the e-Assessment Association

AO Forum Reflections

AO Forum Reflections

This year’s AO Forum was held at Woburn House Conference Centre in London on 21st April. There was a particularly interesting presentation by The British Council looking at the findings of the two research projects focussing on the potential, and the challenges, of UK Awarding Organisations expanding into the Technical Vocational Education and training (TVET) market overseas.

The research showed that nearly 40% of Awarding Organisations have little or no presence outside their domestic market and went on to explore the specific challenges that might explain this finding. Amongst a wealth of thought-provoking statistics, what was notable for me was that when it came to protecting one’s reputation in the international market, 3 out of the top 10 challenges related specifically to issues around test delivery. These were checking the identity of the candidate, quality of invigilation and technical and connectivity issues when delivering computer based testing.

This strongly suggests that the case for considering alternative modes of test delivery, such as remote proctoring, secure test kiosks and virtual test centres, becomes even more compelling as test delivery becomes more geographically remote. The potential for these emerging technologies to plug the gaps that may exist in the delivery environment, whether from infrastructure challenges, staffing issues or security, is considerable. And whilst testing technology in itself won’t necessarily have all the answers, it can certainly make a major contribution to the readiness of testing organisations to expand beyond their domestic market.

This blog post was first published by our Bronze sponsors, PSI, on their website on April 29th.