Four experts reveal their International e-Assessment Awards tips
Entering the International e-Assessment Awards can bring all kinds of benefits. Over the years, entrants have told us the process helps them strengthen client relationships, boost internal morale, increase credibility, gain recognition from peers, raise their profile and support their sales process.
But how can you make the most of your time and resources to create the best possible entry?
We asked four former and current e-AA board members, and consultants to the edtech sector, to share their top tips for success.
Stage 1. Decision time: should I enter and if so, in which categories?
Tim Burnett is an e-AA Board Member, and edtech community and marketing consultant.
Keep these points in mind when deciding on your awards strategy.
- There’s only one way to win an award – you need to enter!
- Choose the categorie(s) where you have the strongest evidence. Don’t be tempted into multiple scattergun entries to try to increase your chances – the judges will spot them.
- Where are you most likely to have an edge over other entrants? Your high stakes technological innovation might stand out more in Best Summative Assessment Project, for instance, than in Most Innovative Use of Technology in Assessment.
- If you have a choice of several relevant categories, consider which would best support your own business or marketing strategy if you win.
Tim’s top tip: If you don’t enter, you definitely won’t win. Don’t let the fear of losing prevent you from gaining valuable learnings about yourself, your company and your customers. Winning an award is a fantastic achievement and the process will repay the effort.
Stage 2: I’m ready to get started. What should I do first?
Geoff Chapman is a management consultant to the investment, solution provider, and exam owner communities.
Great! You’ve decided to enter, now it’s time to get organised.
- There’s a nominal fee to enter so get budget sign-off and make sure you can meet the submission deadlines.
- You’ll need a combination of different skills working on your entry. Put together a core team consisting of a project planner, submission writer and presenter.
- A great customer quote adds credibility so make sure you include one. Invite your customer contact to take part in your video presentation if you make the shortlist.
- Remember this isn’t a sales and marketing exercise. The judging panel won’t appreciate being sold to or having marketing materials submitted as part of your entry.
Geoff’s top tip: Make it easy for your busy customers to support your award entry. Draft three testimonial options for them to choose from or edit as they wish. Offer a thirty-second video script for them to film themselves if they won’t be available for your presentation.
Stage 3: Time to write the entry. How should I approach it?
Heather Barnett is a freelance copywriter with a background in e-assessment.
Your written entry is your chance to showcase what you’ve achieved, so don’t rush it.
- Be concise. The judges are busy people with a lot of entries to read, so keep to the point and don’t repeat information in different sections.
- Focus your entry. Decide on your two or three key messages and make sure they’re not swamped by unnecessary details.
- Be specific. Rather than writing “we delivered incredible educational impact”, state what you achieved against a benchmark or baseline, and let the judges see for themselves how impressive it was.
- Structure your entry around a coherent story, rather than listing out disconnected facts. Use straightforward language – no one wants to wade through jargon, acronyms or confusing terminology.
Heather’s top tip: Don’t forget you’re writing for human beings. We all have finite attention spans and love a good story. Make your entry easy to read and try to find the hook that will fire the judges’ imaginations.
Stage 4: I’ve been shortlisted! What goes into the video presentation?
Matt Wingfield is a business development and procurement strategy consultant working with edtech providers and exam awarding organisations.
If your entry is shortlisted, congratulations! You’ll have the chance to bolster your written entry with a short video presentation.
- Choose the right people for the job. You’ll need a good presenter who can demonstrate genuine understanding of, and passion for, your project.
- Don’t just repeat what’s in your written entry. Think about how you can reinforce your initiative’s strengths and show how they meet the criteria – give a visual demonstration if practical.
- Presenters should speak clearly and be easily intelligible, but not salesy.
- Wrap up your presentation with a summary of why you think it meets the category criteria so it’s fresh in the judges’ minds.
Matt’s top tip: Ask an educator who has been involved in your initiative to take a leading role in your video. Make sure they are comfortable presenting, and are well prepared. Their contribution will carry a lot of weight and add credibility to your presentation.
For a deeper dive into what makes a great award entry, a 30-minute webinar with Tim, Geoff, Heather and Matt is available to watch here.
Ready to enter the awards? Information and entry forms are here.
The 2024 International e-Assessment Awards
These prestigious awards recognise and honour the outstanding contributions and that technology brings to all forms of learning and assessment. The 2024 award categories are:
- Best Practitioner of the Year (team and individual award) acknowledging individuals and teams for their outstanding use of e-assessment in the last year.
- Lifetime Contribution Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant and sustained contribution to e-assessment over the duration of their career.
- Best Workplace or Talent Assessment Project celebrating an assessment project that has brought substantial benefits to workplace or talent assessment.
- Most Innovative Use of Technology in Assessment recognising a project that has been highly innovative in terms of new technology, or how existing technology has been used in a new and different way.
- Best Transformational Project acknowledging projects that have genuinely transformed assessment practices through technology.
- Best Research honouring outstanding research and its impact within the e-assessment community.
- Best International Implementation celebrating innovative and effective assessment programmes implemented in one or more countries outside of your main country of operation.
- Best Formative Assessment Project acknowledging e-assessment projects that have made significant improvements to formative assessment practices.
- Best Summative Assessment Project recognising e-assessment projects that have made significant improvements to summative assessment practices.