potential partners have in place to ensure that assessment processes run smoothly.
Pay particular attention to their disaster recovery plans and business continuity protocols as well as the security measures they have in place which could include features such as role-based access, double-layer firewalls and multi-layer application architecture.
3. Who are your existing digital assessment customers?
It is a good idea to ask digital assessment providers for a list of their current customers. Don’t just rely on the clients mentioned on their website as some of them may be past customers and not necessarily an up-to-date representation of who the organisation is working with and what services and products they are providing right now.
Once you have a list of their existing customers you can investigate whether any of them are comparable to your organisation. If they are, it might indicate that the digital assessment provider has experience meeting similar needs and overcoming similar challenges.
4. Do you have a dedicated support team?
Support is an important consideration, particularly when your organisation is at the very beginning of its journey to digital assessment. Ask whether providers have a support team to guide you through each step of the process and whether there is technical support available 24/7.
5. What do you think the future of assessment looks like?
To ensure that your chosen digital assessment partner aligns well with your organisation, it is a good idea to make sure they suit your future needs as well as the immediate ones.
This question gives your prospective providers an opportunity to display their knowledge and passion about education and assessment as well as their vision for the future. You can then consider whether this matches your organisation’s vision and whether they are up to date on educational developments and policy. This should give you a good indication of whether they are right for you as a long-term technology partner.
Choosing the right digital assessment partner is an important and multi-faceted decision, therefore getting it right is crucial. Research is key, as is having an open and honest conversation with potential suppliers to make sure their capabilities and vision match your organisation’s needs and plans.
As well as asking the five key questions outlined above, you should also ask for a demo of the digital assessment platform and proof of concept to get a feel for the software.