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The Caribbean Examiner - E-Testing - Are you ready?

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This issue provides you with all you need to know about electronic testing, CXC’s next game changer in examinations
administration. Articles focus on various aspects of e-testing: security, systems requirements, features of the platform, benefits to candidates with special needs and CXC roll-out plans. The issue also reports on the Visual Arts Exhibition in St Lucia, the launch of CAPE Green Engineering syllabus, and performance in the May/June examinations.

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The Caribbean Examiner - E-Testing - Are you ready?

  1. 1. Providing U.S. educational equivalencies & translations NACES member since 2008 We analyze foreign academic and professional credentials to establish the equivalent degree or years of study that would be awarded in the U.S. educational system, at different levels of education. Among other purposes, an evaluation is generally required for the following uses: • academic study • professional licensing • general employment • immigration matters 5620 E. Fowler Ave., Ste. E Tampa, FL 33617 Ph: 813-374-2020 • Fax: 813-374-2023 info@aes-edu.org www.aes-edu.org Complete course coverage and support for CSEC® Find out more about our publishing for the Caribbean at www.collins.co.uk/caribbeanschools Support your students with: • comprehensive coverage of the latest CSEC® Biology, Chemistry and Physics curriculums • thorough revision advice and revision questions at the end of each topic • exam-style questions at the end of each section Caribbean Science ad.indd 1 28/09/2016 09:49
  2. 2. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 3 IN THIS ISSUE THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER is a publication of the CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL © (CXC) EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch • EDITOR: Mr Cleveland Sam LINE EDITORS: Dr Sandra Robinson and Dr Victor Simpson PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO: The Caribbean Examiner, CXC, Prince Road and Pine Plantation Road, St Michael, Barbados e: CXCezo@CXC.org • w: www.CXC.org • ISSN 2071-9019 FOCUS: CXC E-TESTING 5 Are You Ready for E-testing? Sandra Thompson 8 What is an E-test? 9 CXC Rolls out E-testing Stephen Savoury 10 Features of the E-testing Platform 11 Electronic Testing Benefits Special Needs Candidates Dianne Medford 13 Electronic Testing Security Features Decentice Small 14 Dominica’s Convent High School Welcomes E-Testing Michael Peters 16 E-testing Mathematics in Sint Maarten Yvette Halley 18 Candidates Perform Better on E-Tests Glenroy Cumberbatch 19 CXC Team Visits ETS on Study Tour Carol Granston 20 E-Authoring, the New Item Bank Alton McPherson CXC NEWS 22 CSEC Visual Arts Give Students Advantage Cleveland Sam 24 CSEC Performance Remains Steady 26 CAPE Performance 27 New Officers 28 Green Engineering The Science of the Century Dr Paulette Bynoe 30 “Green” the Way to Go Cleveland Sam ABOUT THIS ISSUE This issue provides you with all you need to know about electronic testing, CXC’s next game changer in examinations administration. Articles focus on various aspects of e-testing: security, systems requirements, features of the platform, benefits to candidates with special needs and CXC roll-out plans. The issue also reports on the Visual Arts Exhibition in St Lucia, the launch of CAPE Green Engineering syllabus, and performance in the May/June examinations.
  3. 3. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 4 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org The fundamental purpose of edu- cation is to de- velop a citizenry which contributes to the social and economic devel- opment of fami- lies, communities and countries. In this regard, in the post-independent Caribbean, edu- cation became a social construct funded primarily by govern- ments to ensure access, equity, quality and efficiency in the system. Education systems have been designed to prepare the population for life, work and further education. The curriculum is the instrument used to engage all learners in acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to make all countries places to live, play, work and invest. Regional Context Many things have changed since 1972; some more drastically than others. Despite the fact that many more people are taking examinations and being certified, there appears to be an increase in crime and violence, unemployment amongst the youth and a workforce that is uncertified in the areas critical for advancing our economies. There may be several reasons for this. Firstly, the economies of the Region have changed and have become predominantly service economies. These service economies require workers who are equipped with key 21st Century skills. The 4Cs, Communication, Collaboration, Critical thinking and Creativity, are deemed essential for living and working in this century. It is therefore critical that the curriculum activities which promote problem-based learning as an additional tool to be used in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes. This approach will give learners greater opportunity to work in groups, to be active participants in their learning and gain knowledge through increased social interaction which will prepare them for life in the real world. FROM THE REGISTAR’S DESK PURPOSE OF EDUCATION Secondly,theemphasisonstudyingand looking for a job after completion of studies should include a viable option of creating one’s own legal employment. CXC has introduced a set of New Generation CAPE subjects which provide opportunities for cultivation of the 4Cs as well as a foundation for the creation of employment for self and others. The subjects are: Animation and Game Design, Agricultural Science, Green Engineering, Performing Arts, Logistics and Supply Chain Operations, Tourism, Entrepreneurship, Physical Education and Sport and Digital Media. Thirdly, over the last decade, ICT tools have become ubiquitous in all facets of life, including education. There is greater use of ICT in all aspects of education, as tools for teaching, learning, collaborating and assessment become more readily available and affordable. The existing educational landscape is described as having ‘digital students in analogue classrooms’. The classroom layout, teaching approaches and assessment tools have not changed to make greater use of the curiosity of the digital native learners and the technological skills they have acquired from their use of technology. CXC Intervention CCSLC is a good example of CXC effort to introduce the 4Cs in the curriculum as a foundation programme for secondary school students and a starting point for those who have not yet developed the required competencies. In 2007, CXC introduced the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC). In 2014 CXC commissioned the UK NARIC to undertake an international benchmarking study of the CCSLC. The focus of the study was to provide an evaluation of the CCSLC qualification through analysis of its core components against standards in the Australian, Canadian, United Kingdom and United States secondary education systems. Findings from the benchmarking activity indicate that “there appears to be a general consensus that the programme represents a clear step forward in developing students’ overall aptitude in terms of critical thinking, problem solving and communication.” It continued, “In conclusion, the study has found that the overall aims of the CCSLC have been well reflected in the design of the programme. Alongside traditional subject knowledge, the subject syllabuses are clearly underpinned with a core set of objectives related to the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will help prepare students for higher level secondary studies in the CXC Participating Countries, but also provide them with a range and breadth of skills that should enable them to integrate with secondary studies in the four international systems examined. The CCSLC can be considered broadly comparable to successful completion of Key Stage 3 (Year 9) in the UK and Year 9 in Australia, Canada and the USA”. In addition, CXC has made available to all learners free resources which can be accessed via the CXC store at www.CXC- store.com. The resources include syllabuses for all subjects, subject reports and exemplars. There is also the free online Notesmaster learning portal, www.Notesmaster.com and scheduled webinars which can assist with preparation for examinations. CXC, in collaboration with its partners, produce Study Guides that are designed by subject matter experts to mirror the syllabus and are designed as consolidated texts to facilitate leaners’ completion of CXC studies. The Study Guides can be added to schools’ booklists although there is a cost for these resources. Education systems have been designed to prepare the population for life, work and further education. Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch CXC Registrar
  4. 4. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 5 Are centres/schools or territories getting ready for e-testing? E-testing will be administered using a specially-designed platform which can only be launched if minimum hardware and software requirements, as specified by CXC, are met. All Participating Countries, schools and examination centres were therefore provided with a list of these minimum requirements as well as recommended and other requirements that will be supported by the system. What are the requirements for readiness? The minimum requirements for readiness include Windows Vista to Windows 10, Macintosh OSX 10.8 – 10.11, Windows browser. See table of system requirements on page 7. The safe browser is a web-based browser/ software which would be downloaded onto each computer before the candidate can pursue the examination. Candidates would be unable to switch from the examination [assuming that the program/exam would still be running] to another program to search for information to assist with their responses to questions while the exam is progress. The safe browser will be provided by CXC through the Local Registrar in each territory. The e-testing platform is so designed that unless the safe browser is installed on the computer, the candidate cannot attempt the examination without the examination supervisor’s intervention. Once this software is installed, the computer is automatically changed to a secure workstation which would prevent the candidate from accessing any unauthorized local or online resources (websites, applications etc.) for the duration of the examination. For candidates with special needs to use programs such as Job Access with Speech (JAWS), for example, the safe browser would not be installed. In those circumstances, the supervisor will be issued with a password to disable the safe browser on the computers of those candidates ONLY. Prior to the particular examination, the supervisor will be given a list of all the candidates who fall into the special needs category and their respective conditions. “Special” candidates are those persons who have a challenge, e.g. candidates who are deaf, dumb or visually impaired. For candidates requiring extra time to complete the examination, the supervisor will also be responsible for accessing the e-testing platform and allocating the extra time that was approved for those candidates prior to the examination. Candidates who need to work with larger fonts would be ARE YOU READY FOR E-TESTING?Sandra Thompson, Assistant Registrar - Examinations Administration and Security Division speaks about E-Testing readiness with the Caribbean Examiner. The e-testing platform is so designed that unless the safe browser is installed on the computer, the candidate cannot attempt the examination
  5. 5. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 6 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org instructed on how to adjust the font size. Only candidates with special needs, and who indicated at registration will be allowed extra time. How will candidates access the electronic examination? Requirements for Internet access There are three ways in which the examination may be delivered: 1. Fully online: The candidate downloads, completes and submits the examination online ONLY. Uninterrupted Internet access is required if the centre is pursuing the examination using this method. 2. Partially online: The candidate downloads, caches and completes the examination, then uploads it to the CXC examination server subsequently. 3. Fully offline (no Internet): The examination is cached before the day of the examination and sent to a special server with a code. On the day of the examination a special password is given to decrypt the examination which is then cached to the individual computers. On completion of the examination, the script is uploaded to the CXC examination server. What about the reliability of electricity supply? As part of the preparations for e-testing, all examination centres must ensure that they have an efficient electricity supply. Centres using laptops must ensure that they are fully charged, and that desktops are connected to uninterruptible power supply, surge protectors and a back-up generator. CXC recommends that all test centres have two or three back-up computers available for use by candidates so that the process would not be delayed, should any of the computers malfunction. How would centres know they are ready? To determine that they are ready for e-testing, centres would need to evaluate their own computer hardware and software to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements using the specifications that were provided by CXC as a guide, and that the equipment is in good working condition. Centres should also ensure that their IT personnel, supervisors and invigilators are trained, as recommended by CXC, with at least a basic knowledge of the computer and its applications and their uses, as these persons would be expected to interact with the e‑testing platform examination as required. For example, at any given time a centre may encounter unregistered candidates or candidates going to the wrong centre due to some hardship. In such cases, the supervisor would be required to access the platform to register these candidates on the spot and issue them with a temporary username and password to enable them to take the examination. Territories declare their readiness for electronic testing via the respective Local Registrar with whom CXC liaises, and can indicate the number of subjects it can offer electronically. Training sessions were conducted with Information Technology Officers in the region on 29 September and 3 November 2016, and online training was conducted for supervisors. CXC also recommends that for each territory, an IT officer be stationed at each centre to assist the supervisors on the day of the examination. Alton McPherson, Sandra Thompson and Marvin Dillon IT Officer from the Overseas Examinations Commission, Jamaica during the IT Officers training E-testing will be administered using a specially-designed platform which can only be launched if minimum hardware and software requirements, as specified by CXC, are met. E-TESTING are you ready?
  6. 6. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 7 LINUX is NOT supported for students taking an exam in Inspera Assessment. SAFE EXAM BROWSER: The Safe Exam Browser prevents cheating by locking down access to resources on the candidate’s computer as well as access to online resources for the duration of the examination. It is a web based browser environment which enables the Council to carry out the electronic examination safely. By installation of the software, computers are automatically changed to a secure workstation which prevents candidates from accessing unauthorised resources, like other websites and applications, during an examination. How would e-testing be managed on the day? CXC will have overall responsibility for administration of the electronic testing, and a command centre would be set up to provide helpdesk services and support to the various territories. However, since it would be difficult for CXC to manage every situation that may arise on any given day for all territories and centres, it is recommended that each centre respond to technical difficulties that may be experienced by candidates on the day of the examination. At the centre level, the supervisor, invigilator andITofficerwouldrespondtoanyproblems encountered and those issues that cannot be handled at that level would be escalated to CXC’s central command centre. What is being done internally to prepare for e-testing? At CXC, all staff of the Examinations Administration and Security Division were issued with usernames and passwords for the platform and they have been familiarizing themselves with the system. In addition, specific staff were identified to work on the Service Desk and Help Desk teams, and at least one assimilation was done on the “live” platform on the delivery and monitoring of a test. Practice for candidates CXC plans is to have practice tests uploaded to the e-testing platform and issue temporary passwords to the Local Registrars for distribution to the schools/centres so that candidates may access the system and take practice tests at will. In addition, the platform will be used to pre-test candidates on the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) examinations in November 2016 which will provide an additional opportunity for candidates to familiarize themselves with the program in a setting similar to the January CSEC® examinations which were done under proctored conditions. At this stage, CXC is not in a position to offer e-testing to candidates at home. CXC is getting ready! Sandra Thompson is a member of the e-testing implementation team at CXC. MINIMUM CENTRE REQUIREMENTS FOR CXC ELECTRONIC TESTING Minimum Recommended Full Supported List Windows 7  Windows 10 Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10 Mac OSX 10.8 MAC OSX 10.11 OSX 10.8, 10.9 10.10, 10.11 SAFE EXAM BROWSER (SEB) Minimum Recommended Full Supported List SEB for Windows 2.1.1 SEB for Windows 2.1.1 SEB for Windows 2.1.1  WINDOWS BROWSERS Minimum Recommended Full Supported List Edge (Current version) Edge (Current version) Edge (Current version) Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 Microsoft Internet Explorer 10,11 Chrome (Current version) Chrome (Current version) Chrome (Current version) Firefox (Current version) Firefox (Current version) Firefox (Current version) MAC BROWSERS Minimum Recommended Full Supported List Safari 6 Safari 9 Safari 6,7,8,9 Chrome (Current version) Chrome (Current version) Chrome (Current version) Firefox (Current version) Firefox (Current version) Firefox (Current version) MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONDUCT OF ELECTRONIC TESTING
  7. 7. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 8 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org There is a plethora of definitions for electronic testing. However, there is no definitive or absolute definition, even though there is agreement on some aspects of what constitutes e-testing. Electronic testing is called by other names such as electronic assessment, e-assessment, computer assisted/ mediated assessment and computer-based assessment. In this nomenclature there is agreement that e-testing involves the use of information technology to carry out various forms of assessment or test. The Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) describes e-testing as a test that replicates or replaces paper-based tests with a computer screen. Any one qualification may employ one or any combination of methods to take e-testing to the computer screen. The e-Assessment Association describes electronic testing or E-testing is “a rapidly growing area of e-assessment involving the delivery of examinations and assessments on screen, either using localised computer or web-based systems.” Ayo et al. (2007) defines e-testing as “a system that involves the conduct of examinations through the web or the intranet.” They suggest that it could be provided using a dedicated system or it can be included as a module part of a Learning Management System (LMS). E-testing enables the use of a variety of assets made possible with new technologies that could not be easily replicated on paper, such as videos, audio clips, hyperlinks, animation, interactive quizzes. Further possibilities for e-testing include the use of full ICT interactivity. This refers to the use of virtual situations requiring the candidate to process information to arrive at the required solution. All these tools combine to could make assessment design and implementation more efficient, timely, and sophisticated. Various examining boards use different types of software to run their e-test, ranging from commercial, to proprietary, to open source. E-assessment is typically categorised into three groups according to Cook and Jenkins (2010), Crisp (2011) and JISC (2007). These are: • Diagnostic assessment:  assessment at the beginning of the course to gauge the knowledge levels of students; • Formative assessment:  assessment during the implementation of the course to clarify the learning so far and to identify needs for additional teaching; • Summative assessment:  assessment at the end of the course in order to define grades for students. Crisp (2011) has introduced a fourth assessment type – integrative assessment – which the purpose is to influence a student’s future learning based on feedback received from a teacher, other students or through self-evaluation. The main users of e-testing are educational institutions and examinations bodies such as CXC. Companies, international organisations and some governments also use e-testing for job training and selection purposes. WHAT IS AN E-TESTThe Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) describes e-testing as a test that replicates or replaces paper-based tests with a computer screen. E-TESTING are you ready? Various examining boards use different types of software to run their e-test, ranging from commercial, to proprietary, to open source.
  8. 8. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 9 CXC ROLLS OUT E-TESTING By Stephen Savoury “Either you’re an agent of change, or you’re destined to become a victim of change.” Beverley Kinghorn CXC has always been the former – agents of change in assessment in the Caribbean - and this time it is no different. In our quest to support the preparation of the Ideal Caribbean Citizen for relevance and recognition in the context of a global society. CXC is charting a new course that will continue to transform the learning and assessment environment that shapes the experience and builds on the competencies of its learners. Assessment methodologies adopted from global best practices have always been used to drive and model the learning practices which are required to shape a globally competitive people in the Caribbean. This perspective continues to be central to CXC’s strategy and is now borne out in a plan to move to our newest initiative: a phased introduction of electronic testing. E-testing presents our partners with an innovative way to accelerate their learning and assessment objectives while keeping pace with the current global testing modalities. Additional advantages of this approach reported by researchers and other users and anticipated by CXC include: development of 21st century technology skills by learners and test-takers alike; strengthening the link between teaching, learning, and assessment; ubiquitous use of technology for life and preparation of learners for the digital life; acceleration of the exposure of teachers, parents and other stakeholders to teaching for digital modalities and environments; provision of better stimuli for more authentic candidate experience during learning and testing activities; increase in the number and frequency of tests and the number of test- takers. Among the key operational benefits of e-testing for CXC are that when the system is fully operational, test data can be sent immediately to CXC and results can be issued sooner via a fully on-line marking system. In addition, predictive and statistical analytics can be done earlier on the information received resulting in better decision making at the ministry, school, class and individual levels in the region. E-testing will, in the near future, offer greater flexibility in allowing learners to take their assessments at a time when they are ready to be assessed and not just at two points in time as now exists. The flexibility of location and test times leads to greater learner engagement and faster turnaround for the more gifted and/or determined learners when trying to accelerate their progress. In addition to all the above, it should be noted that reduced paper usage and reduced administration time add to the cost- saving benefits of e-testing. CXC’s rationale is therefore considered sound and in keeping with the Council’s vision to be the catalyst that assures the development of the global human resource potential of the region. By seeking to achieve this goal, CXC is making a statement to expand further its range of service offerings to its partners and to widen the scope of its engagement with its stakeholders, all in an effort to equip better our region for global success. HOW E-TESTING WORKS Paramount to the success of e-testing at CXCistheclearanddeliberatechoiceofaset of models and approaches that will take us forward. After much research and planning, CXC has determined that our overall schema for implementation will follow a joined-up methodology, incorporating a seamless transition from question development to results management. In following the procedure and journey through and as outlined above, tests will be compiled and pre-viewed in our e-authoring tool, for both electronic and paper-based tests. Once the compiler/test developer is satisfied with the test, it then goes through a series of reviews, and on successful conclusion, will then be packaged and exported into the preferred delivery system either as a single electronic or single paper-based test or part of the dual system (Paper/Computer Based Testing (CBT)) deployed. Diagram 1 explains this process. Summary E-testing provides the region with an unprecedented opportunity to lift the region’s assessment standards and move the engagement process in the region to another level. It is expected that territories will embrace this new frontier with enthusiasm and engage with their own local stakeholders to provide the necessary infrastructure that will be required. CXC will provide all necessary materials, practice forums and help desk services to assist the region in getting ready for the implementation and progression of this initiative. Stephen Savoury is the Director of Operations at the Caribbean Examinations Council. Diagram 1
  9. 9. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 10 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) as a large-scale testing organization will utilize the services of an electronic testing system that is in sync with its quality assurance standards to offer its first e-test in January 2017. Among the required standards for the testing system are: Track Record – A proven track record of delivering high-stakes, high-volume onscreen tests for a range of organisations, test types, and student ages. Usability – The effectiveness, efficiency and overall satisfaction of the user are of vital importance to CXC. As a result, the testing system should have the following qualities: • Intuitive design – nearly effortless understanding of the architecture and navigation of the site • Ease of learning – speed at which a new user can accomplish basic tasks • Efficiency of use – speed at which an experienced user can accomplish tasks • Memorability – ease with which a user who visited the site, can remember enough to use it effectively in future visits • Error frequency – frequency with which users make errors while using the system • System Security – Well-proven security and fault tolerance to ensure that data is protected and tests will not be disrupted, regardless of local infrastructure issues. Technology-Enhanced Items There is no doubt that the next generation of assessments for the 21st Century will consist of a variety of innovative item types that will be best assessed using computer-based testing (CBT). The range of item types should support rich media interactions and stimuli. In the near future, FEATURES OF THE E-TESTING PLATFORM CXC intends to introduce technology-enhanced questions types such as videos and animated gifs stimuli, drag and drop, hot spots and cloze. Accidental submission A candidate should not be able to submit an exam accidentally. During the sitting of a 45 item exam the candidate is not given a button to submit the exam until that candidate clicks item 45. At this time the next button changes to deliver Only then should the candidate be able to submit/deliver, the exam. In addition, the candidate should be required, having clicked “deliver” to confirm delivery or return to the exam. Test security While it is not possible to eliminate cheating and illegal use of items, the proposed online delivery platform should be configured to have in-built procedures and mechanisms to minimize these adverse effects. The system should require that all tests are taken using a lockdown browser. Each candidate should be issued a password for the test. As soon as all candidates are settled within the proctored environment the invigilator should be able to issue another password, referred to as a day password, for the test being taken. Upload offline delivery The candidate should be able to submit the results of the test in the event that the he/ she has lost Internet connection. The system should also provide the facility that allows a centre to administer that test without Internet connection. As we take a bold step into the exciting world of computer-based testing, CXC intends to hold true to its mission to provide the region with valid and reliable examinations of international repute for students of all ages, abilities and interests in the most cost- effective way. Eleanor McKnight, Assistant Registrar - Examinations Administration and Security Division (R), and Ms Yvonne J Pelswijk IT Officer in the Ministry of Education, Suriname during the IT Officers training E-TESTING are you ready?
  10. 10. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 11 The implementation of electronic testing and the transition from paper-based testing is a major operational change for the Council. Since the examinations will be delivered electronically, there are obvious benefits such as reduced paper usage; faster delivery of the examinations; greater security; and easier processing – all of which should combine to produce earlier issue of results. An additional, though not obvious benefit, is the effect of this change on candidates with special needs. The Council endeavours to ensure that all candidates, including candidates with special needs, are allowed to demonstrate their abilities under assessment conditions ELECTRONIC TESTING BENEFITS SPECIAL NEEDS CANDIDATES By Dianne Medford that are as fair as possible. Where standard assessment conditions could disadvantage candidates with special needs by preventing them from demonstrating their true levels of attainment, special assessment arrangements (accommodations) may be requested. Current official supporting documentation, for example, psychological evaluations, must be submitted with each request. The accommodation requested should also be the candidate’s normal way of working. Each year, the Council receives applications for accommodations from candidates in most of the Participating Countries. In the paper-based examinations system, when an accommodation is granted by the Council, written approval is issued to the Local Registrar and copied to the relevant principal. The Local Registrar selects and assigns any facilitators, for example, scribes, readers and Interpreters for the hearing impaired, and then tasks the supervisor at the centre with the responsibility of ensuring that the approved accommodations are in place for the candidates. The most frequent requests received are for additional time in the examinations. Most requests, such as those for additional time, can be easily facilitated, while others, such as requests for electronic question papers, require greater processing because www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 11
  11. 11. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 12 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org the accommodation requires significant changes to the paper-based operation. The introduction of electronic testing is expected to enhance significantly the delivery of examinations and increase access to accommodations for the examinations. The following comparison of the processing of specific accommodations in the two systems – paper-based versus electronic testingshould confirm this: Additional Time In the current system, the supervisor/ invigilator uses the list provided by the Local Registrar, identifies candidates in the examination room who have been granted additional time, notes the specific quantity of time allocated to each of these candidates and ensures that these candidates complete the examination within the specified time. In a more efficient process, the scheduling component of the electronic testing system can be used by the administrators at CXC to allocate the additional time to individual candidates prior to the examination. When the candidate accesses the examination, the time allocated for the examination is automatically updated to include the additional time which has been approved. If an emergency or hardship occurs during an examination, the scheduling component can also be utilized by the supervisor to allocate additional time to specific candidates or to the entire class, as required. It must be noted that such changes are audited by the software and monitored by the administrators at CXC. More importantly, supervisors are required to submit reports and supporting documentation when additional time awarded was not previously granted by CXC. Modified Question Papers Candidates who are visually impaired often request modified question papers. Enlarged print question papers While requests for Braille question papers declined in recent years, requests for enlarged print question papers have increased. To facilitate requests for enlarged print question papers, the size of the font of the original question paper is increased 141 per cent and the papers are printed. These papers are often large and cumbersome. In the electronic system, candidates can access enlarged text by adjusting the size of the font displayed on the screen to suit their requirements. Electronic question papers An increasing use of screen reader software by the visually impaired has resulted in a growing number of requests for question papers on CD from many visually impaired candidates who use screen readers to access their examinations. Centres are required to provide the relevant devices, compatible software and the screen reader software, while the Council provides the question paper on compact disk. Electronic testing greatly simplifies access to the screen reader since all question papers are provided in electronic format. Readers Candidates with reading difficulties usually request the use of a reader. Currently, persons who meet specific criteria developed by CXC are appointed by the Local Registrar as readers for these candidates. However, when reading the text, these readers may by inflection, introduce nuance and meaning. Therefore, these readers are not appointed for examinations in which reading is being tested since this could compromise the assessment. A computer reader does not interpret text in the same way. It is therefore often considered an acceptable accommodation, even when reading is being tested. The extensive use of electronic testing systems could result in candidates having greater access to this facility. Word Processors Requests are often received for the use of a word processor to facilitate the production of legible responses. In the paper-based system, the centre is required to provide a word processor with the spelling, grammar check, and any predictive text facility, disabled for the examination. The candidates’ completed responses must then be printed and sent to the marking centre. In the electronic testing system, all candidates will have access to the same technology. There will be no need to request the use of a word processor. Requests for alternative modes of testing Candidates utilize varying learning styles and sometimes requests have been received for an alternative to the paper- based test. Electronic testing provides one such alternative. Conclusion The introduction of electronic testing in not a solution for all of the challenges experienced in assessing a candidate population with varying needs. However, it permits the inclusion of multimedia and new modes of assessment in the examination process. For example, the addition of videos, sound clips and coloured images should make the process more engaging. The ability to include gaming and simulations will make the “writing” of examinations a much more interactive and candidate-friendly experience. Ultimately, the use of electronic testing will not only improve the overall examination process but will also be supportive to candidates with special needs. Dianne Medford is Assistant Registrar – Examinations Administration and Security Division at CXC. The Council endeavours to ensure that all candidates, including candidates with special needs, are allowed to demonstrate their abilities under assessment conditions that are as fair as possible. E-TESTING are you ready?
  12. 12. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 13 Electronic testing has been around for a number of years in the form of Prometric Testing which some of us may be familiar with. This type of testing has its security challenges because it is done online. Some of these challenges include the following: • securing test takers’ personal information • securing tests from online theft • securing exam equipment from unauthorized access. The following information describes how the integrity of the online test process can be ensured by using such methods as secure browsers, encryption and penetration testing. Secure Exam Browser These types of browsers are designed to be used on test takers’ machines. They are designed to “lock down,” that is, secure a computer, so that a test taker cannot use unauthorized resources, such as browsing the Internet for answers to questions on the exam. The browser is also used to regulate the test takers’ access to utilities such as USB ports. These browsers are installed on all test takers’ computers within an examination centre and can be installed on remote computers as well. Encryption of Exams In order to secure examinations from unauthorized access, encryption can be used in a number of ways. Encryption can be used to secure the delivery of the exams from an exam server to the exam centre or to test takers’ computers. This is called end- to-end encryption which ensures that while exams are being transmitted across the Internet, there is no loss of information in the event that hacking occurs. The encryption used today has not been broken as yet and is based on the principle of using two large prime numbers that are multiplied together to create a key. It is extremely difficult to do ELECTRONIC TESTING SECURITY FEATURESBy Decentice Small the opposite, that is, take a large number given it has two prime factors and find them. This is called the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) encryption algorithm. Encryption is also used to secure examinations that are being stored offline, that is, on a computer or storage device outside of the online exam server. USB drives, hard drives, external hard drives and any other storage devices are protected in this way. Penetration Testing Penetration testing is used to determine if an exam server or “platform” is secure from hacking. An independent external company is engaged to perform this test to ensure impartiality and that the test is rigorously done. This test is done without the input of the organization which requested it or the product owner. The test date is not advertised to the organizations involved and the results are shared only with the organization that requested the penetration test. This test checks for a number of problems that may occur in online exam platforms, such as Structured Query Language (SQL) exploits, which can compromise a database to the extent that it allows a hacker to steal exam papers or test takers’ personal information. For example, code injection can be used by an attacker to introduce (or inject) code into vulnerable programs on the server and change the execution of the program. This then allows an attacker to gain unauthorized access to information. Physically Securing Exam Centres Another important aspect of security that is often overlooked is physical security. This aspect of securing exams is important because it can most often be the weakest link in the security chain. In this form of security, preventing unauthorized access into secure areas must be considered to ensure that no unauthorized material or device is brought into the exam room. In order to ensure compliance by test takers, secure areas are restricted to staff of the exam centre only and access to these areas is usually given only if personnel have an authorized pass to access these areas. Staff members are also trained to be vigilant to recognize any unauthorized persons who are prohibited entry from these areas. Equipment within these areas is secured by encrypted passwords which are changed regularly in order to reduce the likelihood of them being compromised. The equipment is also secured physically behind locked doors and is either secured to the floor or by means of a metal strap attached to the wall or the floor. This form of security also involves the training of users in password management and social engineering techniques. Social engineering is the method of obtaining sensitive information from a user by engaging in casual conversation or by pretending to be a boss, an IT administrator or even someone from human resources, in order to obtain information such as users’ passwords. Conclusion Electronic examinations are secured by a varied number of techniques, some of which have not been mentioned here. These exams are safe to take; however, test takers, examiners and exam portal owners must be vigilant in order to ensure that the necessary security measures that are implemented are adhered to. They should also be aware of the social engineering techniques employed by hackers that are effectively used to compromise systems. These are the popular techniques used by hackers, including phishing emails. Decentice Small is the Assistant Registrar – Network Administrator – with the Caribbean Examinations Council.
  13. 13. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 14 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org Born out of a need to have exam results returned in time to issue report cards, e-testing is rapidly becoming a standard testing format at Convent High School (CHS) in Dominica. The benefits have become clearer with each implementation: saving cost, time, and enhancing the quality of the questions, the exams and the learning process. In December 2015, issuing an exam similar to a Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) exam at the Form 1 level and having one teacher return the results of 100-plus papers within a week posed a challenge. The Information Systems Department decided to focus on the practical assessments during the term and end with a summative multiple-choice exam. That multiple-choice exam took an electronic format; this decision was further prompted by the increasing printing cost, coupled with the breakdown of a large format copier just weeks before the exams. The testing platform was the Learning Management System (LMS) Moodle. The questions were quickly reformatted, categorized and uploaded in bulk to reusable question banks. This format allowed use of appropriately sized and coloured images to enhance the questions, an improvement which was not previously practical due to printing cost and additional paper usage. Pretesting was done to familiarise the students with the new exam format and to establish system requirements. Students made recommendations, were instrumental in resolving issues, and the students’ positive feedback was the major approval needed for launching into this new testing format. E-testing was used for the Information and Communications Technology test in Forms 1, 2, and 3 in the first instance. There were a few shortcomings due to limited hardware resources; but, the feedback with reference to the format was mainly positive. Students felt a bit more in control of the exam. After commencing the exam, students were able to monitor their progress while comparing the current question to the countdown clock. Additionally, students were able to flag questions for later review prior to submission. Flagging the questions also served to alert to teachers of questions that were perceived as difficult by students. With the announcement that it was going to be implementing online testing by 2018, the staff, with little or no prompting by the Principal, decided to convert the multiple- choice exams to the e-testing format. For the June 2016, Term 3 examinations, most Form 4 multiple-choice exams were tested in this format, only limited by the number of computers available in the lab. Once more, the IT Department handled most of the technical work. A few members of staff from each department were trained in preparing the questions in the required format. At each subject level, all questions were pooled, the question banks became larger, large enough to create three or more exams at the subject level in some cases. Multiple exams of different subjects and durations DOMINICA’S CONVENT HIGH SCHOOL WELCOMES E-TESTING! By Michael Peters E-TESTING are you ready?
  14. 14. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 15 in most of the assessments. As a result, very few attempts to communicate that would lead to cheating were identified. This may have resulted from the fact that during the pretesting period and student training sessions, the students recognised that the questions and options were shuffled, and that it was difficult to communicate the question context and option answer. Policy changes are required to take full advantage of e-testing. Schools will have policies that determine how, when, where, and in what setting students should write tests. Based on the method of issue, the value of the e-testing assessment is beyond doubt. Allowing students to retake tests, take tests at different times, and in a non- proctored setting can compromise a test. As such, safe browsers and video monitoring are some of the methods adopted to monitor students taking online tests. As with all forms of technology, e-testing should be implemented where practical. With the collaborative effort of teachers, schools, districts and the ministry of education, e-testing is ready to take its place in our education – we just need to welcome it! Michael Peters is the Systems Administrator at Convent High School in Dominica ran concurrently. The students walked into the examination room, a computer lab in this case, logged on, did the exam and left. Benefits Besides having access to all their students’ marks immediately after the last student completed the exam, teachers began to see other advantages for the future. From a collection of 20 questions on a particular topic, teachers could prepare more questions – review tests and end of chapter tests. Those questions could be reused in mid-term tests and exams. Another advantage is that random question selection can be adopted for each student taking a test. The analysis of the results done by the LMS allows for question review and elimination of faulty questions or adopting a different approach to teaching, and hopefully result in better test results. With extensive refining work, teachers can adopt a set-it-and-forget-it approach, knowing that the quizzing component of their course is already done for at least a year in the future. CHS uses the services and tools provided by Google Apps for Education platform. Some new features available to teachers this year include Google Forms, now allowing a quiz format. Google Forms can be prepared with the multiple-choice format and automatically corrected and graded immediately on submission or at a later time when all students have completed their sessions. With optional feedback for student response – correct answer, incorrect answer, and comment – students know their results on completion of the assessment. This may not always be practical for an exam, but it is practical for review and chapter quizzes. As of September 2016, the Science Department has already begun testing and using these features. The mood among staff and students appears to be one of no turning back. Slowly but surely other teachers and departments are beginning to implement some form of e-testing and the concept is not limited to multiple-choice- type questions. While the focus of e-testing is not and should not be to eliminate cheating, the format does reduce cheating attempts. In a proctored setting, with the questions being shuffled and the options for each question being shuffled, students would need to invest a lot more time into cheating. The expected shuffle settings for 60 students doing a 60-question test is that no two students will have the same question one. When students get to the same question then there is a one in four chance that they have the same first option. Shuffling both questions and options is a setting applied Dominica’s Convent High School Welcomes E-Testing!
  15. 15. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 16 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org Preface In the Dutch education system, the subject mathematics is not mandatory in the secondary school as it is in the CXC system. Candidates can choose (not) to take mathematics in their school profile as an exam subject. However, the Dutch Government is now having the candidates take a mandatory basic math test in their (pre)exam class and the grade is implemented as a passing norm. History Early this century, the Ministry of Education has indicated that it wants to strengthen the literacy and numeracy education in the Netherlands, following growing concerns in education and society about the literacy and numeracy of pupils. To shape this policy, an expert was asked to develop a vision, the so-called committee Meijerink. In 2008, the Meijerink Commission published its report titled “Overcoming obstacles in language and mathematics”. This report describes the continuous learning for language and mathematics where reference levels play an important role. Reference levels describe the desired end levels of literacy and numeracy at the end of primary education (PO), secondary education (VO) and secondary vocational education (MBO). In 2010, the reference levels were made into law and adopted. On this basis, developments were put in motion to operationalize the reference levels and give them a place in the flow to secondary and from secondary to MBO and HBO. The Ministry of Education gave permission to develop the contract to SLO with two calculation key pointers: one for the reference level 2F for VMBO and one for the reference level 3F for general secondary education. The Ministry of Education then decided that the math test pointers constitute the framework for the creation of the pilot digital Math test secondary education in 2012 and 2013. In the school year 2014-2015 secondary education candidates took their first digital maths test as a mandatory part of their final exam. The result had then not been included in the Passing Rule. The math test is calibrated to count towards the framework adopted into law reference levels – the achievement tests for all candidates, including candidates who have not chosen mathematics as an exam subject in order to acquire a high school diploma. Who is responsible? The College voor Toetsen en Examens (CvTE) in the Netherlands, which is comparable to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), has been given the authority by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to take the role of directing and is responsible for the math test (Secondary School). Cito (the body that puts the test together) annually receives a test development construction contract from CvTE. The contract states that the math test is digital (electronic) and that the test must meet the criteria. There are also detailed instructions, for example, the duration of the test, the number of assignments, and the distribution among the various computational elements (numbers, measurement and geometry, connections and relationships). Together with school teachers, Cito is working on the math test. Hundreds of quality estimates are made for each reference level. Cito has several test construction groups for each reference level. Each group consists of three or four teachers from secondary education, who are experts in the field of Mathematics. Each construction group is accompanied by an expert from Cito. In the construction phase the focus is primarily on difficulty of the assignment, language, clarity, reality and recognition for the candidate. IN SINT MAARTEN By Yvette Halley E-TESTING MATHEMATICS E-TESTING are you ready?
  16. 16. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 17 E-Testing Mathematics in Sint Maarten The Cito test expert then explains the challenges for establishing a committee of the CvTE. These committees are also staffed by teachers nominated by unions and sector councils, sometimes supplemented by experts. The advantages of the central math test include: • Securing basic level numeracy for all candidates. • Understanding numeracy of candidates in transition to secondary education. • Comparing math levels of one school over a number of years. • Insight into the level of the candidates • Candidates in VMBO are given a digital math test on the level 2F. • HAVO and VWO candidates are given a digital math test at level 3F. After taking the digital math test, schools send the results and candidate data to CvTE. They analyse these results, and CvTE defines a standard or norm. Based on these standards or norms the schools gain insight in the achievement level of the individual candidates and the group as a whole. Implementation on Sint Maarten As a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sint Maarten’s candidates who continue their studies in the Netherlands have to comply with the passing norm so that their diploma is equivalent with that of the Dutch system. All secondary schools with a Dutch curriculum, that is, non-CSEC schools, will be piloting the digital math test until the official implementation in 2019-2020. The Division of Examinations in Sint Maarten started their preparation in May 2015. After meeting with the management team of MPC (the school), it was decided to pilot the digital math test with one Pre-Exam class and a selected number of candidates. Implementation at all levels has been scheduled for 2020. FAO server Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) an agency within the Ministry of Education that provides the necessary information concerning the software was contacted and the MPC IT team went to work. A supervisor from Division of Examinations in Sint Maarten was assigned to oversee this pilot. First, the IT team had to make a computer available that could access the software, offline and online. This computer would be totally formatted to download the software from scratch. Via the URL https://portaal.facet.onl/ the supervisor got access to the installation guidelines, software and manuals. Each new exam periods needs a new FAO server, which belongs to the FACET platform that DUO uses to run the software. The supervisor has the authority to add and activate such an FAO server that can be accessed by a specially generated code. The installation of the FAO server for the first time did not go without obstacles. It took the school IT team two days to communicate back and forth with DUO in the Netherlands via Skype, to get the sequence as it should be. One major problem was synchronizing the server with those in the Netherlands as we have a six-hour time difference during the summer. Functionality Test (FT) A mandatory system check also has to be done before each and every new exam period. This FT is to assess if the IT infrastructure meets the requirements of Facet. The supervisor needs to plan, distribute and release a FT preferably a few days before the first digital math test. If this FT is released within an 84-hour span it will be immediately able to run. The supervisor can choose to do the test on or offline. Fictitious candidates are being registered as it is advised to use ten per cent more or fewer candidates to do this FT, so that the school’s IT team can get the total picture of the real digital math test. Any discrepancies that occur during the dry-run should immediately be reported, so that DUO can interject before the real digital math test is done. Planning the Math Test Four weeks before the actual first day of the digital math test, the candidates’ list is requested from the school. Specific information is required and some has to be added, if for example Sint Maarten doesn’t have a persoons Gebonden Nummer (school personal identification number) as in the Netherlands. This number is then generated from a specific website. The school decides which pre-exam classes will do the pilot digital math test up until 2018-2019. This is the official digital math test that the Netherlands administers to its candidates during the final exam. Two weeks before the actual first day of the digital math test, the school receives Excel file that has to be made upload-ready. The option is also to “read” the candidates one-by- one, which is very time-consuming for a class of 20-plus candidates. The specific format has to be adapted from what the school has initially sent in the Excel file. One week before the actual first day of the digital math test, (and not any time before) the supervisor plans the digital math test and connects each test level to each class. Each class gets a specific group number that will make it unique for the date, time and level that it will do the digital math test. After the classes have been registered, an attendance sheet is available to print and use on the day of the test. The dry run or FT is done preferably two days before the actual first day of the digital math test. This is to ensure that in case there are discrepancies that need to be checked and fixed this can be done before the live math test is done on the assigned day. On the day of the math test, preparation starts one hour before test time. The test is being released so that the candidates can access the test. After the candidates enter the classroom, they log in with their username and password. Depending on the level, the candidates are allotted 60 to 90 minutes to complete the test. During the test they are not allowed scrap paper or a pencil. No physical calculator is allowed, the second part of the test indicates when a calculator can be used and it is visible on the screen. Examples of the digital Math test can be found on http://www.cito.nl/onderwijs/ voortgezet%20onderwijs/rekentoets_vo/ voorbeeldtoetsen Drs Yvette Halley is the Head of the Division of Examinations in the Ministry of Education Culture, Youth and Sports in Sint Maarten.
  17. 17. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 18 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org Computer-based examinations versus paper-based examinations, does it make any difference in candidates’ performance? This was a question asked by Karay, Y; Stosch, C.; and Schuttpelz-Brauns, K (2015) in a study of the Berlin Formative Progress Test. They concluded that those who took computer-based test are not at a disadvantage in terms of their test results, compared with those who took the same test on paper. In fact, they found that the computer-based test required less processing time. This conclusion was attributed to the longer time it takes when using the paper-pencil version. They opined that the longer time might be due to the time needed to write the answers down, controlling for transferring the answer correctly. This is most interesting since some CXC stakeholders are very concerned that by offering tests on an electronic platform, some students would be disadvantaged either because of their inability to type at an adequate pace or inability to use a computer. Currently, candidates read from one paper and write their answers on a second sheet for multiple questions. The electronic platform provides for the question and answer to be in the same window. That should reduce transcription errors and could result in improved performance. Roy Clariana and Patricia Wallace (2002) show that candidates who use the electronic platform to take their tests perform better than those who took the same tests using pen and paper. They reviewed several studies and found, among other things, higher achieving students benefit most from taking their tests on the electronic platform; students have increased scores on Mathematics and English when taking tests on the electronic platform; and students who are familiar with computers perform better on the electronic platform than on pencil and paper tests. In one of their investigations, they sought to confirm several key factors in computer-based versus paper-based assessment. Based on earlier research, the factors considered here include content familiarity, computer familiarity, competitiveness, and gender. Following classroom instruction, freshman business under-graduates (N = 105) were randomly assigned to either a computer-based or identical paper-based test. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) test data showed that the computer-based test group outperformed the paper-based test group. Gender, competitiveness, and computer familiarity were NOT related to this performance difference, though content familiarity was. They found the higher-attaining students benefited most from computer- based assessment relative to higher- attaining students on the paper-based test. This is a very important finding. It shows that those students who are expected to perform well on their tests did perform well. However, the finding shows that the higher-attaining students out performed their counterparts who did the same tests using the paper- based mode. Both groups did better than the other students as expected, but those who did the computer-based test, did better. All things being equal, high-attaining students who take computer-based tests will perform better than if they take paper- based tests. From the two studies cited and other studies examined, CXC is satisfied that computer-based testing will not disadvantage candidates. Based on the research, it is expected that candidates will perform better on these tests. To maximise these benefits, candidates will be given full access to the test-taking platform to do as many practice tests as they can and to become familiar with the platform. Glenroy Cumberbatch is the Registrar of Caribbean Examinations Council. CANDIDATES PERFORM BETTER ON E-TESTS By Glenroy Cumberbatch E-TESTING are you ready?
  18. 18. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 19 As part the Council’s strategic intent to move to e-testing effective in the January 2017 examinations cycle, a team of representatives from the Caribbean Examinations Council participated in a Study Tour at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Global Institute (www.ets.org/ globalinstitute) during the week of 27 June 2016. The team comprised representatives from key Divisions within CXC with overall responsibility for the roll out of e-testing. One of the primary deliverables of the Study Tour was the development of a blueprint for the implementation of e-testing in CXC Participating Territories. The Study Tour provided an opportunity for CXC staff to gain from the experience and expertise of the ETS that has been involved in electronic testing for a number of years in different countries worldwide. Additionally, the ETS Global Institute has been the forerunner in training in e-testing and was therefore deemed the ideal host for the Study Tour. The intent was for CXC staff to leverage the experience of ETS by identifying potential challenges that could arise in this new testing environment and devising and implementing strategies to avoid these in its own e-testing as well as to learn about those strategies that worked and improve on them for the roll out of CXC e-testing. During the ETS study tour, the CXC team was exposed to a number of areas that were identified as critical to the successful implementation of e-testing by CXC. These included: managing the transition from paper and pencil test to e-test; security issues in the implementation of e-testing; computer test delivery models; administration of e-testing, which covered areas such as supervision and security protocol/requirements for e-testing centres; managing item pools for e-testing; item banking from a test development perspective as well as for Next Generation Assessment; and technology- enhanced items (TEIs). CXC staff also participated in an IT clinic that looked in detail at a number of computer-based testing delivery modes. Participants found this session particularly useful as it provided very practical examples of the strengths and potential challenges of various delivery models as well as cost implications for the implementation of e-testing. Participation in the IT clinic also confirmed CXC’s own research on e-testing and decisions taken regarding the CXC approach to e-testing. Take-away The ETS Study Tour provided valuable insights into the requirements to facilitate the transition from paper-based testing to e-testing. One of the most significant takeaways from the ETS experience is that e-testing provides examination boards such as CXC with the opportunity to modernise testing. In the e-testing environment, there are opportunities to include variations in test items that may not be easily replicated on paper. In this environment, CXC has the opportunity to leverage the affordances of new and emerging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to modernise its assessment and make its examinations more authentic. Imagine a test that includes video based scenarios and cases that more closely reflect the problems/ issues that learners will encounter in the real world setting and emerging them in an assessment environment that is motivating and stimulating. The inclusion of Technology Enhanced Items (TEIs) allows for the inclusion of test items and stimuli that engage multiple senses through the inclusion of video, audio, text, images and animations in a combination that engages the learner in a way that a paper and pencil test cannot. Additionally, through the use of TEIs, candidates will be able to manipulate 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional test objects such as maps or shapes; to zoom in on an object for greater detail; to turn an image to see additional dimensions. All this can be done in the live test in the e-testing environment. The experience at ETS also shows that there are significant benefits to be gained from moving language testing from the paper-based environment to e-testing. E-testing allows for all aspects of language learning; listening, speaking, reading, writing and viewing to be tested in a way that is seamless and integrated. TEIs in a language testing environment allow for the inclusion of audio based items for testing listening skills, text based items and images/infographics for reading skills, video based items for viewing skills, the spoken language can be recorded and replayed and there are myriad opportunities for the testing of writing skills. The ability to combine multiple media formats in a single sequence provides for a more enriching testing experience for candidates. From our ETS experience, we are convinced that e-testing will ensure that we assess our candidates better. We invite you to join us in the move to e-testing! Dr Carol Granston is the Pro Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council based at the Western Zone Office in Jamaica. CXC TEAM VISITS ETS ON STUDY TOUR By Carol Granston, PhD
  19. 19. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 20 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org The Caribbean Examinations Council is a key player in the Caribbean educational system, responsible for the creation of test instruments which determine outcomes for students, and drive the stream of data which is central to accountability and school improvement. Student progression to work and higher education, school performance, labour mobility, and in many ways, the learning experience itself are all determined by the quality and purpose of assessment. Creating test instruments which are valid and reliable and which promote rather than discourage good teaching practice is a technically complex, highly skilled task. It often involves teams of up to 400 people including item writers, psychometricians, setters, subject officers, and variously named moderators, research leads and committees all working together to produce secure, reliable and meaningful assessments. In common with most assessment processes (candidate registration, marking, printing, security tracking, results analysis), item and paper authoring is undergoing a transformation through technology, loosely named, as “Item Banking”. Item Bank The new item bank acquired by CXC will be used as an electronic database-driven technology that stores and manipulates: • Archived examination content, including syllabus, exam papers, mark scheme, exam items and related content, images and artwork all relating to past, exposed examination papers. • Live examination content relating to draft items, approved items and live papers (papers not yet sat) and related documentation. • Data and comments relating to examination items, artwork and papers. In addition, the new item bank will facilitate remote item writing, through a process called e-authoring. The new item bank combines a unique knowledge management system with powerful authoring, collaboration and data analysis tools. The system affords CXC an almost seamless process from item writing to test delivery as shown in the diagram below. This new item bank will provide access to all of CXC’s items’ historic content, and insight and data to inform every stage of the test development process. The improvement anticipated at each quality check throughout the test development process will enhance the quality of the examination overall. Overview of CXC Items CXC currently uses two broad categories of items: selected response items and constructed response items. In the near future, it seeks to also offer technology- enhanced items. ThenewCXCitembankwillstrategically use a variety of item types (i.e. selected response items, constructed response items and technology-enhanced items) to assess the full range of the CXC’s offerings with an emphasis on problem solving, knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis. In the near future, CXC intends to develop assessment items that consider the access requirements of the wide spectrum of candidates (for example, with respect to cognitive, processing, sensory, physical, and language dimensions). Each of the item types will incorporate accessibility features (e.g. magnification, audio representation of graphic elements, linguistic simplification, text-to-speech, and Braille) that will integrate with the system technology, test structure, and test delivery. Selected response Selected response items contain a series of options from which the candidate chooses one correct response. CXC’s emphasis is on the items that reflect important knowledge and skills consistent with the expectations of the standards across the depths of knowledge (i.e. recall, comprehension and application). The appropriate and judicious use of selected response items provides a cost-effective means to address content in terms of test development, administration and scoring. Selected response items are currently limited to multiple-choice items that measure one specific objective. These multiple-choice items have four possible answers (options) where one option is the correct answer (key) and three incorrect answer choices (distractors). Constructed Response Constructed Response is a general term for items requiring the student to generate a response as opposed to selecting a response. Both structured and extended response items are used. Structured response items may require test-takers to enter a single word, phrase, sentence, number, or set of numbers, whereas extended constructed response items require more elaborated answers and explanations of reasoning. These kinds of constructed response items allow students todemonstratetheiruseofcomplexthinking skills, such as formulating comparisons or contrasts; proposing cause and effects; identifying patterns or conflicting points of view; categorizing, summarizing, or interpreting information; and developing generalizations, explanations, justifications, or evidence-based conclusions (Darling- Hammond & Pecheone, 2010). E-AUTHORING, THE NEW ITEM BANK By Alton McPherson E-TESTING are you ready?
  20. 20. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 21 In the CXC context, constructed response items will measure one or more specific objectives. A single constructed response item will not measure content objectives across subject offerings. Technology-Enhanced Items (TEIs) Technology-Enhanced Items (TEIs) employ technology to: • Display items on screen to the candidate, for example, animations, simulations, video or audio stimulus, moveable models, and/or • Require a response from the student, for example, selecting one or more points on a graphic, dragging and dropping a graphic from one location to another, manipulating a graph, and/or • Collect score responses which are scored against an answer key for multiple-choice or static constructed response items; or objective score criteria for dynamic constructed response. • TEIs employ technology to, assess content, cognitive complexity, and knowledge not assessable otherwise. • The ultimate goal of TEIs is to provide better measurement of candidates’ knowledge and skills through technology. The effective use of technology will expand the nature of the content that can be presented as well as the knowledge, skills, and processes that can be assessed (Quellmalz & Moody, 2004). Technology- enhanced items will take advantage of drag- and-drop, hot spot, and fill-in-the-blanks in the very near future. Conclusion The CXC in keeping with its vision of providing, the region with valid and reliable examinations has dedicated its resources to develop and maintain an item bank that will do the following: • Accept items remotely • Route items through a rigorous multiple rounds of review process till items are free of bias and sensitivity concerns • Store items that meet accepted standards of content validity and psychometric quality • Store the number and type of items that will reflect the nature and emphasis of the knowledge domain to be measured There is no question that the development of a sound item bank is a difficult and lengthy task. The rewards, however, in terms of more precise and efficient measurement are substantial. Alton McPherson is Assistant Registrar – Measurement and Evaluation at CXC. http://www.grademaker.com/Products/Grademaker-Pro
  21. 21. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 22 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org “Whenever the art department receives a portfolio from the Caribbean, it creates a buzz…” That is the assertion from Dr Phyllis Hill, Assistant Professor at Delta State University in Mississippi, United States who is also a CXC resource person. Dr Hill was at the time speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2016 CXC Visual Arts Exhibition hosted at La Place Carenage in Castries, St Lucia on 25 April 2016. An Assistant Professor in the Arts Department, Dr Hill lauded the CSEC programme for preparing students adequately for the next level. “CSEC Visual Arts lays the foundation for you to become successful, creative practitioners… employers and institutions are interested in individuals who are able to work independently, read analytically, organize information and express ideas clearly and coherently,” the Jamaican national explained. “CSEC Visual Arts helps you to develop strong skill sets in creativity, problem solving, ability to communicate in different ways, self-discipline, cultural literacy, tolerance and critical thinking.” The seasoned arts educator said this skillset places Caribbean students as forerunners in the global marketplace and in demand at universities. “I work in a four- year university in the USA, and whenever CSEC VISUAL ARTS GIVES STUDENTS ADVANTAGE By Cleveland Sam the Art Department receives a portfolio from the Caribbean it creates a buzz,” she stated. “Recently we received a portfolio from a young lady in Jamaica…every department wanted her.” Honourable, Dr Robert Lewis, the then Minister of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, delivered the feature address and declared the Exhibition open. During his address, Dr Lewis encouraged all schools in St Lucia to take up Visual Arts. He noted that if he was not convinced before, after listening to Dr Hill, he was now convinced about the virtues of visual arts. Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, Registrar of CXC, in his address noted that CXC values the expressive arts subjects and explained that these subjects will form the basis for the growth of the cultural industries being pursued by several regional governments. The speeches at the opening ceremony were punctuated by two fantastic performances by students of the George Charles Secondary School and Corinth Secondary School. Following the ceremony, the Minister, Registrar, Dr Hill and other ministry officials toured the exhibition. The exhibition ran from April 25 to 29 and attracted hundreds of visitors each day, both locals and tourists. CSEC Visual Arts lays the foundation for you to become successful, creative practitioners…employers and institutions are interested in individuals who are able to work independently, read analytically, organize information and express ideas clearly and coherently,” NEWS Dr Phyllis Hill delivering remarks at the opening of the exhibition Dr Hill pointing out pieces in the Textile Design and Manipulation section Kelvin Duberry a Visual Arts teacher from Montserrat has the attention of these two students
  22. 22. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 23 CSEC Visual Arts Give Students Advantage Visitors Comments Visitors were asked to comment on the exhibition, and they were asked to rate the exhibition on a four-point scale: poor, good, very good or excellent. More than 90 per cent of the visitors to the 2016 Visual Arts Exhibition rated the Exhibition excellent. The other 10 per cent rated it very good or good. The most popular expression made by visitors when they entered one of the exhibition rooms was “Wow! Wow!” In a second was “Impressive.” Teachers’ Workshop As part of the thrust to add value to the host country’s benefit of the Exhibition, a two-day workshop for Visual Arts teachers was hosted in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April. The workshop was hosted in the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour Conference Room and facilitated by Dr Phyllis Hill. Twenty-four persons participated in the workshop including two officers from the Ministry of Education and one teacher from the Montserrat Secondary School, Kelvin Duberry who travelled to St Lucia for the event. The topics addressed over the two days were: Issues and Challenges, Overview of the CSEC Visual Arts Syllabus, The Thematic Approach, Overview of Expressive Forms, Challenges and Strategies, Expressive Forms Assessment, The Reflective Journal, Strategies for Managing and Implementation of the Syllabus. Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, Registrar of CXC, in his address noted that CXC values the expressive arts subjects and explained that these subjects will form the basis for the growth of the cultural industries being pursued by several regional governments. Ms Esther Brathwaite, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education cutting the ribbon to declare the exhibition open as Honourable, Dr Robert Lewis, the then Minister of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, and Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar are holding the ribbon Students admiring the pieces in the Painting and Mixed Media section of the exhibition Honourable, Dr Robert Lewis, Dr Phyllis Hill and Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch Delthia Naitram, Visual Arts Coordinator (2nd left) pointing out 3-dimensional pieces to guests at the exhibition “I like this one”
  23. 23. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 24 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org Sixty-six per cent of subject entries entered for the May/June 2016 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations achieved Grades I-III, the acceptable grades at CSEC. This is just two percentage points below that of 2015 when 68 per cent of entries achieved similar grades. Performance improved in 14 subjects, declined in 17 subjects and remained constant in four subjects. Among the subjects which performed at 90 per cent or better this year are Physical Education and Sport with 98 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades; Theatre Arts with 95 per cent, Agricultural Science (Double Award) with 92 per cent, Electronic Document Preparation and Management with 91 per cent and Principles of Business 90 per cent. Mathematics and English There were mixed results in Mathematics and English. For English A there was an improvement in performance with 67 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 60 per cent in 2015, (an increase of seven per cent). For English B, there was a 15 percentage point decline, 62 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 77 in 2015. There was a decline in performance in Mathematics with 44 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades. Performance also declined in Additional Mathematics with 67 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 72 per cent last year. Sciences There were mixed performances in the science subjects this year. The biggest improvement was in Biology with a 14 percentage point increase over last year. Eighty per cent of entries for Biology achieved Grades I-III compared with 66 per cent in 2015. Chemistry saw a three per cent decline in performance this year when compared with 2015; 56 per cent achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 59 per cent in 2015. There was a seven point decline in performance in Integrated Science this year when compared with that of 2015, sixty-four per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 71 per cent in 2015. CSEC PERFORMANCE REMAINS STEADY Performance in Physics improved by two per cent with 63 per cent of entries achieving Grades I-III this year compared with 61 per cent in 2015. Both Agricultural Science (Double Award) and Agricultural Science (Single Award) recorded very good performance this year with slight improvement in the Single Award and slight decline in the Double Award. Ninety- two per cent of entries for Agricultural Science (Double Award) achieved acceptable grades compared with 94 per cent in 2015. Eighty-nine per cent of entries for Agricultural Science (Single Award) achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 87 per cent in 2015. There was an eight percentage point improvement in performance in Human and Social Biology, 53 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 45 per cent in 2015. Business Ninety-one per cent of entries for Electronic Document Preparation and Management achieved acceptable grades;this is a one percentage point improvement in performance in 2015 when 90 per cent of entries achieved similar grades. Performance in Principles of Accounts remained the same over the two years with THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER NEWS Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar presenting Honourable Evans McNiel Rogers with a copy of the Anguilla results during the launch in Anguilla. Cleveland Sam - AR (PICS) is in the background
  24. 24. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 25 66 per cent of entries achieving Grades I-III in both years. While performance in Principles of Business was excellent, it declined marginally when compared with that of 2015. This year 90 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 93 per cent in 2015. Similarly, in Economics, 70 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 83 per cent in 2015. Expressive Arts Performance improved in two subjects, remained the same in one subject and declined in one subject in the Expressive Arts cluster. Music saw a nine percentage point improvement in performance with 81 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year, compared with 72 per cent in 2015. Performance also improved in Visual Arts this year with 66 per cent of entries achieving Grades I-III compared with 62 per cent last year. Performance remained steady in Theatre Arts with an impressive 95 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades in both 2015 and 2016. Physical Education and Sport recorded the best overall performance in CSEC this year with 98 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades. However, this is one percentage point less than the 99 per cent that achieved similar grades in 2015. TVET Performance improved in three subjects in the Technical and Vocational Education cluster – Food and Nutrition, Technical Drawing and Mechanical Engineering Technology. In Technical Drawing, 68 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 63 per cent in 2015, while for Mechanical Engineering Technology, 69 per cent achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 65 per cent last year. For Food and Nutrition, 88 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 85 per cent last year. Performance in Home Economics Management declined this year when compared with 2015. Seventy-nine per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 86 per cent in 2015. Performance in both options for Building Technology declined this year. For Building Technology (Construction), 77 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 82 per cent in 2015; while for Building Technology (Woods), 76 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 79 per cent in 2015. For Electrical and Electronic Technology, 59 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 62 per cent in 2015. Numbers The number of subject entries for the May/June 2016 sitting increased to 585,223 subject entries, up from 578,035 entries in 2015 however, the number of candidates declined marginally, from 132,824 candidates in 2015 to 132,674 candidates this year. Mathematics continues to be largest CSEC subject with 92,529 subject entries submitted this year. It is followed closely by English A with 89,865 entries. Social Studies is the third largest subject with 46,867 entries; Principles of Business follows with 33,284 entries and Human and Social Biology with 29,308 entries rounds off the top five largest CSEC subjects. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER Performance on CSEC Remains Steady CSEC CAPE Carlong Publishers (Caribbean) Limited Partners in the education process We present our suite of new CSEC® and CAPE® titles written by experienced teachers and practitioners with many years of preparing students for examinations, the suite provides comprehensive coverage of the latest syllabi. CONTACT US FOR FURTHER ENQUIRIES Building 3, 17 Ruthven Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I. Tel: (876) 960 9364-6, 920 9972 Fax: (876) 968 1353 viSit uS on ww w.carlo ngpubli shers.c om3 LOG ON TO noW StoCKED BY CARLonG
  25. 25. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 26 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org Performance in the 2016 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) remained consistent with that of the past five years. Approximately 90 per cent of the entries achieved Grades I-V, which are the acceptable grades at CAPE. Thirteen per cent of the entries achieved Grade I, just under 20 per cent achieved Grade II, 23 per cent achieved Grade III, 20 per cent Grade IV and 14 per cent achieved Grade V. Performance improved in 19 of the Units offered this year. These include a ten per cent improvement in History Unit 1 with 81 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year compared with 71 per cent in 2015. There was also a 10 per cent improvement in performance in Management of Business Unit 1 with 96 per cent of entries achieving Grades I-V compared with 86 per cent in 2015. Environmental Science Unit 1 saw an eight per cent improvement with 97 per cent achieving acceptable grades this year compared with 89 per cent last year. For Computer Science Unit 2, there was a four per cent improvement in performance. Ninety-six per cent of entries achieved Grades I-V this year compared with 92 per cent in 2015. Similarly, 90 per cent of entries for Applied Mathematics achieved acceptable grades compared with 86 per cent in 2015, for a four per cent improvement. 100 per cent In five Units, entries achieved 100 per cent of acceptable grades: these include Art and Design Unit 1, Performing Arts Unit 2 (Cinematic Arts), Performing Arts Unit 2 (Drama), Performing Arts Unit 2 (Music), and Digital Media Unit 2. 99 per cent Other New Generation CAPE subjects that returned exceptional results include Entrepreneurship Unit 2 and Physical Education and Sport Unit 2 in which 99 per cent of entries for both Units achieved acceptable grades. Ninety-nine per cent of entries for Management of Business Unit 2 and French Unit 2 also achieved acceptable grades. First-time offerings Two subjects were offered at CAPE for the first time at the May/June 2016 sitting: Logistics and Supply Chain Operations and Integrated Mathematics. Seventy- one per cent of entries for Logistics and Supply Chain Operations Unit 1 achieved acceptable grades, while 50 per cent of entries for Unit 2 achieved similar grades. For Integrated Mathematics, the recently introduced compulsory Unit to obtain the CXC Associate Degree for students not doing any other CAPE Mathematics Unit, 47 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades. The subject previously offered as Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering was changed to Building and Mechanical Engineering Drawing (BMED), and offered for the first time at this year’s May/June sitting. Eighty-six per cent of entries for BMED (Mechanical Engineering) Unit 1, and 75 per cent for BMED Unit 1 (Building Drawing) achieved acceptable grades. Ninety per cent of entries for BMED Unit 2 (Mechanical Engineering) and 84 per cent of entries for BMED Unit 2 (Building Drawing) achieved acceptable grades. Performance in Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies, the two traditional compulsory Units at CAPE continues to be excellent. For both Units, 97 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades. Growth The number of CAPE candidates this year grew by just over 300, from 30, 547, in 2015 to 30, 859, this year. The number of subject entries however, fell marginally from 122, 795 entries in 2015 to 121, 711 in CAPE PERFORMANCE THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 2016. The two largest CAPE Units remain Communication Studies and Caribbean Studies with 16, 425 entries and 12, 565 entries respectively. Pure Mathematics with 5704 entries, Management of Business with 5195 entries, and Chemistry Unit 1 with 5126 entries complete the top five CAPE Units. New Subjects for 2017 Two more New Generation subjects will be added to the CAPE offering come the May/June 2017 sitting. These are Green Engineering and Financial Services Studies. Teaching in two new subjects commenced in September 2016 and the first examination will be offered in May/June 2017. GreenEngineeringwasrecentlylaunched ataceremonyheldinGuyanaon28July,while Financial Services is slated to be launched in November in the Virgin Islands (UK). NEWS Performance in the 2016 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) remained consistent with that of the past five years. Approximately 90 per cent of the entries achieved Grades I-V, which are the acceptable grades at CAPE.
  26. 26. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 27 THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER Two Measurement and Evaluation Officers who have served CXC on short-term assignments have been appointed on longer term contracts. Captain James Maloney and Mr Dwayne Gamble, both Barbadians, have both been appointed on three-year contracts effective 1 September 2016 as Assistant Registrar, Measurement and Evaluation Officer in the Examinations Development and Production Division. Captain Maloney is a career Barbados Defence Force Officer, having joined the BDF in 1983. He holds a Master of Arts in Testing and Measurement and a Bachelor of Arts in Caribbean and Latin American Studies from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus. He also possesses an Associate Degree in Arts from the Barbados Community College and a Diploma in Education (Distinction) from the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College in Barbados. Dwayne Gamble is a career educator and possesses a Master of Science degree in Testing and Measurement, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Diploma in Education from UWI, Cave Hill Campus. He also holds an Associate Degree in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics from the Barbados Community College. A former primary and secondary school teacher in Barbados, Mr Gamble is a former CXC resource person for CSEC Mathematics and Physics. Syllabus Two appointments have also been made in the Syllabus and Curriculum Development Division (SCD) at the Western Zone Office in Jamaica: Senior Assistant Registrar and Assistant Registrar. Mr Howard Campbell, a Jamaican national, was appointed Senior Assistant Registrar (SAR) in the Syllabus and Curriculum Division, effective 1 May 2016. Mr Campbell holds a Master of Science Degree in Digital Education from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Bachelor of Science in Computing with Management from the University of Technology, Jamaica. He is a certified Level IV NVQJ/VTDI Assessor and is also an IT consultant who has worked on several regional and international projects. Mrs Norlette Leslie-Yearde, also from Jamaica, has accepted a one-year assignment, on secondment, to the position of Assistant Registrar in the Syllabus and Curriculum Division, effective 9 June. Mrs Leslie-Yearde holds a Master of Education in Curriculum Development (with Distinction) and Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (First Class Honours) from The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. She has more than 12 years teaching experience at the primary and tertiary levels. NEW OFFICERS Mr Dwayne Gamble Mr Howard Campbell Mrs Norlette Leslie-Yearde Captain James Maloney www.cxc.org OCTOBER 2016 27
  27. 27. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER 28 OCTOBER 2016 www.cxc.org THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER Introduction Since the late 1980s, global concern about the state of our environment has been increasing. In fact, worldwide attention is drawn to issues such as climate change, soaring energy prices and security of energy supply, rapid depletion of renewable and non-renewable resources, loss of biodiversity and global population expansion, among others. The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), in its collective wisdom, has decided to introduce a Green Engineering Syllabus which will be offered at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level. This bold initiative resonates with a point articulated in Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, titled “Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training” (United Nations, 1992; 36.2): Education, including formal education, public awareness and training should be recognized as a process by which human beings and societies can reach their fullest potential. Education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues. There is a clear need for educational institutions to take stock of what is taught in our schools and to re-orient existing subjects and introduce new ones to address issues of sustainability. Such issues include choice of material and energy with regard to reusability, durability, social and environmental consequences, and affordability. Why Green Engineering? It is a fact that engineering has broad environmental, social and economic impact; therefore the application of the principles of Green Engineering is considered a new paradigm that allows for the incorporation of the concept of sustainability and the application of science and design solutions to problems created by conventional engineering. In this context, Green Engineering may be defined as environmentally conscious attitudes, values, and principles, combined with science, technology and innovation directed towards improving local and global environmental quality. Further, it is the design of materials, processes, systems and devices with the objective of minimising overall environmental impact over the entire life cycle whilst meeting required performance, economic and societal constraints. The Process The process of developing this new Green Engineering syllabus can best be described as consultative and entailed many interconnected steps. Step 1 Online meeting of Green Engineering Working Committee in July 2014 - Brainstorming Session GREEN ENGINEERING THE SCIENCE OF THE CENTURY By Dr Paulette Bynoe NEWS

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