Our tribute to Dr Graham Orpwood
We are saddened to hear Dr Graham Orpwood, a great leader and role model in the assessment sector, has passed away. He committed decades of his life to supporting the transformation of the assessment landscape that has impacted the lives of millions of students across the world. He was closely involved in many of the eAA's activities and he received the eAA's Lifetime Contribution Award in the 2022 International e-Assessment Awards for his work as an educator, policy researcher, curriculum and assessment specialist, and advisor for over 50 years.
His fundamental belief was that the primary purpose of assessment is to support and enhance learning. This belief underpinned his leadership in assessment projects with ministries of education, academic institutions, examination bodies, and training institutions globally.
His illustrious career took him from the chemistry classrooms of England and Canada to the forefront of educational research, policy-making, and teacher training and his visionary approach to assessment will leave an indelible mark on learners, teachers, and educational systems worldwide.
His legacy is characterized by his dedication to ensuring assessment was an integral part of the teaching and learning process, empowering teachers to instil confidence in their own abilities. He believed fervently that formative assessment was the key to turning potential into excellence, transforming "losers" into "winners" by identifying weaknesses and providing targeted support. His work in Ontario colleges was pivotal in reshaping the landscape of mathematics education, identifying foundational gaps in students' knowledge and addressing them with precision and empathy.
Dr. Orpwood's contributions extended beyond the classroom to influence international assessment programs and to advocate for teacher training that emphasizes on-the-job experience and functional numeracy. His engagement with the eAA and his advocacy for the independence of the e-assessment industry from media and political influence further demonstrated his commitment to advancing the field.
Above all, Dr. Orpwood will be remembered for his unwavering belief that everyone can excel if taught in the right way. He challenged educators and policymakers alike to think beyond traditional metrics and to embrace the potential of technology and e-assessment to truly measure what learners can do with their knowledge. His work has received numerous international accolades, and his publications have become go-to repositories for assessment specialists who seek guidance on designing assessment solutions that are impacting the lives of students around the world.
Dr. Graham Orpwood's passing is a profound loss, but his teachings, his passion, and his innovations will continue to inspire and guide future generations.
Graham's family have created a tribute page for people to share their memories of Graham, a few words and pictures if they like. Please visit this website to upload your memories and tribute: https://www.forevermissed.com/graham-warrenforbes-orpwood/about
eAA interview with Dr Graham Orpwood
Watch our interview from 2022 with Dr Graham Orpwood, winner of the e-Assessment Association’s Lifetime Contribution Award in conversation with Pilar Cloud, a member of the eAA.
In this interview, Graham talks about his experiences of over fifty years working in education and assessment on both sides of the Atlantic. Graham shares his thoughts on how assessment has evolved over the last 50 years, what he sees as the future and how our community can play our part in spreading the word that "we need to move on from this fixation of the written examination that we still seem to live with."