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 Two


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Murray Butcher

(Chair on Day two)

City & Guilds

Murray Butcher began his career as a mathematics teacher in an all boys comprehensive school in Brentford, West London.  From there he moved to Brooklands College, Weybridge and lectured in maths, stats and computing while following MA studies at London University, Institute of Education focussing on test and measurement. This led to a post in the research department of the vocational awarding body City & Guilds. Murray has now been at City & Guilds for 20 years in a range of roles and was a major contributor to their introduction of on-line testing. He is their Director of Excellence and People.


Peter Newman


Experience Implementing a fully integrated Assessment and Qualification System

Peter Newman is the Managing Director of the Hamlet Computer Group Ltd and will be sharing some of the company’s experience in the implementation of Assessment Systems in the UK, Africa and the Caribbean.

 It will be a practical look at the responsibilities of both the IT customer and the supplier to ensure a “win-win” outcome.

 Peter will also touch on some of the issues to take account of when starting down the on-line testing route

Peter Newman is Chief Executive of the Hamlet Computer Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of systems to manage examinations and assessment.

Hamlet’s FAIM qualification system is used by awarding bodies and Professional Institutes in the UK, as well as in nine National School Exams Boards in Africa and the Caribbean.  The FAIM Question Bank module provides full e-assessment functionality.

Peter has held senior Sales and Marketing roles within the IT Industry, both in the UK and USA for the past twenty years.  Prior to that he was involved in Education as the Training Manager for two major UK corporations in the Leisure Industry


Graeme Donnan








A current project to modernize the IBO’s database has provided an opportunity to better reflect the organization’s data needs and redesign the web-based interfaces with the database. Coordinators in schools, examiners and IBO staff will access the database through the same portal, with secure and limited access, to undertake virtually all their tasks associated with the administration and assessment. Ultimately, the electronic transfer of information and data between the IBO, schools and examiners will merge with an electronic approach to assessment to provide a seamless integrated system. This will overcome a dependence on unreliable and slow postal services with additional benefits for a global examination system.

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is a non-profit educational organization that offers three educational programmes, including the Diploma Programme for secondary school students. To improve the efficiency of each examination session and to overcome the practical difficulties imposed by a global location of schools and examiners, the IBO maintains a secure web site for schools to register candidates and receive their results and for examiners to receive instructions and submit their marks. The latest research and development work is in the area of electronic assessment and other means by technology can support the assessment process.


Alika Gupta



This presentation builds on the last year's presentation. Since that date a number of Basic and Key Skills (BKS) awarding bodies have developed technically robust systems for IT-based delivery of the BKS tests and other
qualifications. The developing supply of test materials has enabled individual awarding bodies to explore the factors involved in on-demand test delivery through a series of extended pilots agreed with QCA.
The presentation is an opportunity to share experiences and findings that may be of use to those awarding bodies that have yet to embark down the route to making qualifications available on-screen.

Pen portrait:

Alika Gupta taught Chemistry in schools and colleges before moving to a post as Education Officer - Local Management of Schools. She joined the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in 1992. Here, she managed the
development and production of the Braille, MLP and Enlarged versions of the national tests for 7,11 and 14 year olds before taking on her present role in QCA's e-assessment team. She is currently facilitating the work of awarding bodies accredited to offer the Basic and Key skills qualifications in developing IT systems for the delivery of the tests.


Denis Saunders







The Challenge of implementing e-Assessment, Denis Saunders, Calibrand Limited.

Calibrand have implemented e-Assessment systems for thousands of financial services professionals in the U.K. Their story tells of the issues, that together with their clients, they have had to face.

Starting by defining e-Assessment the session works through hosting, re-licensing, e-learning, moderation, common delivery, technical infrastructure, outsourcing and IPR. Finally the implementation results will be issued along with an appropriate certificate

Denis Saunders FRI, MBA, BSc(Hons), 42, is a Director of Calibrand Ltd, Sophicert Ltd and Southern Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce. Educated at Imperial College, and the University of Bradford, he has extensive experience over twenty years of training and education in the Financial Services and Government sectors


Dr Christian Horn


Dr Christian Horn is Chief Software Architect for Lionet Technologies, a Dublin based Internet Technology company focussing on web-based high-stakes 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. He received a Senior SERC Fellowship and worked 1990-1991 with Prof. Alan Bundy at the University of Edinburgh. 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 he moved to Dublin and founded Lionet Technologies


Paul Humphries


Testing innovations – an awarding body perspective


From the perspective of an awarding body, on screen testing is seen as a way of making examinations more accessible, easier to manage and easier to take. There are, of course, a number of important considerations to take into account. 

The way in which we use the available technology has been an important aspect and the decision to adopt the ‘on screen’ approach as opposed to the ‘on line’ approach has been instrumental in the success and flexibility of the system. The technology allows assessments to be undertaken in remote or mobile situations. Tests have been delivered from a bus equipped with a suite of PC’s and a small server that roams from community to community (both urban and rural).

From a security perspective the technology provides a number of benefits and a number of barriers to cross.

Another key aspect is the test item itself. Parity with the paper based systems must be considered so that no candidate is either advantaged or disadvantaged by the use of on screen testing. This becomes particularly apparent when the richness / complexity of the onscreen question increases. We have even ensured that this parity extends to candidates using computers with differing levels of performance.

Pen Portrait

Paul Humphries is the General Manager e-Business at Edexcel with responsibility for defining, developing and directing the activities of two new business streams and operational units - the BTEC Academy (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; Director of Strategic Partnerships (Europe) / Principal Consultant for Global Crossing with responsibility for identifying, developing and managing strategic partnerships across Europe and the successful development of an e-Business consultancy practice from first principles. Principal Consultant for BT Consulting using his understanding of operational processes and Internet / eCommerce technologies in order to analyse client issues, to propose strategic direction and operational improvements.  This follows Paul’s early career as a scientist at the National Physical Laboratory, defence systems designer with STC/Northern Telecom and project / commercial manager with BOC.

Paul Holds an MBA from Brighton University, which complements his technical qualifications and achievements.


Sue Walton







High volume, high stakes: Preparing for onscreen national testing

Sue Walton and Mike Peppiatt, QCA, Mike Winney, RM

This session will explore the issues that need to be addressed when planning for large-scale delivery of an onscreen test with reference to the new key stage 3 ICT test being developed for QCA by RM.  QCA will explain the remit for this project and the extensive feasibility study undertaken before recommendations could be made. RM will then provide an overview of the system adopted and describe the process in place to ensure that the schools who take part can successfully implement the test.

Sue Walton, Programme Leader e-Assessment, QCA

Sue joined QCA in 2001 to lead a project developing formative assessment materials for use in ICT at KS3. She moved on to work on QCA’s KS3 ICT test development project which is producing new onscreen tests for pupils which provide statements about a pupil’s performance for formative use as well as a national curriculum level. Sue now leads the programme of e-Assessment projects at QCA.

Mike Peppiatt, Project Director, KS3 ICT Test Project, QCA

Mike joined QCA in June 2001 to lead a Feasibility Study on assessment models for use in ICT at KS3. Currently he works on the project that has moved into its development phase as an integrated summative test with both summative and formative outcomes. This radically new assessment model has necessitated investigation and research into its interdependencies, such as infrastructure, and Mike has lead QCA’s work in these areas.

Mike Winney, RM Project Manager

Mike has been involved in the KS3 ICT Test project from the outset, initially helping to formulate the RM Consortium’s bid, then through the development process and now preparing for the implementation within schools. Mike has worked for RM for almost 10 years. His project management experience includes several major infrastructure projects, which have involved large numbers of schools in significant change, such as the Dudley Grid for Learning project and Guernsey’s ICT Managed Service implementation. 


Suzana Lopes


Suzana leads the Sales and Marketing Division for Europe, Middle East & Africa. She has over 15
years of Sales and Marketing experience within large organisations such as Oracle and Docent
Corporation. Suzana has extensive experience working in E- Learning and Education area.
Suzana holds a Computer Science Degree from UNA University and Graduated Courses in International Business from
New York University


Martyn Leese


Martyn Leese, Managing Director of Pearson Assessments &Testing (UK).

A subsidiary of the Pearson PLC, Pearson A&T is the world’s largest commercial processor of assessments. Using state of the art technologies, each year Pearson A& T processes over 80 million paper based and electronic tests globally.

With almost 20 years experience of large scale data management, including high volume, mission critical, image scanning operations, Martyn Leese has overseen the adaptation and implementation of the Pearson A& T process services for the UK, providing clients with assessment processing services for both electronic and paper based tests. Recent Projects include; 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. Pearson A& T (UK) also provides full management solutions to over 2500 schools, with integrated assessment management services


John Winkley







John Winkley

John 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.


Tom Mitchell

Intelligent Assessments

Computerised Marking and Computer-Assisted Moderation of Short-Answer Free Text Responses.

Recent developments have seen the introduction of natural language based assessment engines capable of marking short-answer free-text items.  One such engine has been developed in the UK by Intelligent Assessment Technologies. The engine looks for specific content within free-text responses, the content being specified in the form of a number of mark scheme templates.

This paper describes the operation of the marking engine, and describes a technology model based on computerised marking and computer-assisted moderation. The proposed model attempts to address issues of reliability and credibility relating to computerised marking of free-text, and is applicable to mid and high stakes environments.

Pen Portrait

This presentation will be given by Dr. Tom Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell is a founder and Director of Intelligent Assessment Technologies. His background is in computer science, and he completed his PhD at Brunel University in 1995. He has been involved in computer-assisted assessment since 1998, and is the architect of company’s free-text marking engine.


James Christie

Robert Gordon University


Using a simple yet powerful definition of an essay, both the enormity and complexity of automated marking of “free text” through to “essays” will be revealed.

A brief exposition of the “pro’s” and “con’s” for automated essay marking will be undertaken.

The presenter’s different approaches to the marking of essay style and the marking of essay content will then be described. SEAR, the software system developed by the presenter, will be outlined followed by some details of its performance.

Pen Portrait

Following a longish career in Analytical Chemistry, I entered into a second career in computing education. I started full-time teaching in 1985 after having had several years experience of evening-class teaching. Since 1985 I have witnessed considerable changes both in subject area of computing and in the practise of education.

In both my careers, I have sought to operationally improve my own effectiveness and efficiency. This led me to embark on PhD research into automated essay marking. This research was underpinned by the development of a software system, called SEAR, which provides for the marking of both style and the content of word-processed essays.



Stirling Wood







Stirling Wood

Programme Leader, QCA

Stirling Wood spent time working in the IT sector (operations and OS generation) with an IT/Telecoms company (GEC) in the '80s, before relocating to the North-East in 1990. After qualifying as an FE teacher, he moved in to FE. He worked for a NE college and then a voluntary sector training organisation teaching IT qualifications (VRQs) and delivering/assessing/internally verifying IT and Admin. NVQs. in 2001. Stirling re-located back to the South East and joined the QCA, where he is now a Programme Leader in our Workforce Development Division working with key stakeholders on, amongst other things, the development of qualifications and qualifications frameworks.


Martin Milner

Thomson Prometric

Realising the true potential

 A recent article described change in assessment practice as approaching paradigm level. To truly achieve this, the undoubted potential of computer based testing to meet the needs of modern vocational and professional qualifications must be fully realised. New examinations such as the Uniform Certified Public Accountancy use the power of e-assessment  to provide valid measurement of analysis, judgement, communication, research and understanding. As UK plc faces up to the need to continuously upskill and reskill its workforce, CBT can meet the desire for qualifications that efficiently deliver performance measurement and management.

 Martin Milner is Global Market Development Director for Thomson Prometric, the global leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services. An Economics graduate and having taken a distance learning MBA whose final examinations were taken in a primary school hall, Martin has personal capital in communicating the benefits of e-assessment. Before joining Thomson Prometric he spent 12 years with a leading business to business advertising agency.

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