the e-Assessment Association

Think your exams are too small for e-marking? Think again!

Think your exams are too small for e-marking? Think again!

by Graham Hudson. First published on LinkedIn, May 8 2019 and reproduced with permission.

I’ve had lots of discussions recently with professional bodies and small exam boards who still send off their exam scripts to examiners for marking and hadn’t realised that e-marking was an option for them. Advances in technology mean that e-marking, often considered the preserve of the large exam boards, is now something that professional bodies with small exam entries can now consider as a way to improve marking for their professional qualifications.

If you haven’t considered e-marking before here are some of the reasons you should:

  • Saves costs: with e-marking you no longer need to post exam scripts to examiners and pay for return postage.
  • Reduces the risk of exam scripts going missing: once scanned, answers are stored electronically and there’s no chance of them getting lost in the post.
  • Reduces admin time: no need to send, track, chase, file and store physical exam papers.
  • Reduces the risk of error: once papers are marked the marks can be uploaded automatically reducing the risk of transcription errors.
  • Improves accuracy of marking: exam scripts can be separated so that answers can be sent to the examiner according to their expertise.
  • Improves the experience for candidates – advances in personalised printing means that candidates can be given a script which only includes the options they are answering, reducing printing costs and the risk of error if the wrong sections are answered.
  • Examiner training can also be undertaken online meaning examiners don’t have to take extra time out to attend meetings.
  • Multiple choice or short answer questions can even be marked automatically saving time, reducing cost and the likelihood of errors.

Of course not every professional body or exam board embraces all these technologies and many start with one or two or take a staged approach to implementation. With the off the shelf, tailorable packages that now exist I’m finding that many smaller exam boards and professional bodies are now able to take advantage of the latest technology.

About the Author

Graham Hudson works with professional organisations, government ministries and development programmes both nationally and internationally. His focus is on helping organisations get better outcomes from their examinations and assessments by improving the reliability and validity of assessments.

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