New Digital Formative Assessment Approach at SQA
SQA is in the process of implementing a new approach to digital assessment for formative purposes. SQA has a long history of providing digital assessment via our platform SOLAR. SOLAR is SQA’s free digital assessment system, underpinned by BTL Surpass, which is used to deliver tests on a range of devices.
Previously, formative digital assessment was provided via links that learners could access from our website at any time. However, the results of these assessments were not recorded on the main system, meaning that practitioners could not easily refer to learners’ results in order to monitor progress.
In partnership with BTL, SQA have developed the SOLAR Assess Progress portal. SOLAR Assess Progress will be free to use for SQA centres who are registered to deliver relevant subjects on SOLAR.
SOLAR Assess Progress will change SQA’s approach to formative digital assessment. Learners will be able to use the portal to schedule a formative assessment at any time using their email address and unique identifier. The system will then send the learner an email containing a link to their assessment that they can use at the day and time that suits them best.
SOLAR Assess Progress will provide many benefits to learners and practitioners. SOLAR Assess Progress will help learners prepare for summative digital assessments on the main SOLAR assessment system. Learners will also be able to become familiarised with the functionality available with digital assessments before taking their summative assessment. In addition, practitioners will be able to monitor and keep a record of learner progress using the formative assessments. Learners will also be able to use the portal and access the system on a range of devices.
In preparation for the implementation, SQA have been developing more engaging content for formative assessment and in future will seek to release formative content in conjunction with summative assessment releases.