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  • louise76127

Changing attitudes - musings on the move to remote assessments for SpLD?

As I start to book in remote assessments it led me to reflect on how things change and how our mindset can alter over time. Pre Covid online working wasn’t common, it was something I avoided and felt insecure with, throughout the first lockdown it felt an alien way of working that was symptomatic of that very strange and unsettling time.

Pre lockdown remote assessments were unheard off, test materials were not approved for using remotely, with the occasional exception of exam access arrangements for schools abroad who were following the English curriculum.

Now hybrid working is commonplace, remote assessments are part of the established landscape of assessment, being offered alongside face to face assessment and assessors, like me who were once very anti remote establishment have come to love online/remote assessments, justas much as face to face ones.

Having embraced online assessing I have been as pleasantly surprised at how they compare to face-to-face ones. All the concerns I had spouted initially seem baseless I was very vocal in 2020 about how remote assessment should not become “A Thing”!!! My main concern was how to observe students completing tasks and gain all the qualitative information, has definitely been dismissed. Its amazing how much you pick up when you are focusing on someone on a computer screen.

Difficulties with technology, sure some teething problems, but nothing more than face to face, I’ve done plenty of face-to-face assessments where noise in adjoining offices has been problematic or there has been a fire practice halfway through a key test invalidating it, students late because of traffic on the motor way. Remote assessment isn’t without issues, but then again, nor are face to face ones.

And there are so many positives

  • The person being assessed is in a comfortable environment

  • Since covid people are much more tech savvy

  • Platforms such as zoom, or Teams are easily available

  • For the assessee time is reduced because they don’t have to travel

  • If for any reason the assessment over runs or additional tests are required, it is so much easier to fit in a short session to finish off.

  • Because assessments are online it’s easy to decide if any additional or different tests are needed without the need to lug heavy pieces of kit around (or forget things)

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