Remote Invigilation was piloted with a number of providers in late 2020 and has since made great progression over the past few months. The service offers greater flexibility to providers in how they can assess their learners. Invigilators will no longer need to make long journeys, sometimes with overnight stays, to invigilate Functional Skills assessments. From now on, Pearson can take the strain for you (taking the strain so you don’t have to take the train should be the tagline!). This service will free up assessors and tutors so they can direct more focus on supporting their learners.
Logistically it makes sense too. The flexibility of the system means you can assess the learners when they want to be assessed, and you’re not bound by the availability of your staff. Similarly, it reduces the need to make compromises with employers about access to their buildings and having rooms ready for assessment.
From a learner’s point of view, it means they can access the assessment in a location where they feel comfortable. It allows them to focus on the assessment without the rest of their day being interrupted, be it with work or other studies. The feedback from learners has been positive in this respect.
As part of the process, I took part in a pilot assessment and went through the process from a learner's point of view. The whole thing is both intuitive and logical, the website takes the learner through the whole process. Once the learner is set up, they need to check their equipment, a link on an email takes you through to the website where you are taken through it, checking the various aspects such as WiFi, camera and audio among other things. Once this is completed, the learner is ready to take a test. I would recommend setting up the system the day before the test, so the learner is entirely focused on the test on the day and not on the computer’s capabilities.
On the day of the test, the learner logs on again and is taken through the final checks: ID, room layout and the setting up of the second device. I took the test in my son’s room and, despite having invigilated 100s of assessments in my career, I made what can only be described as some schoolboy errors. I left some posters on the desk and was drinking coffee from a mug. The learner needs to be better safe than sorry with this and it is worth going through the rules with them. If I can make this mistake, so can they. Especially as they have not set up an assessment room before. With this, it is also worth remembering the learner probably has never done an assessment alone before, so it is doubly worth talking them through the process.
Once set up, the learner then completes the online assessment as they normally would and this is then uploaded back to us for marking.
This whole system is incredibly useful, not just in the current situation, but also moving forward with assessments in the future. Not just Functional Skills, this can be used for EPAs and other online assessments will follow too. We hope to have the new service ready for launch soon.
For more information and updates view our dedicated Remote Invigilation webpage.
Chris Briggs, Sector Manager Post-16 English and Maths