EOCCS was invited to join the e-Assessment Association on 10 April 2019 for their annual “e-Assessment Awards” in London, UK.  The association is an international not-for-profit membership organisation for those involved in, working with, using or developing technology to enhance assessment delivery. The finalists attending this year’s award demonstrated the innovation, in-depth research, transformational deployments and quality examples of assessment from across the educational spectrum.

The Winners

Winners representing Higher Education included Qpercom Observe (best use of summative assessment) and MyKnowledgeMap and Anglia Ruskin University (best transformational project). Both winners herald from Medicine, Nursing and Health Science disciplines. Qpercom Observe was developed to automate clinical assessments to remove paper and increase quality standards. Such solutions can remedy administrative error rates, facilitate psychometric analysis of results in high-take clinical assessments. MyKnowldgeMap and Anglia Ruskin University adopted an offline mobile assessment tool for assessing students on nursing placements to transform the student and mentor experience. Engagement dramatically improved and student feedback and feed-forward were also enhanced. The project has also positively contributed to reduced student attrition in some programmes.

Assessment and the EOCCS Standard

Assessment methods are considered as part of an EOCCS Certification (EFMD GNs Online Course Certification System). The system asks: “Do the assessment methods differ from the ones used for regular, on-campus courses (indeed if the Institution provides on-campus courses)?”. The certification considers ILOs, teaching methods and a whole host of other educational design aspects in relation to assessment and whether it is suitable and to EOCCS standard. The array of digital assessments (both formative and summative) that have so far been showcased in EOCCS Certified Courses certainly shows innovation in this area. For many courses, such as MOOCs face-to-face assessment is simply not an option, and Institutions must continue to develop suitable methods for measuring learning outcomes.

Digital Assessment

One of the main takeaways from this event is that assessment (and, more broadly, technology-enhanced learning) should not just use technology for technology’s sake. The winners in all categories mirror this value. There is evidence of this thinking within many EOCCS Certified Courses, especially those courses that seek to develop competencies and team building skills. There are strong examples of how technology can be harnessed to demonstrate progress for learners in these areas through assessment.

Elaborating on this point, ILOs should not be designed from the foundation of how they can be assessed. Assessment should follow a student-centred approach and support skills development for the modern working landscape (a sentiment echoed in a Bob Harrison’s, Education Advisor at Toshiba, opening speech at the awards). Paper-based exams may only demonstrate paper-based thinking. Technology in assessment is an opportunity to move forward from this and successfully measure ILOs that are relevant to today’s learner.

Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to City & Guilds for hosting EOCCS!