About the 2018 Digital Trials and Pilots

Previous Trials and Pilots

Mid-year Level 1 Science Trial

Enhanced functionality in digital assessment

End of year Digital Trials and Pilots

Digital Trials

Trials for derived grade evidence

Digital Pilots

Special Assessment Conditions

How to get involved

More information


Mid-year Level 1 Science Trial

NZQA will be trialling a Level 1 Science digital assessment in June 2018. A “Trial” is a practice assessment that does not count towards a student’s NCEA.

The mid-year Trial window will be available in the last 2-3 weeks of Term 2.

The Trial will offer all externally assessed standards at Level 1. Students can choose to complete one or more of these assessments based on their learning to date. Any standards not assessed can be attempted during the Digital Trial window offered later in September-October 2018.

The content of the Science Trial will be the same in both the June and in the September/October windows. Therefore, a student will be able to attempt each standard only once.

This Trial examination will use software that has been present in NZQA’s previous Digital Trials and Pilots, and will introduce the use of assessment items that are significantly different from what would be viable in a paper-based examination. Some examples of this may include: viewing a video clip and drafting a response; manipulating items through drag and drop to show substances mixing, and then drafting a response.

As we look to the future, where learning could be assessed more closely to the time of teaching, this Trial will help us learn about how schools and students can work with digital assessment of external standards within the school year, rather than the usual end of year window. This Trial will also provide initial insight into managing mid-year external assessment. The assessment contains new digital tools (augmentation) which will add to NZQA’s learning about digital assessment.

The intent is that this examination is sat under test conditions. The setup, invigilation and marking of the Digital Trial will be managed and run by schools. The assessment material is original and can be used as evidence for derived and emergency grades (if the appropriate guidelines are followed).

A familiarisation activity will be made available in April to provide students with the opportunity to experience the look and feel of this digital examination.  This activity includes the login and submission process that students will encounter, and some of the different tools which will be present during their digital examination. 

NZQA will underpin this Trial with robust research and an evaluation approach, so that we can better understand the way in which we could make more than one digital examination session available per year and more than Substitution (content identical to paper examination) or Augmentation (addition of digital features) examinations.

Enhanced functionality in digital assessment

The following are some digital tools and features that students will experience in the digital Trials and Pilots:

  • Text editing
  • Copy and paste within the digital examination
  • Word Count in some subjects
  • Spell Check in some subjects

The Science Trial includes features such as:

  • Drag and drop
  • Video/audio resources
  • Graphing
  • Equation editor

End of year Digital Trials and Pilots

NZQA will continue offering a range of Digital Trials and Pilots in the same timeframe and structure as in 2016 and 2017. This will support our current learnings as we see increased uptake from schools and support for year-on-year participation at a student level.

Digital Trials

NZQA will be undertaking Digital Trial examinations in the following subjects:

Level 1

  • Classical Studies
  • English
  • Media Studies
  • Science (This Trial will contain the same content that is offered in the June Digital Science examination)

Level 2

  • Classical Studies
  • English
  • Media Studies

Following a comprehensive review of operational requirements, the following Digital Trials may be offered at Level 3 and we will confirm that in the middle of Term 2.

  • Classical Studies
  • English
  • Media Studies

Note that externally assessed standards will be used in all these subjects. The Trial examinations will be available at two times - the first opportunity will be 10-28 September and the second will be 15 - 26 October.

Schools will have control over when they offer the Digital Trials within this period.  The setup, invigilation and marking of the Digital Trials will be managed and run by schools.  The Digital Trials can either be used as a practice examination completed in one sitting, completed over multiple sessions as a classroom activity, or used for revision.

Trials for derived grade evidence

If the 2018 Digital Trial examinations are completed as a practice examination in one sitting, they can be used as evidence for derived grades. These examinations must be kept secure so they are not available to students from other schools who may be sitting them at a different time. The marking of student responses must comply with the derived grade requirement for verification or justification before results are reported.

For schools participating in the mid-year Level 1 Science Trial, please note that each standard may be assessed for evidence towards derived grades using the Trial examination only once, either mid-year OR in September/October.

Further information about derived grades can found on these links:

Digital Pilots

We will also be offering three Level 1 Digital Pilot Examinations, three Level 2 Digital Pilot Examinations. Following a comprehensive review of operational requirements, Digital Pilots may be offered at Level 3.

These examinations will contain the same content as the paper examinations (substitution), but some digital tools will feature in the examinations.

Involvement in a Digital Pilot examination will be voluntary, and those students who opt-in will sit a digital examination rather than the paper examination (the printed examination paper will be available as a back-up). The Pilot examinations will be held on the same dates and times as the paper-based examinations.

To ensure that students are well prepared for Digital Pilots, registration in the September/October Trials is a pre-requisite.

Level 1 Digital Pilots will be available for all candidates in the following subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • English
  • Media Studies.

Level 2 Digital Pilots will be offered to candidates who participated in the Level 1 Pilots in 2017:

  • Classical Studies
  • English
  • Media Studies

Level 3 Digital Pilots may be offered in the following subjects only to students and schools who have participated in either Level 1 or Level 2 digital Pilots in that subject (confirmation will be communicated to schools in the middle of Term 2 following a comprehensive review of operational requirements):

  • Classical Studies
  • English
  • Media Studies

Special assessment conditions

Candidates who require special assessment conditions can participate in both the Trial and Pilot examinations, as the following will be offered:

  • variable font size
  • resizeable screen
  • extra time.

How to get involved

Registration for the June level 1 Science Trial has now closed. 

NZQA will contact all New Zealand secondary schools in Term 2 to let them know how they can be involved in the August/September Digital Trial examinations and in end of year Digital Pilot examinations.

Schools wishing to participate should refer to our technical requirements and other considerations page.

More information

For more information please email future.state@nzqa.govt.nz or contact your school relationship manager.

 

Page last updated 17 April 2018

 
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