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Assessment Blog

23rd April 2024

RM Assessment and International Baccalaureate announce their new partnership in digital assessment.

Lisa Holloway

International Baccalaureate® (IB) plans to transition its exams from paper to digital using RM™ Assessment Master and RM Assessor over the next 7 years. 

The new 7 year contract adds to the successful relationship that IB and RM have had since 2008 to deliver digital marking. 

Working together in partnership, RM’s digital assessment and learning solutions will provide IB’s learners with even greater flexibility and improved educational outcomes. 

Assessment Master is a platform that will allow IB to go far beyond replicating paper tests, but to assess candidates’ skills in a relevant and realistic way. The digital assessment delivery platform is secure, intuitive and user-friendly for IB students and Diploma Programme coordinators within the global context of the organisation. The user interface can accommodate the various working languages of the IB. 

“Well, our mission statement really starts from the transformative power of education to creating a better and more peaceful world. Shared values are very central in education especially, because education is an ethical act, and we have a long history already with RM. We have now entered into partnership in digital assessment, which is big part of IB’s strategy and that is a partnership where we are seeing the high quality in what IB is having on digital assessment and also the high quality of RM having a long-standing experience in that field,”  

Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of International Baccalaureate. 

Olli-Pekka Heinonen went on to explain that the move from paper to digital assessment opens a door to enable IB to diversify and find new, more meaningful ways to assess what young people are capable of. 

Watch the full 2-minute video of Olli-Pekka Heinonen.

The partnership between RM and IB has gone from strength to strength. 

  • IB is a global leader in education and a thought leader in learning and assessment. Its education programmes are developed to empower school-aged students to take ownership of their own learning, which encourages innovation and requires a range of access needs.  

  • RM™ Assessment provides cutting-edge digital assessment solutions to educational institutions, exam awarding bodies and governments worldwide to enable them to deliver their high-stakes exams on-screen. Part of RM plc established in 1973, RM Assessment is trusted by over 40 organisations in over 160 countries. 

In January 2010, RM Assessment began providing on-screen electronic marking services for the IB diploma qualification exams. At the time, IB’s director general, Jeffrey Beard, said: “With strong, growing demand for IB qualifications, we need to ensure that we have an efficient and effective examination delivery framework in place for IB World Schools around the globe. It's clear to us that, in the future, students, schools and examiners will expect modern technology to be part of that framework.” 

The marking system was used by IB’s 6,500 examiners and supported more than 2,000 schools in more than 138 countries1.   

In 2016, RM started the work to design and develop RM Assessor3, an application that enables on-screen marking on a wide range of devices from anywhere. The aim was to take advantage of new technologies and user-centric design to deliver the best-ever e-marking experience, with quality assessment at its heart. 

The original plan was for IB to fully transition over to RM Assessor3 by the May 2019 session. After significant hard work, meticulous planning, extensive development and testing between IB and RM Assessment’s specialist consultants, the new programme was ready six months early. It was fully adopted for the November 2018 session3 

In 2018, as IB celebrated its 50th anniversary, they held a joint event, 2020 and Beyond: Opportunities and Challenges for Assessment in the Digital Age, where peers from across the qualifications and awarding sector came together to discuss the opportunities and challenges for assessment in the future2. The participants had the opportunity to hear about how the IB introduced international on-screen examinations for the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and to understand how data and analytics could be used in the future. 

The market for digital assessment solutions is expanding and is due to be one of the primary growth drivers in the education sector.  

Between 2018 and 2022, the number of IB programmes offered worldwide has grown by 34.2%. As of February 2024, there were over 8,000 programmes being offered worldwide, across over 5,700 schools in 160 countries. The IB offers four educational programmes to more than 1.95 million students aged 3 to 19 across the globe.4 

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