Do you currently use pen and paper to deliver your assessments? Or perhaps a VLE? Maybe a combination of a few methods? Wherever you are on your journey, the transition to a digital assessment platform is a significant and exciting process. It gives you the opportunity to modernise your processes, develop more authentic assessments, improve the student experience and more.
To make sure that you make the most of these benefits it’s important that stakeholders across your organisation are on board with your new digital assessment platform. As with any process change, it’s likely that people will have questions about the new way of working. This article shares some tips for stakeholder engagement during the implementation process. If you want to find out more, you can download the full e-book for free.
1- Demonstrate how digital assessment benefits each stakeholder
When implementing change, it’s important to clearly communicate why the change is happening and how it will affect everyone at the institution. Start with the big picture: what problems is the new technology solving at your institution? When deciding to transition to a digital assessment platform, an institution may be motivated by inefficiencies in their current assessment processes, the need for greater flexibility when delivering exams, a desire to modernise assessment or a number of other reasons. Whatever your motivation for change, it’s important that this is conveyed to everyone at the institution so that they understand the importance of the new technology and associated processes.
Secondly, each person will have different priorities, largely based on their role. For example, academics are likely to be focused on changes to creation and grading of assessments, whilst administrators may want to know how exam planning will be affected. Meanwhile, students are likely to have questions about test-day logistics. These are just a few examples and you will know which are likely to resonate at your institution. Considering each group’s priorities and demonstrating how the new platform addresses these issues is critical in order to get the whole organisation engaged with the new technology.
In order to communicate these messages effectively, you need to consider the best way to reach each group of stakeholders: meetings, emails, dedicated web pages, forums or videos are just a few options. It may be that you decide to use all of these mediums to ensure that people with different styles of communication and priorities are catered for.
2- Provide comprehensive training
Next up, it’s time to dig deeper into the system with training sessions for everyone who will use the new digital assessment platform. The opportunity to learn about the new technology in a low-stakes environment and ask questions is vital for successful implementation.
Just as everyone has different communication styles, there are likely to be a range of preferences when it comes to learning the system. Many people will benefit from watching a live training webinar, others prefer to try interactive tasks, while some learn best from reading a user manual. It’s a good idea to provide a range of options, if possible, to give everyone the best chance to get acquainted with the new software.
Many digital assessment providers, including Inspera, provide comprehensive training for your team. This allows you to learn from trainers who know the software inside-out and to explore all of the possibilities it could offer.
3- Collect feedback as regularly as possible
Finally, it’s essential to collect feedback from your stakeholders before, during and after implementing the new platform. Feedback allows you to continuously improve your digital assessment processes and shows your stakeholders that their opinions are valued.
There are a number of ways to collect feedback. You may choose to send out regular surveys, hold workshops for different groups, host drop-in sessions or a combination of all three. Continuously collecting feedback during the process on the training and the platform itself helps you to keep up with the general attitude at your institution. This allows you to make changes as you go along, if necessary, to ensure the process is as effective as possible.
The transition to digital assessment is a significant adjustment for everyone involved. But with careful consideration of each stakeholder's priorities, robust training, and actionable feedback, your institution stands the best chance of success during implementation and beyond.