Human error has always been at the forefront of risk in public assessment. But are there other risks associated with the processing of tests and examinations? How are the risks for learners different to the risks for governments? And how can we reduce risk?
The 6th biennial Cambridge Assessment conference took place in Cambridge on 10 October 2012. Hosted by the Cambridge Assessment Network, it brought together more than 120 experts from within the education and assessment community with speakers from a wider range of backgrounds to consider the principles of risk and how they might apply to assessment and qualification systems.
As reported widely in the UK media, Chief Executive of Ofqual Glenys Stacey - who was one of the presenters at the conference - told delegates that the regulator is launching an investigation into marking standards. Ofqual is expected to make a series of recommendations in early 2013 into how to improve accuracy in marking.
The keynote speakers Professor Alastair Scotland, former Director of the National Clinical Assessment Service, and Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, Director of the King’s Centre for Risk Management, King’s College London, discussed the relationship between risk communication and regulation.
Isabel Nisbet, former Ofqual Chief Executive and now of University of Cambridge International Examinations, and Mick Walker, former Executive Director of Education at the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, considered lessons learned from the national curriculum testing crisis of 2008.
Glenys Stacey of Ofqual and Dr Michelle Meadows of exam board AQA explored risk from the perspectives of regulator and exam board. Other panellists included: Amanda Spielman, ARK Schools and Ofqual; Russell Hobby, National Association of Head Teachers; Tim Oates, Cambridge Assessment; and David Skelton, Policy Exchange.
The Cambridge Assessment Network was established to help assessment professionals keep up to date with the latest thinking in assessment, allowing them to share ideas - through a programme of Continuing Professional Development and Dialogue - with like-minded people as part of an international community of practice.
View the podcasts from this event.