At this year’s Liberal Democrat Conference, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has partnered with AQA to co-host an open fringe panel discussion: Digital visions: the future of assessment.
While the pandemic imposed huge disruption to young people’s education, the immense efforts of students and teachers to adapt to online learning and utilise the benefits that digital technology offers for learning has accelerated discussion around the role of technology in education.
This is perhaps nowhere more true than in the debate on the role of digital assessment in the classroom and in external exams. Digital assessment can facilitate flexibility, personalised assessments and immediate feedback, and has been shown to improve student engagement and test a wider range of skills than simple recall.
However, there are concerns that the use of digital technologies could be costly to adopt and may sharpen inequalities in the context of a digital divide among young people in relation to accessing IT at home.
This event will consider both the benefits of on-screen assessment in classrooms and in the exam hall – and the barriers involved in moving in this direction, recognising the disparate levels of access young people have to technology. It will ask: what role will digital technology play in the future of assessment and how we can ensure it is both accessible and innovative? It will also investigate how digital assessment can transform the role of examinations in education, providing further resilience in the system, offering opportunities for personalised learning and targeted support for children with SEND, physical or mental health needs.
We are delighted to welcome a fantastic panel of Geoff Barton (General Secretary, ASCL), Colin Hughes (CEO, AQA), Priya Lakhani OBE (Founder CEO, Century Tech) and Lord Shipley.