Developing digital

Developing digital

Man looking at smartphone

Under our new Group Chief Executive Saul Nassé we are accelerating our move to digital, recognising that as educators it is important to be more creative than ever to serve our students well.

One key development in the digital arena is Linguaskill, an online test which is designed to give organisations and universities a fast and convenient measure of a student’s English language ability. Launched in November 2017, the test is already proving popular in different sectors in countries such as Mexico, Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

The Quiz Your English app, run by Cambridge Assessment English, goes from strength to strength. It allows language learners around the world to go head-to-head in an English language quiz. The latest figures show that nearly five million games have been played on the app, which is now being launched into new countries including China. Meanwhile, Write and Improve, a big-data-powered product that allows students to choose a topic, write about it in English and get instant feedback continues to grow in popularity.

Cambridge English also continues to enjoy a strong partnership with FutureLearn, the UK’s Open University e-learning offshoot. The latest development is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to cater for the growing worldwide popularity of teaching English online. The course aims to equip teachers with the skills, knowledge, digital tools and resources needed to design and deliver effective online English lessons.

Another key digital development was our tie-up with the leading language learning app Babbel. Released in October 2017, the Babbel English Test allows adult learners of English to assess their listening and reading skills online from level A1 (beginner) up to and including B1 (intermediate). Test takers earn a certificate of achievement, which can be downloaded and used to demonstrate English skills or even just to warm up for an exam. Launching the test, Thomas Holl, founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Babbel, said: “We are immensely proud to partner with Cambridge English, the biggest and best name in language assessment.”

May 2018 saw the signing of a major agreement with the consultancy arm of Indian multinational Tata Group. Under the deal with TCS iON, Cambridge English is leveraging the company’s extensive, high-stakes assessment capability to deliver computer-based Business English qualifications to many more people across India.

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The consultancy arm of Indian multinational Tata Group signed a major agreement to administer Cambridge's computer-based Business English certificates.

Over the last few years we and our IELTS partners have made substantial progress in offering computer-delivered versions of the popular test. With computer-delivered IELTS there are more test dates available, test takers can choose a time convenient for them, and they will receive their results in five to seven days. We believe the move provides more options to our test takers and stakeholders, while retaining all of the test’s current security, trust and integrity. In March 2016 we and our IELTS partners launched computer-delivered Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) and then in November 2017 we successfully launched non-SELT qualifications.

Our training and professional development division is also innovating, in January 2018 launching a new, online course designed to introduce the principles of assessment. A101 is provided by the Cambridge Assessment Network and covers validity, reliability, fairness, standards, comparability, practicality and manageability of assessment. The inspiration for the name comes from a course run by the UK’s Open University in the late seventies, which provided a complete foundation in the social sciences. Since A101’s launch, hundreds of learners from a range of educational backgrounds and 55 countries worldwide have completed the nine-week course.

And in early summer 2018 Cambridge Assessment International Education announced that on-screen versions of its Cambridge Lower Secondary Progression Tests had gone live following successful trials. The new on-screen tests in English, mathematics and science are for students aged 11 to 14. Cambridge International is not planning to remove paper-based options, which are still valued by many schools, but instead to provide on-screen alternatives.

Cambridge International also successfully launched a School Support Hub, a secure online site for teachers where they can more easily find the resources needed to deliver Cambridge programmes. This includes schemes of work, past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports.

Cambridge International also continued to add more subjects to its Resource Plus range, a collection of online teaching and learning resources to support the delivery of key topics and skills across popular Cambridge IGCSE and International A Level subjects. They are designed to help teachers explain concepts that can be difficult for learners to understand.

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