Digitise the Norwegian National Tests at Scale

Since 2008, Inspera has successfully delivered more than 5 million online high-stakes national tests for the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, making Norway a global leader in implementing a comprehensive national framework for evaluation and assessment.

In this blog post we will look at the process of implementing Inspera Assessment at UDIR in the course of these ten years and reflect on the future challenges of the Norwegian digital national tests.

Utdanningsdirektoratet 

What is UDIR?

The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (UDIR) is the executive agency for the Ministry of Education and Research and it is responsible for examinations, national tests and diagnostic tests in kindergarten, primary and secondary education in Norway. The principal objective of the Directorate is to ensure that all children, pupils and apprentices in Norway receive high-quality education. To that end, the Directorate has been conducting national tests across all primary schools in Norway.

UDIR is working hard to ensure that all children, pupils and apprentices in Norway receive high-quality education.

What are national tests?

National tests in Norway are standardised assessments that test all pupils in reading, mathematics and some parts of English language subject; these tests are usually held in autumn, shortly after pupils have started the 5th, 8th, and 9th grade. According to Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, “the national test results are used to inform education policy and allocation of resources towards municipalities with special challenges at the national level. At the local level, results inform school evaluation and improvement.”

Digitising national tests with Inspera Assessment

The Directorate has been using Inspera Assessment for on-screen delivery of tests since 2008. Inspera provides application management and monitoring of national tests, diagnostic tests, grade-supporting tests, and diverse formative tests.

At the beginning of the implementation, schools, municipalities, teachers and pupils raised some concerns about digital testing in certain subjects, for example in Mathematics, the English Reading and Listening parts and the Norwegian Reading tests. After listening to UDIR’s detailed specifications and requirements, Inspera worked hard in order to meet the Directorate’s needs at the time. Consequently, the transition to online authoring, piloting, delivery as well as the scoring was then conducted smoothly.

According to Marthe Akselsen, Head of Department for Assessment and Educational Services at the Directorate, overall “the transition to online national testing was relatively unproblematic and well-organised from the outset of the implementation of digital tests in 2004 in Norway”. Since 2008 Inspera has successfully delivered more than 5 million online high-stakes assessments for the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, making Norway a global leader in implementing a comprehensive national framework for evaluation and assessment.

Since 2008, Inspera has successfully delivered more than 5 million online high-stakes assessments for UDIR

The future of the Norwegian digital national tests

Regarding to UDIR’s future strategy regarding digital national testing, there are three particular aspects that need to be considered:

  • Ensuring critical knowledge and expertise on the maintenance of our platform in a rapidly changing e-assessment landscape.
  • Invest efforts into consolidation of national tests and national exams into one platform.
  • UDIR is committed to the highest technological innovation in order to ensure universal accessibility of the digital assessment platform. In this way, UDIR makes sure that every learner is tested in a fair and valid way regardless of any accessibility requirements. 
UDIR’s key future challenges are to strengthen e-assessment expertise, universal accessibility, and consolidation of national tests and exams into one platform.

Learn more?

Do you want to learn more about how our customers are transitioning to online assessment? Read about their unique journeys to inclusive, fair and relevant assessment in our Customer Case Studies.

Topics: digital assessment, e-assessment, online exams, UDIR

Leire Aranbarri

Written by Leire Aranbarri

Customer Success - Inspera Assessment