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Ofqual to allow awarding bodies freedom to 'innovate with e-assessment'

Jisc survey shows most organisations use e-assessment on a day-to-day basis, although the impact is often limited

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Jisc survey shows most organisations use e-assessment on a day-to-day basis, although the impact is often limited

Ofqual will consider loosening restrictions to help FE awarding bodies develop new forms of e-assessment, it has been revealed.

In response to a report by Jisc highlighting the different approaches to e-assessment in further education, the qualifications regulator said e-assessment and other forms of innovation presented opportunities for the sector and potential benefits for students.

“We want to enable the awarding organisations to innovate in assessment, as long as their assessments are valid," Ofqual said in its statement. "We will keep under review our requirements and approach, and consider changes where there is evidence they are damaging innovation.” Ofqual intends to publish an innovation plan in mid-2016 setting out its approach.

Mixed response to the technology

The Jisc survey report, published yesterday, concluded that while most organisations were using e-assessment on a day-to-day basis, its impact across an organisation was often limited. Just 57 per cent of respondents said they had a good or very good experience of e-assessment, with 32 per cent describing their experience as average, 9 per cent as poor and 1 per cent as very poor.

While most organisations said they expected to increase their use of e-assessment over the next five years, they did identify a number of barriers to this, including a lack of strategy or policy, the culture of their organisation, staff and learner capability and issues around the technology itself. 

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