the e-Assessment Association

Surpass announces integration with Dropbox to provide offline marking capabilities for the Institute of Masters of Wine

Surpass announces integration with Dropbox to provide offline marking capabilities for the Institute of Masters of Wine

The Institute of Masters of Wine, a highly respected professional organisation which promotes excellence and knowledge in the art, science and business of wine, has worked with BTL to develop a unique solution to their need for the offline marking of their rigorous examinations.

Development of a solution involved a year-long pilot of the process which is now complete. BTL and the IMW have hailed this as a success, allowing the IMW to provide expert examiners with a convenient process for the marking of assessments.

Speaking on behalf of the Institute of Masters of Wine, Olivier Chapman, Head of Study Programme and Development said…

“We were pleased to work with BTL to develop a solution that was appropriate for both our students and examiners. The team at BTL have been supportive throughout the development and roll out of the new solution which enables the exporting of candidate responses to Dropbox. This can be used for practice assessments, enabling candidates to retrieve their responses as part of their learning and development. It also means examiners can be given access to candidates’ work to mark without requiring a constant internet connection.”

Dave Dixon, Head of Solutions at BTL went on to say…

“Having the opportunity to integrate with services like Dropbox is an excellent way of demonstrating the flexibility of the Surpass APIs. Using Azure Logic Apps, BTL have been working on a number of similar projects that take Surpass to the next level of business process connectivity.”

Becoming a Master of Wine involves a demanding self-directed study programme, which takes a minimum of three years to complete. The examination itself is made up of three parts, and only after successfully passing all three elements is someone eligible for membership to this prestigious organisation. Amongst other skills being tested, candidates have to identify quality, grape variety, origin, and winemaking techniques, as well as answering questions on topics such as the influence of climate change, management of vineyards, and contemporary issues affecting the wine industry. Every year, only a small number of candidates pass all three rigorous stages and become a Master of Wine.

The Institute needed their examiners (all Masters of Wine themselves) to be able to view and mark essay responses on the go, as due to frequent travel commitments and roles which take them away from an internet connection, they cannot rely on having the capabilities to mark with an active internet connection. BTL worked closely with the IMW to implement a solution using agile development that met this important requirement and was delighted to work with such an elite organisation to create a tool that worked for them.

Integration with Dropbox

To accommodate this unique challenge, BTL utilised the Azure logic app technology which provided an opportunity to develop a robust and rapid solution, and meet the immediate timelines of the project. Given the significant reputation of the IMW and the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with their examiners, the solution had to be seamless and easy to use. The app is triggered once a candidate’s completed exam is submitted, and extracts the questions and candidate’s responses as a PDF document stored in a specified folder structure on Dropbox, for markers to view and mark at a time and place convenient for them. Integrating with Dropbox met the requirements perfectly, and gave minimal disruption to existing processes.

The logic app also plays an important role in formative testing throughout the study program. Students can access Word documents of their responses from Dropbox, to annotate and take away based on feedback from examiners. With candidates travelling from all corners of the world to one of only three test centres to demonstrate their knowledge and investing a lot of time and money into achieving the qualification, the candidate experience was another priority to the IMW. It was imperative that candidates could focus fully on demonstrating their professional knowledge without worrying about how to use the assessment software. With Surpass, candidates can construct their essay responses in an intuitive environment, meaning they can spend their time demonstrating what they know in a straightforward manner, and without distraction.

As candidates need a large amount of desk space to accommodate the 12 different wines they need to taste during the practical assessment, traditional test centres with banks of computers just aren’t suitable for the IMW. As a result, they operate a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model, with candidates able to download the SecureClient to their laptop or tablet device in order to take the test securely, whilst allowing them flexibility with space and keeping all important desk real estate.

Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash

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