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RM’s dedicated research and development team, RM Studio, specialises in user focused testing and learning. To help inform the development of our Exam Malpractice Service in the high-stakes digital assessment space, we reached out directly to candidates to try to understand their reasons for committing malpractice. While we have also interviewed specialists working in awarding organisations to understand malpractice from their perspective, the insights into user behaviour are as, if not more, informative.
When examining the digital assessment landscape in light of the pandemic, we can see that different approaches are needed across institutions, systems, regions and countries. One shared challenge in assessment is the susceptibility to exam malpractice. In November, we are hosting a webinar that opens this conversation up and explores how digital techniques can be adopted to address instances of exam malpractice, to improve the overall security and integrity of assessments.
As more professional qualification (PQ) providers continue to shift from pen and paper to digital assessment experiences, many are starting to rethink what those experiences should look like. Find out why more realistic candidate experiences are so valuable for modern professional qualifications, and how you can start building them.
RM recently undertook research into the evolution, benefits, and challenges of digital assessment for high-stakes examinations around the world. The findings describe a mixed picture. Some countries and sectors have reverted to more traditional methods of assessment after the changes imposed by the pandemic. Others are keen to push further with the perhaps unexpected benefits brought by the forced adoption of a more digital approach.
Like many sectors, education has found itself undergoing digital transformation at pace during the global pandemic to continue providing effective learning and assessment for students. The higher education sector is now looking at flexing and adapting the delivery of content, as well as the engagement and management of students. With a learner-centric culture prevailing, and student retention remaining key across universities, we wanted to look at how exactly digital assessment is changing the learning journey of a university student.
New and emerging technologies have changed the face of many professions over the years. From the introduction of computers and calculators in the 20th century, to the developments we are seeing now such as AI, big data, cloud computing as well as mobile and social collaboration, professional working practices are continually being reshaped. As ‘digital by default’ becomes the norm in many sectors, professional associations are working to make sure their qualifications suitably prepare their students for the reality of the profession they will be entering.
The point of developing new products is to address problems that aren’t currently being solved. It focuses on what users need, so it’s good design practice to work with the users to figure that stuff out. This echoes what I talked about in a previous blog article: the importance of working with customers, not for them.
The pandemic has been a catalyst for change throughout the world. Within the education space, it has caused disruption to traditional methods and for many, encouraged a shift towards online learning and assessment for continuity of learning in such unprecedented times. Although there is progress towards digital technologies as organisations modernise and become more efficient; any further progress requires identifying key ‘wins’ for those considering transforming their assessment process.
As part of the global shift towards digital assessment, we are seeing an exponential increase in the number of awarding organisations who offer remote invigilation options to their candidates; this is changing the way assessment is viewed around the world. Out of necessity in 2020, technology companies grew their digital capabilities in the assessment space, exam boards scrambled to migrate assessments onto digital platforms and candidates got to grips with home cameras, headsets, new software and realised the benefits of having more than one screen!
Following more than two years of COVID-induced hiatus, and the rein of seven secretaries of state over the past six years, educators will be hoping for a more positive academic year this year. But there’s more that Britain’s education system can do to guarantee success beyond simply hoping for a steadier hand on the rudder.