ASCL comment on digital exams

Tom Middlehurst, Curriculum, Assessment and Inspection Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to a report from AQA, which states that digital exams will help young people develop the skills they need for the future.
“It is very encouraging that exam boards are continuing to explore ways of moving towards digital exams. Our current system is becoming increasingly outdated, and at GCSE results in students taking a vast number of terminal, pen-and-paper exams. Developments in technology provide opportunities to refine our approach to one that is less burdensome yet more in keeping with the modern, digital world and the skills young people are going to need. Digital exams will also support more adaptive, personalised approaches to assessment to enable all children to show what they can do.

“While a digital approach has many benefits, it is imperative that it comes with proper investment in educational technology that ensures all students are given equal access to the devices they will use in exams. Otherwise this approach risks favouring students who have greater access to technology at home and could inadvertently increase the disadvantage gap.”