Reforming Functional skills assessments and question types
The reform of Functional Skills (FS) assessment presented challenges for awarding bodies in the UK.
In their session at this year’s eAA Conference, Glenn Hall at NCFE, Nicola Bennett at City & Guilds and Gareth Hopkins from BTL showcased their collaboration in updating functional skills assessments in line with 2019 Ofqual reforms, which led to the development of a unique Customisable Question Type (CQT) framework being developed for the Surpass assessment platform.
In his section of the presentation, Glenn commented that 80% of FS exams are now taken online and of those 20% are being delivered via remote invigilation. Surpass has been used to deliver 83,000 onscreen FS exams, offering flexible dates over a 42-day period and quick feedback to learners and educators.
With these figures in mind, this project to update the assessments in line with Ofqual reforms required excellent collaboration, between several Surpass Community members, including the User Experience (UX) Design and Solutions teams at BTL, with key stakeholders from C&G and NCFE among the Awarding Organisations involved in the initial discussions. User needs and requirements were gathered via interviews, and mock-ups were shared before development time was booked in.
Nicola Bennett at C&G explained how C&G have a large volume of 2,000 tests in their instance of Surpass, using 5,000 test forms.
“BTL recognised that many of their customers… were in this position, and called on the Surpass Community to bring those customers together to help innovate and meet the requirements. The fact [BTL] brought us together, I felt was much more powerful than keeping us segregated. We are competitors but … the collaboration between Surpass users who had the same problems [meant] we could approach the problems together.”
Watch Nicola’s presentation here.*
Key takeaways for NCFE were the strong collaboration and support, and the benefits of having CQTs aligned with qualification needs.
For organisations interested in understanding more about the Surpass Community, you are invited to register for the 2022 Surpass Conference, 6-7 October in Liverpool, England.