The International Baccalaureate program is moving to digital exams – Open Access Government | Team Cansler

Digital exams are now overtaking traditional paper exams in the International Baccalaureate, with the potential to move to virtual reality assessments as well

The International Baccalaureate traditionally used paper exams and workbooks but is now making the decision to hold digital exams as part of a shift to virtual education, a necessary step in the wake of COVID-19 which has impacted international schools everywhere.

The International Baccalaureate or IB is a school program that has been introduced in over 5000 schools in over 150 countries in place of A levels and aims to provide students with a broader curriculum. It is now looking at developing online exams and possibly virtual reality assessments.

Digital exams allow students to be assessed in a way that is more appropriate for the workplace and the 21st century, said Olli-Pekka Heinonen at the IB’s global conference in The Hague, Netherlands.

Digital exams should make the qualification for the next generation “future-proof”.

Digital exams enable people outside of regular classes, e.g. B. those learning remotely to gain access to the qualification.

The program designers made the decision to put the diploma online, hoping to assess students in a way more adapted to the modern world, with the intention of putting all exams online.

No timeline has been set for the switch, as schools will initially be offered a choice of online or paper-based exams.

Training teachers and supporting students in the shift

This shift in qualification will take time as program directors need to ensure that teachers are trained to use new technologies and teaching methods and that student needs are fully met.

Heinonen said: “The paper assessments will be there for the transition period, but I also see that there will be a time when we will move to a digital environment.”
“It’s not like we go paperless the next day once we’ve done the digital assessment, [but] There will come a moment when there will be a shift.”

Stewart Watts, VP EMEA at D2L, discussed the best way to implement online learning, where he said: “The pandemic has been a catalyst for big changes. As suggested by the Director General of IB, education must evolve with the modern world. The number of students who are not “employable” is well documented. Many lack the critical skills needed to meet today’s workforce and organizational challenges.

“Closing this gap requires a change in the way we value, deliver and measure learning, especially if we are to address ongoing recruitment challenges. Vocational qualification courses are a step in the right direction. However, reforming an entire educational program will take time and must be approached carefully.

“While online assessments offer a number of benefits, precautions must be taken to ensure students have the best possible experience. It is critical that these initiatives are carefully planned and thought through with the students in mind. By incorporating data analytics into these online assessments, faculty can identify where students are struggling and adjust their courses accordingly.

Precautions must be taken to ensure students have the best possible experience

“Teachers can see student GPAs much more easily, but combined with other data points it can provide a holistic view of how students are progressing in each of their subjects and courses. If the online IB is successfully conducted, students will be able to engage in a variety of formats, be it audio, film or virtual reality, allowing them to study and take their exams from anywhere and on any device.

“Unfortunately, many teachers have never been formally trained to provide online learning or to design online assessments, as this is not typically part of the teacher education curriculum. This lack of instructional design knowledge means that starting to create a structured online space can be challenging. Both educational technology and online learning should complement all current learning and teaching goals. Ensuring employees can use and apply these technologies effectively throughout their programs helps ensure they provide the best possible learning experience.”

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