In the past, we’ve brought up the problems of assessment that plague students, as well as the opportunities to use technology to improve education. Now, with the MYP eAssessment, the International Baccalaureate tackles both in the quest to improve the way students’ performance is measured.
The eAssessment is designed to be taken by MYP students at the age of 16, upon the completion of the Middle Years Programme. The eAssessment takes place in front of computer displays, rather than being conducted on paper with an exam proctor.
In the MYP eAssessment, only a quarter of the covered material is actually based on knowledge, with the focus primarily on inquiry and critical thinking. This reflects the IB’s preference for the development of critical thinking and creativity over simple fact-based, textbook learning – an important preference in the information age, which has provided every student with near-unlimited access to information any time they need it.
Certain subjects also require the compilation of an ePortfolio, a set of creative and reflective coursework that provide a more holistic assessment of student achievements in those fields. The ePortfolio, as an essential part of the eAssessment, provides a more complete picture of how students are doing, and encourages students to form professional, organised means of collecting their thoughts and demonstrating their achievements.
After students complete their eAssessment, their answers and portfolios are sent to external assessors, separately from their parent school. Students are carefully marked with the MYP assessment criteria in mind, based on how their answers demonstrate not just the knowledge that they have, but also the epistemological understanding of their own knowledge and how effectively they can apply it.
Every student completes 8 eAssessments, including the onscreen subjects, ePortfolios, personal project, and either Physical Health Education, Design, or Arts. Each of the eAssessments has equal weight, with a grade assigned from 1-7. The maximum score is 56, and students need to get a grade of 28 to pass the eAssessments.
One of the most important aspects of the eAssessment is the electronic format itself. Students generally consider the onscreen exam to be far more engaging than paper-based exams, because it more closely resembles the tech-based learning in which they engage regularly.
Because the exams are interactive, they also allow for more dynamic forms of examination. Questions can be designed with far more unique opportunities for creative answers. Videos can be played, and interactive diagrams can be manipulated. Students can even draw lines and pictures or work with graphs for mathematical tests. All of these allow for very interesting forms of interaction that allow for types of assessment that would never have been possible with paper-based exams.
The primarily analytical nature of the eAssessments is also a step above other forms of examination. By focusing on this kind of knowledge, students are judged on the basis of their ability to understand and manipulate what they’ve learned, as well as connect it to the greater world.
In 2019, over 77,000 MYP students took the eAssessment. The programme has won numerous awards for innovation in technology and education, and it’s certainly the future benchmark for how the IB will gauge student performance.
In addition, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), which regulates the standards of examination in England, is officially regulating and endorsing the eAssessments, which both validates and ensures the quality of assessment.
In short, the eAssessments are recognized all over the world, and your child stands to benefit from the best assessments of their performance.
SISD, is one of the five schools in the UAE to be offering the MYP eAssessment as part of our mission to provide our students with the best of the IB curriculum. As your children walk away from our doors, diplomas in hand, you can be assured that they’ve been assessed well by the programme that taught them the important skills for the future, and that they’ll be ready for what the world has to offer.
Learn more about the benefits of eAssessments on the IBO website.