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'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.'

About the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training

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 a high-quality education. To that end, the Directorate has been conducting national tests across all primary schools in Norway.

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Why

National tests in Norway are standardised assessments that test all pupils in reading, mathematics, and some parts of the English language subject; these tests are usually held in autumn, shortly after pupils have started the 5th, 8th, and 9th grade.

According to the 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.'

The digital assessment process simplifies test-taking through all steps from piloting items to the final implementation of tests, as well as reporting to the Ministry of Education, school leaders, and teachers.

How

Since 2008, the Directorate has been using an Inspera-delivered digital assessment platform for the on-screen delivery of tests. Inspera provides for digital development, execution, and monitoring of national tests, diagnostic tests, grade-supporting tests, and a variety of formative tests.

The Inspera-delivered platform integrates with a custom-built test administration system, and Inspera cooperates with four other suppliers, each delivering products that, together, form the overall test systems portfolio used by the Directorate. A question item can be tracked from development in Inspera’s system to the administrative system for test management, back to Inspera for test delivery. Finally, results are transferred back to the administration system. A third system does a statistical analysis of the results, which is sent back to Inspera’s system (PGSC) and used in reports.

The Results

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.

Looking Ahead

Regarding 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 a 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.

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