On 27th November, RM Results hosted an exclusive event for 40 attendees, exploring ‘The Future of Assessment Technology’.

The opening keynote talk was delivered by Sumit Paul-Choudhury, outgoing Editor-in-Chief of New Scientist magazine. A seasoned speaker on the topic of artificial intelligence and society, Sumit presented on ‘how to think about technology’, leaving us all with food for thought around the questions of what education is, and who and what education is for.

Ian Castledine, Solutions Architect at RM Results, talked about harnessing the power of technology in assessment. To demonstrate how some awarding bodies are implementing this, Adam Birt from ICAEW summarised the steps the professional accountancy body are taking to meet the needs of the modern candidate through computer-based exams.

We were then treated to a fascinating trip around the world with Deborah Hutt, Solutions Architect at RM Results, exploring why different countries are looking to digital transformation as a solution to tackle their varying challenges in assessment. Deborah highlighted problems from exam paper security to examiner bias to identity validation, and the technical solutions being utilised or developed to help resolve these issues.

Two round table discussions provided the opportunity for attendees to share their visions of the future of technology in assessment as well as their own experiences in the journey to digital assessment.

Google’s UK Head of Education, James Leonard, gave us some excellent examples of how technology such as Google Cardboard and Kahoot can be used today to improve learning and formative assessment in the classroom. With an ever-increasing focus on the likely skills that will be demanded of the future workforce, technology can be an enabler for the most-appropriate application of these skills.

The analogy that we returned to throughout the day was automation in self-driving cars. In the final presentation, Chief Architect at RM Results, John Bleasdale, presented a 5-level model for the adoption of automation in marking. Similarly to the Society of Automotive Engineers’ levels for automated driving systems (from complete driver control to complete self-driving autonomy), RM Results has developed a 5-level model predicting step-changes that will take the assessment market from traditional human-only ‘pen and paper’ marking to fully autonomous machine marking of unstructured assessments such as essays in the future.

Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive with 85% of survey respondents rating the event as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ and the remaining 15% as ‘Good’.

Recordings of each presentation will be available online soon. In the meantime, our 4 minute overview video will give you a flavour of how the day went.