Poland is a country with ambitions for raising the bar in education. In a 2012 TED talk, the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher noted that it successfully used PISA results to improve national educational standards.

This drive to improve quality in education led to the country’s Central Examination Board, CKE, awarding RM Results a contract for onscreen marking services in 2011.

Moving data, not people

In Poland, CKE sets the national examinations for ages 16-18 which are then administered by 8 regional exam boards. Before implementing RM Assessor, marking exams involved getting the country’s examiners together in regional centres for an intensive two week pen and paper marking session.

CKE wanted to reduce the logistical and administrative burden of the marking window, as well as improving reliability of marking and gathering results data for analysis.

Learning from peers

Before making the move to onscreen marking, CKE investigated similar systems in other countries to learn all they could about making the process as effective as possible. To facilitate this fact-finding, RM organised a study visit to the UK for 20 CKE staff. The week-long trip involved training sessions at RM’s headquarters, visits to two UK exam boards who use RM Assessor and a tour of a high volume scanning facility.

Right first time

CKE has taken a rigorous approach to implementing live onscreen marking. Pilots began around 4 years before the first planned live session. RM ran process workshops with CKE’s operational teams to help design and train for the change in administrative procedures. Parallel marking sessions were run in the summer of 2013, meaning that scripts were marked both manually and using the RM Assessor software.

Reaping the benefits

When full live onscreen marking started for Poland’s national exams in 2014, around 400,000 thousand scripts were marked using RM Assessor. The phased, carefully-planned project to implement onscreen marking across an entire country then reaped the benefits. CKE benefited from lower logistics costs, more visibility of the progress of marking, more reliability and accuracy in marking and a vast amount of data which can be analysed to improve future assessments.