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It is no secret that education systems around the world are adapting and innovating their approaches to teaching and learning in a bid to keep up with the development of technology. These changes have led some awarding organisations, such as the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), to take action to modernise their exams in a way that reflects the digital world that students live, learn and will eventually work in.
Digital technologies were a saviour in the early days of the pandemic - and again during the second, and now third, national lockdown. Yet, it begs the questions: has COVID-19 been the catalyst to a much more digitally-enabled education system, or is digital adoption just a passing trend simply designed to mitigate the impact on traditional learning? Could it be that as soon as vaccines allow some form of normality to return, the laptops will be put away and Google Meet and MS Teams calls will be a thing of the past as we return to a similar pre-pandemic system?
Technology continues to evolve at an astounding pace, moving us ever closer to a new leap forward in professional practices and procedures comparable to the 90's metamorphosis brought about by dial-up, productivity software, and email.
Formative assessment has increasingly been at the forefront of good learning practice since the 1990s. Assessing students in order to support their learning, rather than relying on tests to provide certification, provides learners and teachers with confidence that the relevant knowledge and skills are being retained and developed rather than being simply learnt for an exam.
Back in October 2018, we held an event at the IB Global Centre in Cardiff called 2020 and Beyond: Opportunities and Challenges for Assessment in the Digital Age. Little did we know at the time quite how pivotal this year would be in terms of accelerating the journey to e-learning and e-assessment for educational and awarding organisations worldwide. Educators and assessment specialists in 2020 have re-ignited conversations on the purpose of assessment and how we can deliver them in the fairest and most equitable way.
Exam security is a key priority for awarding organisations, with continuous work undertaken to clamp down on opportunities for cheating, malpractice, bias or grade interference during the assessment process. However, the administration of exam papers and completed scripts presents a number of vulnerabilities.
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I understand". This ancient Chinese proverb remains the truest principle of the process of learning. While we see this doctrine in practice across many areas of the education system, there is one huge element where it is often notably missing: assessment.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused mass disruption, with schools and universities shutting their doors worldwide. We do not know how long this will last, but we do know that education cannot simply stop. Over the recent weeks and months, educational institutions around the world have been turning to remote teaching and learning.