Risks of Using Technology Assessment
Risks of using technology in assessment and again just at a pretty high level as well as to what you perceive the benefits and risks to be from your perspective either looking forward or based on lessons
that you’ve learned by using technology have a little look from a center’s perspective at the moment i think there are several opportunities that technology offers a center at an organizational level the majority of these benefits probably relate to efficiency: efficiencies in time, efficiencies of people and efficiency in money and on that point really once technology is fully embedded in the assessment process it could easily reduce the time
and the cost needed to prepare for assessment deliver assessment administrative assessment and particularly where you have high volumes of candidates so in the longer term there probably will be cost savings from using technology widely or wisely rather in centers
but i think it is also important to remember that there are some significant upfront costs to embedding technology in assessment obviously one of those will be if you are purchasing or building your own technological solutions then the costs will likely be significant but also you’ve got to think about possibly the need to train staff that will take a lot of time and a lot of effort to do
so it’s not going to be a quick turnaround and that will take quite a bit of resource to do particularly if your staff are not particularly comfortable or competent in the use of technology and we’ll come on to that in a second but i think that’s often one of the places where there’s a little bit of a disconnect is that sometimes you’re probably finding already that some of your learners are much more comfortable with using an embracing technology then perhaps.
Benefits of Using Technology Assessment
we are as a staff but certainly cost is one of the real issues on there and i think centres should be confident that the long-term benefits of the outlay will outweigh the financial and human resource investment required i think the other significant opportunity though that technology offers is the chance to assess learners remotely that obviously is dependent on a few things but
it does remove the need for learners to move to assessment sites and this opportunity is increased massively when it’s combined with remote teaching and learning so assessment in itself is valuable when it can be conducted remotely but particularly when it’s blended in with the remote teaching and learning then that gives you the possibility of fully remote delivered courses
now in the longer term that may cause you to think differently about your marketplace because the marketplace for the center is then not limited to the proximity of candidates to the center the best example which is quite a different example
but the best example i can give that is the way we used to buy music compared to the way we buy music now um when i was a younger lad buying a lot of music i used to have to traipse five miles up by bus into the nearest town to buy my my records my 45s and my 77s um and then go all the way home and it was dependent whether they were available in the shop and what time the shop was open et cetera whereas now with things like spotify and apple music etc we can literally download music at the press of a button
so it doesn’t matter how far away we are from record shops so if we look at learning and teaching and assessment that way then using technology might dramatically open up marketplaces for you so worth having a think about that
i think digital evidence is also much easier to store and to move around than paper-based evidence and also candidates can reuse evidence for different purposes different outcomes or different units it also opens up the possibility of remote internal verification again we tend to find that internal verifiers traditionally have met with assessors and they’ve gone through
standardization and they’ve gone through candidate evidence face to face in the same room but if your evidence if your candidate evidence is digital that’s easier for people to access that from different places so it allows standardization meetings and internal verification to be remote and therefore again can reduce cost and reduce time in terms of people moving around technology can also be used to bring assessment to life and make it much more valid and much more
engaging and interesting for candidates assessment has always seen as a bit of a chore
but if we can make it a more dynamic naturally occurring activity for learners or something that’s much more engaging then maybe learners will be a little bit more positive in the way that they engage with assessment and again looking medium long term think about things like virtual reality um virtual realities is very accessible these days and there are certainly companies who are willing and very able quite quickly to develop assessment role plays for example using
things like virtual reality so it’s really not as far off in the future as perhaps some of us might think as far as benefits to learners increased use of technology in society in general means that more learners than ever are comfortable with the concept using technology in teaching and in learning and assessment and actually many of our learners these days as you probably are aware yourselves will prefer the idea of generating evidence electronically rather than manually
so for example typing an essay on a laptop using microsoft word rather than writing it on paper using a a pen so there may also be or may even be an expectation by learners that centres will use technology wherever possible and some learners may increasingly view centers using more traditional approaches to assessment as being somehow old-fashioned as we move forward
i think at the same time we must bear in mind that there will always be learners certainly for the for the foreseeable future who for whatever reasons don’t feel comfortable or enabled using technology and assessment some may lack experience of using technology some may lack the equipment or the resources required to engage with electronic assessment
we’re certainly hearing a lot in the press and you may have experienced yourselves and the issue of digital poverty and again we must make sure that we are not disadvantaging candidates by asking them to move to a more digital mode of assessment when they may not be comfortable with that so again that that’s something worth thinking through i think i think one important point to make is that
i i said a second or two ago that um some centre staff will be less au fait with technology than perhaps learners so it’s very very important when you’re thinking about how to use technology in assessment
that you actively engage with your learners to properly understand their views their expectations and their desires and so i think again very important to make sure you have considered the learner’s voice
the learner’s perspective on assessment and how technology could be used to improve assessment rather than to make it more difficult for them so in essence i think there are probably four questions
you need to ask yourself from an organizational perspective if you are considering
1# how and when to and if to move to using more technology in assessment ?
2# is using technology in assessment to suit our learners ?
3# does technology in assessment suit our staff the third does technology in assessment suit our qualifications ?
because some qualifications will lend themselves more to using technology than others and the fourth is does technology in assessment suit our business model it’s got to be right for you and your center so consider your learners consider your colleagues consider your qualifications that you’re wanting to deliver and decide if that fits your business model and what role if any of there is for technology in assessment.