New Report Published: Exploring the role of technology in qualifications taken by learners in Wales
Qualifications Wales has published a summary of a series of roundtable events held with awarding bodies on the future of technology in qualifications in Wales. The findings highlight the huge range of benefits technology might offer in learning and assessment, along with the need to work collaboratively to achieve them.
To say that the pace of change and digitalisation within education and the qualification system in Wales has accelerated rapidly over the last 18 months is completely unsurprising. We all know too well that the challenges the sector has faced have been entirely unprecedented and they have called for rapid and radical responses to support learners. Awarding bodies have been at the forefront of these responses.
Some of these changes were a result of continued progress within the sector being made before the Covid-19 pandemic: in Wales, for example, new national qualifications had been designed to incorporate on-screen assessments and the use of a wider range of software packages and platforms. But these changes are now only a part of the picture.
We wanted to understand what the adaptations that have been made, and the lessons that have been learned in offering them, might mean for the future of qualifications in Wales. So, this summer, we began a conversation with awarding bodies in a series of virtual roundtable events. Colleagues from a wide range of awarding bodies, from large to subject-specialist organisations, attended and offered their time.
Awarding bodies, learning providers and assessment platform holders gave thought-provoking presentations and contributions that highlighted the huge range of possibilities that technology can offer in learning and assessment. For example, we heard that:
- Digital technologies offer the opportunity to deliver and assess subject content that may have not been possible only a few years ago, like simulated practical tasks or group tasks and collaboration.
- E-assessment platforms offer the chance to personalise assessments and learning, and provide assessment feedback, with remarkable speed.
- Digital technology can promote accessibility, inclusion and engagement by using hardware and software which learners utilise every day, both inside and outside of their learning.
But our attendees were also frank about the new types of challenges that such seismic shifts in learning and assessment might present, making it clear that we’ll only maximise their potential by working together. This conversation then, couldn’t have come at a more apt moment – and as we continue to explore what is possible, it’s clear that it’s only just begun.