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What it's all about

The Pass-IT online project, initiated three years ago, allowed the Scottish Qualifications Authority to pilot units and summative assessments for Higher maths and computing studies at Intermediate 1 and computing at Intermediate 2.

A reporting system was developed to allow teachers to track the progress of their students, on an individual, whole-class, single question, or complete assessment basis.

An evaluation of the project concluded that:

* subject teachers wanted e-assessment to be extended to more levels;

* formative e-assessment was welcomed by the majority of teachers;

* e-assessments benefited some students with specific learning difficulties;

* there was still a significant number of teachers - and pupils - who were wary of e-assessment; however, when they became involved they were generally convinced of its benefits;

* some centres were experiencing technical problems, the majority of these being with authority or school hardware andor software;

* e-assessments consisting entirely of objective questions were easier to administer and mark than those which extended the boundaries;

* e-assessments needed more time than paper assessments to allow for logging on, while technical issues and reading from a screen took longer than reading from paper; thus it was recommended that candidates be given 25 per cent longer for e-assessments;

* reverting to paper course assessment when e-assessment had been used for unit assessment was seen by some students as a barrier;

* in the future, where assessments are completely computer-marked and drawn from prior verified assessment banks, moderators would be responsible for the secure delivery of assessments and the authentication of candidates'

work;

* moderators would have to be trained in e-verification, including accessing and interpreting electronic evidence, which could have significant resource implications.

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