Educators and learners worldwide have seen disruption caused by Covid-19 for many months now. As the world continues to adapt and carry on through turbulent times, Cambridge Assessment is committed to doing all it can to support learners, educators and assessment specialists.
Last year Cambridge Assessment developed a wide range of resources as learning around the world moved online. We have continued to add new resources over recent months and provide a summary from across our Group in this blog.
Cambridge Assessment International Education
Online tools for Cambridge schools around the world
Cambridge International Education has created a dedicated page which includes links to a number of resources for teachers to use when holding classes online. As well as this, Resource Plus (a library of resources for Cambridge IGCSEs and O levels) is currently being offered free of charge to all schools. A range of publishing partners have also been offering support and resources to educators, and there is a handy page with contact details of all partners who are providing assistance.
Blogs are published regularly which discuss relevant topics and ask important questions, with the aim of assisting and inspiring educators and learners to succeed throughout these difficult times.
Information and support for UK teachers and students
Since March 2020, OCR has been sending out a weekly roundup to teachers and schools. These emails are designed to help teachers adapt their teaching methods, share new resources and keep teachers up to date with changes and announcements. There are also lots of professional development opportunities on offer for teachers. There is a purpose-built support webpage which includes a range of resources for teachers, students, exam officers and assessors. This webpage includes information and guidance for 2021.
ExamBuilder is an excellent tool for teachers who are looking to create bespoke practice assessments for students. It is a free service for OCR centres with an Interchange account, and it is a quick, straightforward tool to create mock and topic tests for many OCR qualifications.
OCR publishes blogs to support teachers and students through these difficult times. Often written by subject advisors, they offer tips and advice for specific subjects, as well as general advice about remote teaching and learning. One fantastic blog gives advice on how to be kind to yourself in these difficult winter months, and another offers ideas on resourcefulness and resolve.
You can also keep up to date, share resources and interact with fellow teachers via OCR’s Twitter account.
Cambridge Assessment English
Support for teaching English online
Cambridge Assessment English has produced resources and tools for online teaching that have been collated onto Your New English Classroom, a section of the website to help teachers teaching online, at home or using a blended approach.
There is also a dedicated page for teachers teaching English online. It includes lots of free resources including online lesson plans, activity ideas and thoughtful blogs and tips on how to best engage learners digitally.
Last year, Cambridge Assessment English hosted the Cambridge Live Experience in collaboration with Cambridge University Press. More than 50,000 teachers joined talks on a variety of topics, all focused on providing inspiration and helping teachers feel supported. All the sessionsare now online and free to view.
Cambridge English works closely with Future Learn to provide a free online course to help teachers get the tools they need to adapt to teaching online. So far, 250,000 teachers around the globe have enrolled on the Teaching English Online course.
Kahoot is a handy tool for teachers to use to keep learners engaged. Our Kahoots for young learners can be used to create fun, interactive quizzes, to help learners practice their skills.
Support for learning English online
For learners, there are several resources available to support online learning, and to improve English skills.
- Write and Improve – an effective tool to improve writing skills
- Linguaskill – a quick online test which assesses reading, writing, listening and speaking skills
- Exam Lift – an app for those studying A2 & B2 level English, which includes fun activities to practice skills
- Test your English – a tool to discover which Cambridge English Qualification is right for you
- A wide range of free activities - choose from 176 activities to practice and improve your English skills
Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing
Solutions for digital test-takers and institutions
If you are a student preparing for a test from Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, there are some handy resources to help with your preparations.
- Materials – this dedicated webpage includes preparation materials for all tests
- Getting started with BMAT – if you have recently begun preparing for BMAT, this useful video gives you top tips on how to get the most out of your study. It gives a helpful overview on the test format and suggests how to prepare for each section of the test.
Over the past year, Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing has published blogs to support students taking their tests, this most recent blog offers 6 top study tips for 2021.
The Cambridge Personal Styles Questionnaire® (CPSQ) is an easy-to-administer online assessment that helps organisations identify people’s values and behaviours. It focuses on how people approach tasks and interact with others. The CPSQ is a great professional development tool and can be used for both teachers and schools.
Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing’s Twitter page is a useful place to keep up to date with all information and announcements, and to interact with other learners.
CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring)
Assessment support for education professionals
CEM has written a number of blogs
to support teaching and learning both remotely and in schools as centres begin to re-open. The blogs focus on giving advice and discussing assessment during the pandemic. There are also free webinars available to watch on CEM's YouTube channel
Cambridge Assessment Network
Professional development and training for assessment and education professionals
Cambridge Assessment Network has continued to run its highly successful courses and workshops using an online format. These courses are for assessment specialists based both in the UK and globally, and are designed to help improve methods and knowledge to keep education fresh and innovative. Courses currently running are: Designing multiple-choice question (MCQ) assessments with impact, Validation: Theory, Principles, Praxis, A102: Introducing Assessment Practice and the Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Educational Studies: Educational Assessment (PGCA).
There are a couple of ways you can keep up to date with Cambridge Assessment Network:
- Blogs – these are regularly published and cover theories and methodologies related to assessment.
- Joining the Assessment Network – by joining, you will be the first to hear about new seminars, you can receive free newsletters, and you can find out about the LinkedIn page which can connect you with like-minded professionals.
Cambridge University Press
Digital learning materials and resources available for educators and learners
There is a range of resources available for teachers and educators, including the Brighter Thinking Podcast and Brighter Thinking Blog. The podcast and blogs bring together education enthusiasts from all over the world, to discuss and to inspire innovative teaching and learning.
Cambridge University Press has been working with Cambridge Assessment English to provide a wealth of resources for teaching and learning English online:
- Learn English with Cambridge on YouTube – this channel includes a wide variety of videos to help learners improve and practice their English skills
- World of Better Learning – this dedicated page includes blogs to help teachers with remote and blended learning
- Cambridge Dictionary Plus – a tool to help English learners improve vocabulary and grammar skills through different activities, word lists and quizzes
Cambridge University Press is offering digital textbooks and other learning and study materials:
- Cambridge GO – a home for all Cambridge digital content for both teachers and students
- Cambridge Elevate – a resource for teachers and schools that provides digital versions of textbooks, alongside additional digital content to enhance learning
Updates and insights from the Cambridge Assessment Group
We encourage you to share this blog with friends and colleagues, and comment below with recommendations of resources you’ve found useful over recent months as an educator or learner.