About the Caribbean Examinations Council
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC®) is an awarding organisation established in 1972, with responsibility for conducting examinations in 19 different English-speaking geographical territories in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Over 80,000 candidates are examined by the CXC annually. The examinations cover curricula in a diverse range of subjects, including Mathematics, English, and Science. For this customer story, we interviewed Rodney Payne, Senior Manager in Examinations Administration and Security.
CXC coordinates 252 local partner test centres (i.e. primary and secondary schools, public and private) and has used Inspera Assessment to deliver digital examinations since 2016.
The following three key objectives drove the motivation for implementing Inspera Assessment, with a view of gradually replacing pen-and-paper exam deliveries at CXC local school test centres:
● Operational efficiency
● Authentic assessment with new media in the testing environment
● Meeting stakeholders’ expectations in terms of results turnaround
Rodney Payne explains the reason for partnering with Inspera: ‘We tried online exams with a different provider, but we needed to replace it with a tool that was more robust, reliable, and scalable’
A question bank (a database of all the available online assessment questions for a subject) supports the examiners' job of setting questions. The academic staff responded positively to both the functionality and design offered by Inspera Assessment.
In addition, a research and development (R&D) team at Inspera worked closely with the Oxford Medical Sciences Division to advance the learning analytics tools available in the platform.
To prepare for the implementation and secure adoption, the following activities were initiated:
- Workshops with various internal and external stakeholders
- Workshops at the test centres with the CXC’s technical staff to collect feedback and provide hands-on instructions
- To further encourage adoption, an opportunity was offered to test centres to opt into a trial in the period January - April 2019
- Inspera provided support with an online help desk and on-site technical staff visits from the start
In the planning and development phase, an effective local infrastructure was one of the key factors to ensure quicker adoption. Another important factor was to effectively communicate that digital exams are not as technically demanding as some may think. Finally, CXC allowed individual test centres to decide on the level of their participation in the project.
In the first year of implementation, 1,864 digital exams were delivered. Since then, the solution has been developed and adopted further, and as a result, in 2018, there were in total 19,902 digital exams successfully delivered through Inspera Assessment at the local test centres. Delivery is allowed in both bring your own device (BYOD) model, and on local test centres’ devices.
In the feedback survey recently conducted by CXC, 98% of students, who participated in the survey, said that they prefer digital exams over the pen-and-paper alternative.
CXC has the ambition to convert more of its local test centres to online exam delivery by the end of 2020. ‘The growth in adoption in the last few years seems exponential. We have been working very well together with Inspera, and our account manager has been very accommodating’, reports Payne. As CXC works towards their goal of 100% exam digitisation, the future work will be focusing on introducing even more authentic assessment elements into exams, beyond multiple-choice questions.
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