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

Speakers Day One


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Alistair Walker

(Chair on Day One)


Following a spell in research in Physical Chemistry at University College, Cardiff, Alastair taught in two schools in the West Midlands. He returned to his native Northern Ireland in 1975 to take up a post as Assistant Secretary to the then GCE Board.

He has remained in the world of examinations since then, although since the merger of the examination and curriculum authorities in Northern Ireland he has also been concerned with the statutory curriculum and key stage assessment. His present role is Head of Education Services with CCEA and, as such, has responsibility for delivery of all of the Council’s work in curriculum, examinations, assessment and qualifications from pre-school to adult.

In recent years he has taken a particular interest in the application of ICT in examinations and assessment, having been involved in initiating projects in on-screen examining and in online classroom assessment.

Away from work, his interests mostly focus on his family and on nautical matters. He is a keen, if not very competent sailor with a strong interest in maritime history


Martin Ripley


Martin Ripley has worked at QCA for 12 years. He is currently Head of Assessment Policy and Development Programme with particular interests in benchmarking, school accountability, regulatory functions, e-assessment and balancing the use of test instruments with other forms of assessment. Martin leads QCA’s e-assessment capacity; he has developed the World Class Test materials for students at the ages of 9 and 13, and he is currently leading the development of tests of the subject ICT for introduction to all secondary schools on screen starting from 2005. In earlier lives Martin taught in Chicago and Shanghai.


Martyn Ware







Synopsis of presentation - Introducing Computer Assisted Assessment in Scotland - Towards an Integrated Approach

Like most other major UK awarding bodies, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) recognises that effective use of ICT to support assessment will be increasingly important to its future operation.  This presentation outlines how SQA is helping to manage the introduction of CAA in Scotland through a collaborative approach, building on the country’s natural advantages including the structure of its education system, its reputation for innovation and  relatively small size.


Martyn Ware is SQA’s Business Manager for CAA, a position he has held since SQA first established a dedicated CAA team in May 2003. Prior to this Martyn has worked in a number of areas of SQA’s operations including most recently managing some of its international activities. Martyn has an MBA from the University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business.


Roger McCune







Synopsis of Presentation

At the first e-Assessment Conference (2003) a presentation was made on the outcomes of Phase One of the Paperless Examinations Project (PEP).  Phase Two was completed in August 2003; the final report was published in December 2003.  Phase Two extended the range of subjects and the number of students sitting on-screen ‘pilot’ GCSE tests.  Within the computer based tests, a major focus was to enhance the assessment process.  In addition, pilot work was undertaken with adult learners taking the Basic/Key skills tests.  The presentation will cover:

  • the outcomes of the GCSE work; and
  • the experience with adult skills tests.

There will be an opportunity to hear about and discuss the recommendations made as a result of the Project findings.

Pen Portrait

Roger McCune is Accreditation Manager at CCEA which is the regulatory authority for Northern Ireland.  In this role, Mr McCune works closely with regulatory colleagues at QCA (England) and ACCAC (Wales).  This ensures that the regulation of qualifications is compatible across the three countries.  Mr McCune’s background is in chemistry – he was Head of Chemistry in a large Grammar school in Northern Ireland before moving to the University of Ulster.  Since 1990 he has been involved with the development of the Northern Ireland curriculum and qualifications development post-16.


Graham Yule






NCC Education


Graham will explore the issues for Examining Bodies of maintaining the integrity of the assessment process in the context of moving away from paper-based exams to computer managed assessments. Illustrated with examples drawn from NCC education's 35 years of world-wide experience, members of the audience will hear about a pragmatic approach towards implementing High Stakes Assessments which can be applied to their own organisations

Pen Portrait

Graham joined NCC Education in 2001 with a brief to leverage the power of the Internet into NCC Education's global business. He is currently developing new sources of business in the rapidly growing electronic assessment market.

Graham spent the previous five years introducing advanced e-business solutions, initially at ICL (now Fujitsu) then with a number of other international businesses across a range of industries.

Qualified in Electronic Engineering, Graham spent a number of years with ICL in a technical capacity before moving into marketing where he rose to head up the marketing function of an ICL subsidiary that provided
cutting-edge bespoke software based on Microsoft technologies.

Graham is married to a head teacher and has 2 sons studying at university so is very aware of current educational issues.


Carolyn Adams


Carolyn Adams was appointed as the Director of Strategic Planning and Development in AQA in April 2000.  She is responsible for the development of new initiatives within AQA and works across all five divisions to this purpose.  She has specific responsibility for the operation of the Key Stage 2 and 3 contracts.  She was previously responsible for the administration of the examination in NEAB and will take responsibility for examinations administration in AQA in the autumn.  Prior to working for an Awarding Body she was a history teacher in a secondary school.  The presentation will be jointly given with Graham Hudson, National Business Development Manager for Education in DRS.  Graham has over twenty years experience of implementing and managing large-scale assessments within the UK, including the national curriculum tests and establishing a government-funded programme for implementing the use of new technologies in marking


Stephen Citron








The informatology presentation looks at developing the expertise of computer users where the people themselves are in the dark about what training they need. Stephen Citron argues that whilst it might be easier to force staff into a standard “one size fits all” approach, it is more effective to involve individuals in deciding what they each need to learn at the outset, and it saves time and money to boot.

 Pen Portrait

Stephen Citron has since 1985 been the CEO of informatology, a company that seeks to empower people and their organisations to fully benefit from what technology has to offer. The informatology DNA helps computer users discover what they want to learn, and enables training providers to deliver cost-effective training solutions. The informatology FORUM is a strategic network for Learning & Development Managers that enables them to share good practice.


Professor Don Mackenzie, BSc, PhD, F.G.S.






Head of the Centre for Interactive Assessment Development

University of Derby



TRIADS is a highly flexible, pedagogically friendly assessment system, capable of delivering a wide variety of question styles in a wide variety of modes to facilitate the testing of higher order learning skills.  It has been developed ‘in action’ with students at the University of Derby since 1992.  Between 1996 and 2000 the system was extensively upgraded during the HEFCE-FDTL1 funded, TRIADS Assessment of Learning Outcomes project (Universities of Liverpool, Derby and the Open University) as a result of evaluation by 45 academic departments covering 16 disciplines in 27 universities.  It is currently being employed to create formative assessment with high quality feedback at a number of universities involved in the HEFCE-FDTL4 funded OLAAF project lead by Birkbeck College, University of London as well as for a number of commercial applications.   At the University of Derby, it is used to deliver around 10,000 medium to high stakes summative student assessments annually.

The semi-open coded nature of the TRIADSystem and the partial credit capability of its question types make it especially amenable to the construction of assessments that involve scenarios, simulations, bespoke scoring, tutorials and/or extensive feedback options.  There are in-built facilities to support randomized selection and sequence in the delivery of questions, groups of questions and question content in a variety of modes that make it suitable for assessments undertaken in an open environment.  TRIADS assessments may be Web, LAN or CD delivered.  It is this potential for ‘in-depth’ and flexible assessment that separates TRIADS from many other assessment systems currently available and makes it especially suitable for deployment in the higher education and senior/technical employee training environments.

The presentation will demonstrate some of the more innovative question types and how their use in formative assessment packages has been of benefit to the student learning experience.  Finally the presentation will preview a TRIADS-based assessment, recently commissioned by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, that involves the incorporation of a Biological microscope simulator (BioScope) into an experimental ‘A’ level assessment tool capable of scoring process as well as outcomes

Pen Portrait

Don is a graduate of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne with first and higher degrees in Earth Science specialising in the Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits.  He has had experience in the refractories industry and 28 years experience of teaching Earth Sciences to undergraduates at the University of Derby in a department that gained an ‘Excellent’ rating in the first round of Teaching Quality Assessments.   

Don has been working in the area of courseware and computer-based assessment development since 1989 and is the originator and principal programmer of the TRIADS assessment system.   This system was used to underpin the TRIADS Assessment of Learning Outcomes Project (1996-2000) funded under the HEFCE-FDTL1 initiative in collaboration with Earth Science Departments at the University of Liverpool (lead site) and the Open University.

Prior to the FDTL project he designed a number of Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP) courseware modules that are currently marketed world-wide by the UK Earth Science Courseware Consortium (University of Manchester).

In 1999 the amount of computer-based assessment being undertaken across the University of Derby was sufficient to justify the creation of a specialist interactive assessment production department that now has a staff of two academics and four developers.  Don is currently the Head of this Centre for Interactive Assessment Development.

Don was a runner-up for the Fellowship Award of the Institute for Learning & Teaching in Higher Education in 2001


Dr Robert Harding








eLearning promises much, but "what you test is what you get" so conventional examinations - bound by the limits of pen and paper - are often criticised for blocking this potential.  There is however a need both to be fair to students regardless of their schools' technological capabilities, and to avoid sudden discontinuities so that standards may be compared.  Therefore there needs to be a transitional period when computer and paper versions of conventional external examinations run in parallel, creating little scope initially for new types of assessment.  Cases will be given illustrating some of the issues and some of the difficulties to overcome before conventional examinations can be computerized.  Provided these are addressed, there are means proposed by which the computerization of conventional examinations can lead to the desired changes in the nature of external assessment.

Pen Portrait

Robert Harding has been Director of the "Interactive Technologies in Assessment and Learning" (ITAL) Unit within UCLES since 1997.  He has over 30 years experience in educational technology, including over 25 years at the University of Cambridge's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics where he directed one of the earliest pioneering computer based learning projects in the UK, and has directed other award-winning eLearning projects.  The ITAL Unit has an R&D function to foster and anticipate the use of new technologies in education, with emphasis on the link between examinations styles and teaching and learning practice.  The Unit plays a leading role in the IMS Global consortium's work setting interoperability standards, and has pioneered many innovative ICT projects including on-screen marking, the use of simulations in assessment and the role of eCommunities in assessment.


Dr Geraldine Kenney Wallace

City & Guilds


Having reviewed the concept, strategic and impact of the virtual university and other learning academy organisations in both the private and public sector in recent years, lessons learned for e-Learning and the roles of assessment will be outlined with a focus on the UK and workplace learning.

City & Guilds e-Strategy has initially focussed on linking e-assessment and e-learning by researching the learners' needs and the delivery of high stake e-Assessment for specific qualifications.  Examples will be given from the past years experience of testing in different market sectors.

Pen Portrait

Dr Geraldine Kenney-Wallace was appointed to City & Guilds in May 2001 to establish the new Group e-Strategy and Learning Directorate, drawing on her considerable experience in e-learning in the UK and internationally as a Managing Director 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 as Professor of Physics and Chemistry Today much of that field of research underpins the multimedia technologies and e-learning.


Graham Divers


Parallel session in the Portland Suite from 11.10am



PaperFree Systems

Parallel session in the Portland Suite from 2pm

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