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Pearson Edexcel Set New Milestones in Innovative Assessments

by Eddie Rayner

Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has announced the successful completion of a two-year-long pilot programme, with 600 students from six schools, of onscreen International GCSEs in the English Language. The first cohort of International GCSE English students receiving their results for onscreen exams is a key milestone along the path toward ensuring future readiness in assessments and education.

The Middle East region was heavily represented in the six institutions that took part in the onscreen exams, namely, The British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) and Al Yasmina Academy in Abu Dhabi, The British School of Bahrain, Qatar International School (QIS), and Doha College in Doha, and King’s College La Moraleja | British School of Madrid. They worked closely with Pearson over the two years to help develop the platform and prepare for their examinations using Pearson’s onscreen mock assessments.

Commenting on the exam results, Kathryn Booth, Regional Director MENAT, Pearson School Qualifications, said: “Exam results published today are the culmination of two years of work between Pearson Edexcel and the six schools who gamely joined us in the pilot of International GCSE English onscreen exams. This is a giant step in transforming British curriculum assessment and can only benefit today’s digital-native students. 90% of students who completed their assessment onscreen said they thought their school should offer onscreen assessment in the future.

“Here at Pearson Edexcel, we are delighted with the success of onscreen assessment and congratulate the trailblazing students on their exam results.  We hope this gives schools across the region confidence to consider offering International GCSE onscreen assessment with Pearson Edexcel.”

“Here at Pearson Edexcel, we are delighted with the success of onscreen assessment and congratulate the trailblazing students on their exam results”

The pandemic has been a catalyst in the transformation of learning and teaching and how assessments are conducted globally.  Many students prefer typing over writing; therefore, onscreen exams are an excellent opportunity to showcase their potential and perform optimally. Moreover, it will prepare the students for a technologically enabled environment in higher education and the workplace.

In May/June 2023, all Pearson International schools will have the option to take their English Language and English Literature exams onscreen, wherever they are in the world.

Receiving the results from their onscreen exams, Nigel Davis, Head of Secondary at The British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) commented: “At BSAK, we are always looking to innovate and ensure that the school moves with the times and offers our students the best possible options for their qualification.  We believe that this is the future of exams, and the confidence that our students had as they left the exam hall this summer was palpable.  Now that we have seen the results, we cannot be happier.  The students’ confidence in themselves was well placed – they have exceeded the expectations we had for them.”

“My recommendation would be to embrace this opportunity”

According to Wayne Ridgway, Head of Senior School, British School of Bahrain: “We wanted to be a part of something that would help our students to feel more comfortable and confident going into their exams, and the students were really happy with how the exam went on the day.  I would be very happy to see more onscreen assessments in the future – this is the way students are going to work when they go on to universities for their higher education and beyond.”

“We wanted to be a part of the pilot and one of the leaders in the country as we navigate the pathway towards online examinations, and we have reaped the rewards ever since. My recommendation would be to embrace this opportunity. We live in a technological world now and it can streamline examinations long-term. The students had had the opportunity to experiment with the systems involved before the examination took place and they arrived into the examination confident, ready, and prepared to excel,” commented Michael Merrick, Associate Head of Secondary, Qatar International School.

In education, there are now increasing calls to accelerate the transition to onscreen teaching, learning, and assessment to reflect the way today’s young learners live, learn and think. For further information on onscreen assessments and learning resources, follow the link to  Pearson International