AQA Broke the Rules

Is it time to switch to online assessment creator? Exam providers the AQA has been forced to take action this week following reprimands from the qualifications regulator Ofqual, reports come amid a remarking scandal. The AQA  has admitted it did not follow remarking procedure correctly on many of its GCSE and A level papers.

The response from the AQA states that Ofqual “identified increases of marks and grades” from the 2017 GCSE and A level exams.

THE REMARKING is “considered to be inconsistent with fully compliant application” of the rules. The AQA now insists it is correcting the issue and addressing internal concerns to ensure they are fully compliant.

Most inconsistencies were with the GCSE English paper  Ofqual established that there was a hike in GCSE grades being changed – up 52 per cent on last year. Ofqual notices that an unusual number of students had submitted successful review cases, whereby the examining body remarks the paper and adjusts marks and ultimately grades.

Sally Collier – chief examiner – remarked she is “very disappointed” at the increase, appearing before an MP’s education select committee,

. She stated: “Some exam boards have implemented it very well, and some exam boards haven’t”.

The AQA recognised that “it failed to secure full compliance.”

The exam board has entered into a contract with the regulator to review and retrain its marker. The AQA has also committed to making clear “the circumstances in which changes of marks are appropriate, and in which they are not”.

This comes as some examining bodies prepare to enter the realm of digital marking. It may even mean the end of the remarking process altogether given that automatic marking is far more objective than a human marker.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has stated it intends to switch over to computer based exams and marking by 2020. Automatic marking gets rid of human error. It allows the exam body to make real economic savings over traditional paper exams.

Craft your own online test today and discover the power of online marking. You also get access to a bank of ready made tests created by experts in their filed.

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Online Tests to Communicate and Educate Together

For years the parents/teacher relationship involved a parents evening a couple of times a year and notes scribbled on paper with the child used as trusty messenger. As technology helps us advance in so many things it is now also starting to reach education with the internet being a tool with uncapped educational potential. What can it do then to bring teachers, parents and pupils closer together to achieve education fit for the 21st century? Well…

Online assessment is one of the best ways for schools, teachers, parents and pupils to track learning progression in a holistic unified way. There’s no more letters that don’t find their way to parents, they are notified of results instantly.  Teachers can pick up when the child is falling behind. Students can also monitor their own progress in real time without having to wait for teachers to mark their work, this instant gratification enhances their learning experience.

This collaborative approach to learning and assessment streamlines communication between parents and teachers. Based on academic monitoring you can strategise with the student to reach time measured goals. This way the student has clearly defined targets and knows exactly what is expected of them. Many schools have coupled this with a results and rewards system which drives achievement in subjects where students are particularly disengaged.

Teacher with student girl writing assignment

Efficient education needs to be the future of education especially as class sizes have steadily increased to breaking point. Technology enables teachers to deliver a one-on-one experience for each of the pupils in a class of 30 or more pupils. Assessing students with online tests also saves so much time that can be spent on refining the students skills. Teacher saves time with automatic marking, no more photocopying or spending precious class time reviewing the tests. Online test results are fed back immediately.

online tests

Schools are falling behind when it comes to adopting new technology for a generation to whom it matters most. Schools are full of students that have never known a world without the internet; they can ask Google a question and have it answered in a fraction of a second. Many schools are technophobic because of staff who shun technology in the fear they will not understand it. In reality most of the pupils will pick it up quicker than the teachers. Online test systems are designed to cater to all levels of technical knowledge with common sense functionality. Transitions from paper to online are seamless with an easy user interface.

DesignATest is one such system, completely based online and analyses students progress using hundreds of data points. Visualised in interactive charts and graphs results are clear and easy to understand. Communication is seamless and instant through the in-built email system and work together to reach clearly defined academic goals.

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Save Money & The Environment: Test Online

It’s time to create tests online; teachers have been churning out reams of photocopying each year having a devastating effect on the environment. Even as new technology charges on revolutionising the world; many schools are still using the old fashion multiple choice paper tests.

It is so wasteful: because multiple choice tests seldom fill up all the space on the paper there’s a lot of empty space causing you to use unnecessary sheets.  Secondly for the average class of 30 the amount of pages can become immense especially when you have to photocopy something like a past paper at 15 pages per pupil….

This will save you money in reduced photocopying, it will also free up teachers for other tasks given online tests mark themselves instantly. Teachers can also measure time taken to complete the test and other metrics to analyse the child’s progress.

create online tests

Another huge benefit is that it is a platform students actually engage with. When you pop a test on a class you hear sighs as you distribute the same old boring  paper tests. Pupils find online tests engaging given that they can get their results, and see how they are doing as they go along. This helps students do better in tests as it boosts their confidence as it releases ‘reward’ signals in their brain. 

Think of the waste cycle paper tests go through right from the point the tree is cut down. All the trucks that are needed to take the wood shavings to the processing plants, then a truck to stores, then to deliver the paper to your school, and to top it off a truck to take it as waste…

Environment online tests

But where to start? There’s lots of testing platforms but to get started you need a programme students, teachers and parents can interact with. Everyone who is responsible for the child can monitor their progress and identify areas of improvement all working together. That in mind you want something simple, free from technical issues and allows you to design tests easily.

The DesignATest platform is designed with all of this in mind. It has easy drag /drop test building features. You can track a child’s progress with easy to read charts and graphics. You also have the ability to set assessments for different classes, levels and abilities. With DesignaTest the tests mark themselves automatically and you can share results with parents instantly.

You also get access to a huge database of reviewed tests, created by experts in their field, that you can set for pupils in just a few clicks.

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