The e-Assessment Question Conference 2016

The Maxinity team exhibited last week at the e-Assessment Question conference held in London on 16th-17th March. A wide selection of delegates from all aspects of assessment and education including awarding bodies, exam administrators and e-assessment advocates attended. The exhibition hall was bustling at break times and hosted a great representation of digital exam management platforms, scanning solutions and other e-assessment services.

The future

The theme this year was “The future: e-Assessment opportunities and barriers, risks and rewards”. The challenges facing educators was addressed by Dan Sanders who asked the question “How are institutions coping with a changing landscape?”. In a generation when information is so easily accessible online, how do educator’s and employers measure what is actually learned knowledge? There was an emphasis on changing the dynamics of assessment so that learners can demonstrate skills and educators don’t confuse information with understanding.

What is holding educators back from e-assessment?

The slow uptake of e-assessment in learning establishments was addressed by Roger Trigg. Some of the barriers holding educators back from upgrading to e-assessment over the traditional paper based assessments still favoured by so many are:

  • Network availability. School networks can be unreliable during high traffic times, especially when hosting so many students at once.
  • Funding. Many schools would struggle to get approval from the board to fund such a large investment, although the reduced administration and improved exam quality would be hugely beneficial in the long run.
  • Teacher confidence. Teachers and educators are reluctant to engage in a completely new system without full training.

Speed learning

Our favourite session was the e-Assessment association’s speed learning. This session gave delegates from all aspects of e-assessment an opportunity to come together and discuss:

  • The future of marking
  • The future of reporting
  • The future of delivery/technology
  • The challenges of regulation
  • The future learner

An interesting concept that was raised in the future of delivery discussion was the implementation of VR in education. It’s an exciting and progressive idea but what about the challenges like the cost of production and how can you cater for everyone’s needs? Another discussion centred around the future learner raised the question; How does the future learner want to be assessed? If their education, studying and social life is heavily technology based, why would they be assessed using pen and paper?

This is just a small sample of the many engaging discussions and workshops that were held at this year’s conference. The e-Assessment Question Conference was a great event and Maxinity would like to thank the organisers for their hard work in delivering an informative event. We enjoyed the chance to showcase our products and learn more about the expectations and predictions for the future of e-assessment.