Head of of Ofqaul asks: why aren't students using computers in exams?
BBC Radio4 Today Programme 25/02/2011 0732
Should computers replace pen and paper in all exams? Isabel Nisbet, outgoing chief the Ofqual qualifications watchdog, argues that GCSEs and A-levels will become "invalid" for digitally native pupils if writing materials are retained. She debates her proposal with Dr Sheila Lawlor, director of centre-right think-tank Politeia.
BBC News - Today - Today: Friday 25th February
I'm quite excited to hear this debate out in the open. Having used a PC in my own GCSE's many many years ago, and run GCSE's in a SEN school with 60+students all sitting their public exams on laptops, 9 years ago I am continually disappointed by the lack of progress in this arena.
In my experience it is easy and cheap, assuming your organisation has invested in appropriate technology already. However 60 is not the 300 that I'd need to do the same thing in a large secondary today.
The security fears she raises are easily addressed. In fact that this link here is Using Windows 7 and UMRA for Controlled Assessment almost exactly as I did it 9 years ago.
The question is how do we get enough devices to pull it off? Or is it better to use the controlled assessment model and abandon the idea of terminal examinations simply because they cannot be adequately assessed in todays' environment?