See you: 20th and 21st March 2013 for the 11th
e-Assessment Question



The e-Assessment Question
2003 to 2012 and on

‘Using  ICT   to  measure  skills,  understanding  and  knowledge

Annual Conference and Exhibition

2006 Speakers


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Conference Chairs

Kim Catcheside, Chair, Day One

Kim Catcheside is the education and social affairs correspondent for BBC Radio, appearing frequently on flagship programmes like " Today ".

She's specialised in social policy for radio and television for more than fifteen years. Kim began life as a local radio reporter in Sheffield and then Bedfordshire. She then cut her teeth in the local and regional Parliamentary Unit, shouting questions at Margaret Thatcher in the days before the bomb proof gates went up. One of these questions elicited the reply " we are a grandmother " the Royal overtones of which almost certainly heralded the Prime Ministers fall.

Kim lives in central London with her husband and two children.



Colin Deal, Chair, Day Two

A career spent mainly in the British computer industry which has covered both system and business development, in the UK and internationally. For the last twelve years has concentrated on the application of computers to the delivery of exams, initially the secure certification exams for professionals within the computer sector itself, and then the adoption of such approaches by the Financial Services sector, the Driving Standards Agency, and the Construction Industry’s Health and Safety certifications. Together, these exams represent annual volumes approaching 2 million, so are still dwarfed by the potential that exists in other sectors, which has yet to be exploited and on which his current activities are mainly focused.


2006 Speakers include :

ACE Centre


Andrew Lysley. Deputy Director and Co-ordinator of R & D at the ACE Centre, involved in the assessment, training and support of children and young people with severe communication, language and writing difficulties, who require sophisticated technologies to meet their needs.  Responsibilities also include co-ordinating, managing and participating in a range of action research projects aimed at developing Assistive Technology  for our complex client group.  This includes engagement in a number of European and other international action research projects.

ACE Centre Advisory Trust

The Department for Education and Skills and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation fund The ACE Centre.  Since 1984, the Centre has been involved, through its interdisciplinary teams of teachers and therapists, in assessing a wide range of children and young people who have communication, writing and recording impairments.  While the Centre specialises in advising on the appropriate use of technology for enabling communication and learning to develop, it aims all the time to define its role and purpose within the context of the individual's overall communication environment.


E-assessment offers both opportunities and challenges for people with physical and communication difficulties. This presentation will consider some of the issues and experiences around making e-assessment accessible to this group of young people. What are the features we need to ensure are ‘built in’ so that people using Assistive Technology [AT] can readily access e-assessment? What impact could forthcoming developments have on making e-assessment accessible to all?





Ruth Goddard is AQA’s Assistant Director (Processing) for its southern office.

She has been with AQA for 11 years working on the delivery of National Curriculum Tests and of AQA’s examination results.  Before joining AQA she worked in industry and local government.

Ruth is involved in the introduction of electronic applications for the capture of marks for a variety of examinations.  She is passionate about the importance ensuring the quality of candidates’ results and leading from this has a particular interest in the training and support processes needed by staff and examiners.

Technophobes to Technofans

It’s not just technology…..there are people too!

This presentation will look at the introduction of electronic mark capture from the perspective of the wide variety of users. New ways of working whether changing from pen and paper to PC or developing data processing methods are bringing new challenges and need new solutions. We will look at some of these changes, their impacts and the way that they have been implemented. How do we make sure everyone is able to benefit?






Bernie Zakary has been at Becta for approaching two years as Head of Pedagogical Frameworks. He has worked on content quality frameworks and the e-assessment award criteria as well as supporting the development of Becta’s Self Review Framework. Prior to that he worked for three and a half years as ICT subject officer at QCA where he was involved in qualification development and accreditation, including the Diploma in Digital Applications, and also in ICT key skill test development and the key stage 3 ICT test. His background is in teaching mathematics, and in education-industry curriculum development projects

ICT and formative assessment: a step too far?

This session explores the current political and practical landscape and asks whether the climate is right to support developments ion this area. A discussion is presented using the development of QCA’s specialised diploma as a hypothetical context.

Becta’s role in this area is discussed followed by an overview of assessment for learning practice to establish its value and importance. This is followed by a look at current practice with ICT in this area, and a discussion of the gap between the two.

Various approaches to bridging the gap are discussed; again within the hypothetical context of diploma development and a range of scenarios are presented to illustrate the challenges for the next five years.


Broadcast Learning


Christian Horn is Chief Software Architect for Broadcast Learning, a Dublin based e-Learning company  focussing on web-based, integrated Assessment Solutions .

Christian studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the Humboldt-Univeristy, Berlin, where he received a Diploma in Mathematics in 1979, a Dr.rer.nat. in Software Engineering in 1987 and a in Artificial Intelligence in 1989. From 1991-1996 he was Professor of Computer Science and served as Head of Department at the University of Applied Science (FH) Furtwangen, Germany. In 1996 Christian founded Lionet Ltd. an Internet Technology company that developed the ViewPort Browser Product which was acquired in 2004 by Broadcast Learning.




John Winkley is Commercial Director for BTL Group ( – a leading UK provider of E-Assessment Systems.  BTL manage formative and summative high stakes assessment for a range of UK organisations.  They are currently piloting on-screen high stakes tests for Edexcel and CEA in Key/Basic Skills and GCSE Science and Geography.  They also provide formative and diagnostic assessments to organisations including learndirect, DFES, and QCA. John also runs a small consultancy, 3Square, providing consultancy and development services to assessment and learning organisations.  Current clients include SQA, learndirect, and Tribal Group plc.






Ian Florance has worked in the assessment industry for over 30 years. He published and marketed clinical and educational tests at NFER-NELSON in the 1980s and was director of ASE the business test publisher and consultancy. He is now Managing Director of his own company ONLY CONNECT.

Ian helped found the European Test Publishers Group and the Business Test Publishers Association; was publishers representative on the British Psychological Society’s Steering Committee on Test Standards and has contributed to UK and European competency frameworks in test use. Ian advises the Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge Assessment and a number of leading test publishers. He has lectured on City University’s MSc in Psychometrics.

Outside his interest in testing, Ian tutors advertising students at Central St Martins College and is a poet and librettist for a composing team.


Last year several million tests were delivered on-line to UK organisations ranging from blue chip companies to schools. Based on this trend, the majority of assessments will be delivered over the web within the next five years.

Now that we have this extensive practical experience we can begin to review:

  • Have earlier fears about deprofessionalisation, a decline in test quality, the digital divide and the lack of feedback been realised ?
  • Are we getting some of the promised benefits: reduced time and financial cost; integration of data; international reach, new sorts of tests ?
  • What new developments are being worked on now ?
  • How can education and business begin t talk to each other using technology to improve decision-making about and by individuals.



Denis Saunders, MBA, BSc is Managing Director of Calibrand, the currency for talent which he founded. He has spent many years working in both the Financial Services and Government sectors. He has been involved in many skills and training related projects both in the UK and internationally.


City and Guilds


Dr Geraldine Kenney-Wallace, Keynote Address (day Two)

“The Security of Learning”

In 2001, City & Guilds e-Strategy initially focussed on linking e-assessment and e-learning by researching the learners’ needs and their response to modes of delivery of high stake e-assessment for specific qualifications.  By 2006, over 3700 City & Guilds centres are now GOLA enabled and over 890,000 candidates have taken examinations since 2002,  in a wide range of qualifications, across the UK, and now internationally.

The Security of Learning is a multidimensional topic.  Learning is viewed as an asset, and the ways of securing and growing the personal and the institutional asset are explored.  Through field experiences, surveys and ongoing feedback from learners, lecturers, administrators and employers, the key benefits and risks of “e” will be reviewed through the lens of security in a changing educational and societal landscape.

Dr Geraldine Kenney-Wallace was appointed to City & Guilds in May 2001 to establish the new Group e-Strategy & Learning Directorate.  In January 2004 she also became responsible for Information Technology.  She has considerable experience in e-learning and e-business in the UK and internationally as a Managing Director of British Aerospace and non-Executive Director in multinational companies, Vice Chancellor of a research intensive University, and a leading researcher in ultra fast lasers and non linear optics when Professor of Physics and Chemistry.  Today much of that field of research not only underpins the multimedia technologies and e-learning and e-assessment, but also the latest technologies to ensure learning is indeed a valuable and enduring asset.



Mike Dawe, Manager e-Learning & Strategy City & Guilds. After work for companies in Southern Africa which train local communities to profit from their wildlife, Michael moved to City & Guilds in London.  City & Guilds is a 125 year old organisation with a Royal Charter to provide access to vocational training in the UK, and delivers similar services in a further 100 countries.Michael’s first role in City & Guilds was co-ordinating government commissioned studies into the effects of funding structure on the quality of vocational training provision.  This work lead him to managing work on use of new technologies for capture and distribution of knowledge on best practice in training delivery, and in enforcement of regulations. Since then he managed the introduction of the first large scale on-line testing programme to the UK funded vocational market with City & Guilds Information Technology suite of awards.  These awards attract over 200 000 test takers per year, and Michael continues to lead the introduction of computer based testing to City & Guilds’ 1.2 million other learners. He also currently manages an HM Treasury funded project aimed at providing best practice guidance on delivery of on-line services to learners in the UK. 



DRS Data Services Ltd.



Developing electronic marking and management solutions

Graham Hudson, National Business Development Manager, Education DRS Data Services Limited

Graham Hudson has over twenty years’ experience of implementing and managing large-scale assessments within the UK.  His experience covers developing and managing general qualifications since 1983, including the introduction of GCSE examinations in 1988 and the National Curriculum examinations in 1994.


The presentation will explain the progress made to date in the establishment of large-scale electronic marking services and the potential that this brings for improved examination management in the UK and elsewhere in the world.  Discussion will cover how marking quality is monitored and maintained through multiple marking methods, ensuring anonymity, impartiality and avoidance of bias during marking.  Some areas of potential future use of the electronic marking system for supporting other assessment approaches will be included.



Paul Humphries, General Manager e-Business, Edexcel

Presentation: e-Consolidation  This presentation will follow on from Paul Humphries' presentation last year "Horses for courses", which dealt with divergence in demand.  Over the last year we have seen an increase in the number of e-assessment and e-learning offerings to meet these diverging demands. We are starting to see e-consolidation as some of these offering are converging into "super systems" whilst some are staying focused on their market niche - Paul discusses the pro's and con's of e-consolidation and offers a view of a way forward that will benefit providers and customers alike.

Paul Humphries is the General Manager e-Business at Edexcel and is currently advising on Edexcel’s eStrategy and focussing on the development and release of the Virtual Learning Environment based resource for teachers and tutors (OnCourse). Paul has recently defined, developed and directed the activities of two new business streams and operational units - the BTEC Academy (developing and offering e-Learning materials and a modular approach to recognised vocational qualifications) and On Screen Testing. Formerly Paul has held a number of key commercial / technical roles for major blue chip companies including; Global Crossing and BT Consulting.  Paul Holds an MBA from Brighton University.


Exams On Demand

Assessment Advisory Panel


Dr Michael Kingdon, Chair, Exam on Demand Assessment Advisory Group

This presentation considers the conclusions of a recent paper from the Exam on Demand Assessment Advisory Group.  The paper took the form of a hypothetical retrospective review of current developments in e-assessment produced in 2014.  The Exam on Demand paper concludes that the 5-year timetable for the introduction of e-assessed versions of GCSE examinations, proposed by QCA in April 2004, will not be achieved.  The reason quoted is the current over-regulation of general qualifications.  However, the paper predicts that early progress to implement e-assessment will achieved in the vocational rather then the general qualifications area.  It suggests that e-assessment of the GCSE, and later some A/AS levels, will be achieved by 2014, but this will be dependent upon the outcomes of projects to development e-learning materials.  The ways that schools and colleges may respond to the challenges of e-learning and e-assessment are explored in a series of hypothetical case studies. Finally the presentation considers how the roles of stakeholders – QCA, awarding bodies, schools and colleges, higher education, students and parents - may change as e-learning and e-assessment are implemented.

A copy of the full paper, and others in the series, will be available from the conference registration desk after this presentation. Should you fail to obtain a copy please log on to or write to:


Dr Michael Kingdon has been researching into curriculum and assessment issues for 30 years.  He is an author of books on assessment.  He has presented papers at international, commonwealth and national conferences on assessment issues, including previous conferences in this series.  He is listed in the UNESCO/ International Association for Educational Assessment Directory of Expertise in Educational Assessment as an International Expert. 

He holds both academic and professional qualifications in education (specialising in assessment), mathematics and management including:

  • Degrees in:
    • Education (specialising in assessment)
    • Mathematics and
    • Business Management
  • Professional qualifications as a:
    • Chartered Mathematician and
    • Chartered Scientist.

His previous roles include:

  • Teacher and head of science departments (1965-79);
  • Head of Research for the University of London School Examinations Board (1980-92);
  • Manager of UK National Curriculum assessment development, external marking, data collection and evaluation projects for Edexcel (1989-2000);
  • Regular consultant to the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate (1986 onwards);
  • Consultant to QCA and UK professional bodies (2001-2004);
  • Chair, Exam on Demand (ExoD) Assessment Advisory Committee and editor of the ExoD occasional papers on e-assessment issues.

Jelly James


Karima Esmail is Chartered Engineer and has been a senior lecturer, teaching for the last fourteen years. She has been involved in developing content for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and has seen many courses through the accreditation process. Her experience extends to dealing with examination boards. She is now a Product Manager, heading the e-Assessment initiative with JellyJames.



Malcolm Batchelor is Engagement Programme Manager for the JISC Sector Support Team. The team manages programmes of activity aimed at practitioners in and leaders of institutions in UK post-16 and higher education.

Malcolm has been responsible for JISC’s staff development programme raising the awareness and improving the practice and support for the development of the information skills set of staff. He manages a range of activities of the JISC Organisational Support committee including aspects of e-assessment.

Prior to joining JISC, Malcolm was an IT manager in higher education and previously worked in industry and in further and school based education


PAN Testing



David T. Pfenninger, Ph.D.

Well-designed and managed e-assessment platforms allow a new level of business process re-engineering for selection and hiring systems. International organizations use e-assessment-driven hiring programmes - operative 24x7x365 – to assess talent, with end-users able to access authorized testing reports from any computer. Both hiring managers and candidates prefer web-based methods for convenience, whilst executives embrace the top-bottom visibility of selection data, audit capability, data security, and return-on-investment. A key development is integration of e-assessments with other applications in the candidate-employee lifecycle. Dr. Pfenninger, founder of Performance Assessment Network (pan) will present current e-assessment trends and case studies from enterprises like Capital One, Procter & Gamble, U.S Department of Homeland Security T-Mobile, and Canadian Public Service Commission.


David T. Pfenninger, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. pan® founder and CEO David T. Pfenninger is a veteran of the assessment industry and an internationally recognized thought leader in the area of web-based assessment and testing systems.  pan is a best-practices provider of web assessment solutions, serving major government and Global 2000 clients, consultancies, and mid-market organizations.  A psychologist, Pfenninger is the co-inventor of three U.S. Patents including “Test Administration System Using the Internet” and co-author of a patent application currently under review for the Vita™ web-based “System and Method for Evaluating Talent and Performance.”  Dr. Pfenninger was 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in technology in the Great Lakes region and a national finalist. He is a member of a dozen professional and scientific societies and publishes and presents in peer-reviewed and professional journals and events.



Robert Smart, Managing Director, Paperfree Systems. Robert served his apprenticeship as an electrical engineer in the armed forces and served 9 years in various theatres around the world.  After leaving and being employed by First Great Western, progressed to become Senior Technical Trainer and Apprentice Controller.  Having achieved Level 4 training and development and his Cert Ed, continued his development into compiling the technical competence standards for First Great Western and introducing modern apprenticeships for the rail industry.  Several years ago, Robert was employed as Lead Assessor and Verifier for Rover BMW and led a new and radical NVQ programme across the UK from his base at the National Academy in the Midlands.  It was during this programme that PaperFree was born in 1995.  Robert then purchased the rights (for his own product) and set up PaperFree Systems Ltd in 2001.  Robert has gone on to speak at over 150 events about assessment practice and the use of technology to record competent performance.  These have included National LSC, Cabinet office, Awarding Bodies and Centres including trips to the USA, Europe and Russia.  Recognised as the ‘founder’ of vocational portfolio technology in the UK, Robert now actively promotes e-assessment best practice across the UK.




Martyn Leese, Chief Operations Officer, Pearson Assessments and Testing  

Evolving e-Assessment policy and practice - ensuring, quality and success

This presentation will consider the critical success factors to ensure a smooth transition from paper to computer based assessment. It will highlight the key decisions that need to be made and the processes that need to be followed to ensure quality and effectiveness are maintained.


Martyn Leese is the Chief Operations Officer of Pearson Assessments and Testing, the world’s leading assessment and testing business, a subsidiary of Pearson PLC.

Martyn has over 20 years experience of large scale data management, including high volume, mission critical, image scanning operations. Martyn has overseen the adaptation and implementation of Pearson Assessments and Testing services in the UK, providing clients with assessment processing services for both electronic and paper based tests.

Recent Projects include; Driving Standards Agency Driving Theory Test, National Admission Tests for Law, QCA’s key stage tests pilots, the CCEA/Edexcel Paperless Examination Project, MOE France grade testing, an e-marking ‘A’ level pilot and the TTA QTS tests.




Dr. Betty A Bergstrom. Promissor, Inc.: Vice President, Testing Services. Promissor Inc.


Responsible for: Strategic planning, Management of Testing Services Teams, Content Development, Technical Implementation and Measurement Services.  Author of numerous papers on e-Assessment, Dr Bergstrom has research expertise in Computerized Adaptive Testing  (CAT), Computer Based Testing (CBT), Innovative item types, Item Response Theory, Large Scale Item Banking and Program Chair for 2006 ATP Annual Meeting

Beyond Multiple Choice: Innovation in Computer Based Testing

Within the field of computer based testing, there is an ever-increasing and exciting array of new item types. These innovations increase our ability to measure knowledge, skills and ability. It is crucial to utilize sound psychometric methods for using and scoring innovative items and to maintain criteria against which we can evaluate the fit of an item to the purpose of the assessment. This presentation will demonstrate new item types and present four key criteria for evaluating innovation.



Isabel Nisbet has been Director of Regulation and Standards at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority since July 2005. Her Division is responsible for ensuring that qualifications and national curriculum assessments meet the required standards for validity and fairness, that standards are maintained, and that the interests of the public and learners are protected.

Before coming to the QCA, Isabel was involved in setting up new regulatory bodies and contributing to national thinking about regulation. In July 2004 she led the establishment of the  Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) and in 2003 she set up a new regulatory body, the Council for the Regulation of Healthcare Professionals, and was its Acting Chief Executive. Before that she held Director posts at the General Medical Council, at a time of comprehensive reform.  From 1995 - 1999 she was Deputy Health Service Commissioner (Ombudsman) for England, Scotland and Wales. She was a senior civil servant, with a career in Government spanning the Scottish Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health.

Isabel lives in London, but was brought up in Glasgow and retains links there. She is a keen musician when time permits.


Sue Walton is Project Director for the KS3 ICT Test Development Project which is now managed by the National Assessment Agency within the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. The KS3 ICT test will be the first nationally required onscreen assessment when it becomes compulsory in 2008. The project has attracted a lot of interest both at home and overseas and has recently received recognition for innovation and excellence at the Computing Awards and the eGovernment Awards. Sue previously led the innovative eVIVA project for QCA which trialled the use of eportfolios at key stage 3 and included oral assessments using mobile phone technology. Prior to joining QCA Sue commissioned paper-based and electronic materials in a range of subject areas for secondary schools for leading UK educational publishing company.

Synopsis for session:

In 2008 the KS3 ICT onscreen test will become statutory with results reported in achievement and attainment tables. Pilots to date have shown that running e-assessments represents a major cultural shift for most schools. In this session Sue will describe what schools need to do to ensure they are fully prepared and why it's important that they get involved as soon as possible






David Haggie

David is Assessment Services Director for RM plc where he leads the development of RM’s assessment services business, focusing on services to awarding bodies and government bodies. He has extensive experience in educational software, having worked for Nelson Thornes (part of the Wolters Kluwer group) and Granada Learning. Before working in education, David was a Senior Producer with the BBC, making radio and television documentaries.

Presentation overview

e-marking – an holistic approach

Much discussion of on screen marking of examination responses has focused on the potential to introduce specialist markers, improved tracking of marker and item performance, and the role of seeded or double marked responses. While such innovations are important, successful long term implementation relies heavily on other factors - from the underlying scope and architecture of the system, to the quality and richness of the features available to examiners. This paper presents some experiences in these areas while developing Scoris, a flexible e-marking system designed to cater for all types of candidate response from standardisation to awarding.







Thomson Prometric



Geoff Chapman is Head of Marketing for Thomson Prometric. He has worked in the assessment industry for five years and holds Chartered Marketer status with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the highest distinction within the profession. Geoff also holds qualifications from Manchester, Salford and Staffordshire Universities. His previous career experience includes marketing and client service roles within large UK corporations, notably in financial services.

David Meissner, — Executive Director, Testing System Strategy

David Meissner has more than twenty years of experience in the development, delivery and management of testing and assessment programs. He has specialized in computer-based testing for the past twelve years as an employee of Thomson Prometric. He currently serves as executive director of testing system strategy for Thomson Prometric.  In this role is responsible for identifying trends, investigating possible solutions and recommending future enhancements to systems and procedures. In addition, Dave leads a Solutions Services team with responsibility for technical sales support in the evaluation of new opportunities and the identification of those services that best meets the need of the client.   His previous positions at Thomson Prometric have included executive director of test development and publication, client and program implementation, security services and business systems. 

Prior to joining Thomson Prometric, Mr. Meissner served as a Process Team Lead for CTB/McGraw-Hill, developing and delivering large-scale paper and pencil standardized testing programs to the education and corporate market. 

Mr. Meissner holds a bachelor of art degree in Journalism and English from San Diego State University as well as a certification in computer science from Coleman College in La Mesa, California.  In addition his education includes the pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Ellis College. Mr. Meissner is very active in the testing and assessment industry as a frequent speaker and program committee member for the National Organization of Credentialing Associations (NOCA), the Association of Test Publishers (ATP) and Council on Licensure Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR). He is also a Standards Review Committee member for the Performance Testing Council (PTC) and has spoken at other events such as the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) conference and the Chicago Area Testing Organizations (CATO) meetings.

Rachel Scott works for Acritas, an independent business to business research company commissioned by Thomson Prometric to run the study looking into the drivers and barriers towards e-Assessment for the past two years. Acritas specialises in researching high value stakeholders and providing strategic and tactical planning solutions based on direct feedback from respondents. Rachel holds a degree in French and German, is currently studying part-time for a further degree in business management.


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