Barriers preventing computer based exams uptake

Barriers preventing computer based exams uptake

School IT provision is the bedrock of computer based exams in schools. The IT provision in schools is both variable and often ill served for the task of computer based exams.

There is rarely any consistency between the computer provision of each school. Such the pressure to change to computer based exams is withheld.

However, this may have changed with the thousands of laptops that Government have issued in the pandemic. However it is safe to say that the schools and IT solutions are not consistent.

This variation of IT computer based solutions in schools is a big factor in deploying computer based testing.

Including: - A lack of devices suitably spaced available for the whole cohort. - Variable internet access - Inexperienced or poorly trained staff. - This is likely a generational issue - The shortage of space for the often cumbersome computer equipment.

The security risk of having high value computers in a school puts added pressure on both the physical and cyber security.

The speed of adaption depends on how it is implanted. Imposed or voluntary. Where one is likely to produce a faster and high quality outcome.

Running dual paper and pen exams along with computer based exams for gradual and voluntary attempts to adapt create wide dis advantages for exam pupils

A national computer based exam imposed solutions on the schools created huge pressure on the school estates. While massively increasing cyber vulnerability.

While teachers might simply refuse to implement computer based exams. The unions might feel it is putting pressure on long term job security in schools and colleges.

The absence of commercial or strategic benefit for awarding organisations to being first to implement Online and on-screen exams in high stakes, sessional qualifications. Is properly a result of the carrot and stick approach. Some carrot and no stick.

Ensuring fair treatment of all exam candidates across the cohort

The established across co hort arrangements for GCSE and A level exams in England across schools, colleges, awarding organisations and the regulatory system of controls which aim to secure fairness for students with particular protected and other characteristics. Might well be undermined by poorly deployment of computer based exams.

Access arrangements:

Along the requirement for exam boards to safe guard exam candidates access to exams. Complying with the Equality act 2010. Computer based exams provide a range of solutions that maybe difficult for the incumbent exam officers to harness and deploy correctly. However, this blog has time and again felt that the tools computers give for access far outweigh the challenges of deployment.

Clearly the range of tools that computers bring are often in different formats and pose a deployment challenge for exams. With the SEND provision often closely aligned with technology. More often than not the candidates are far ahead of the exams’s officers use of computers for exams.

There are lots of exams and assessments that need to considered. While the exam industry is continually changing and developing. While this development may limit the uptake of computer based exams.

While the rise of online schools will be the driving force of computer based exams.

Including the online alternative provision provider The AP Academy.