NCEA Online innovation, enhancements & research

28 Apr 2020

A new section on NZQA’s website details the work underway to further develop NCEA Online.

“This focuses on how we might deliver future digital exams,” according to Deputy Chief Executive Andrea Gray.

“We have trials and research underway on topics ranging from delivering te reo Māori spellcheck and text to speech, to how we might provide digital exams at more than one time of the year, to remotely supervise exams or examine some subjects differently using other software.  

“We’re also scoping new services such as delivering exams to places where there is no reliable internet, how schools might use the digital exam platform for their own assessments or whether we can offer Scholarship exams online.

“We’re exploring how we could enhance functionality to scan paper exam responses for marking and improve the system for markers and exam centre staff.”

Ms Gray said the overview of the work underway shows a strong focus on equity.

She noted the disruptions caused by COVID-19 had boosted efforts to provide internet access and devices to students from low decile schools, and to Māori and Pacific students. 

“Students from all these groups have been quick to get involved in NCEA Online, so if more of them are now able to learn with digital support, potentially they’ll become comfortable doing a digital exam.

“We are also looking at which projects could make faster progress towards digital assessment to help our schools be more resilient in the event of future disruptions.

“21st century assessment can contribute to the equity of NCEA outcomes by engaging students in new ways. We’re seeing it can stimulate changes in teaching and learning and provide new ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge.”

Ms Gray said the work may result in further research, trials, pilots or enhancements to NCEA Online over the next few years.

“We will update this section as we progress this work.”

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