Kenya’s Aga Khan Academy Mombasa has developed an online examination assessment platform in a move expected to transform the sitting and evaluation of the school’s exams, eliminating courier costs for exam papers, as well as leakages and losses in transit.
Launched in June 2016 for its International Baccalaureate (IB) organization’s Middle Years Program(MYP), the ‘e-assessment’ platform is installed into computers by the MYP Coordinator, who accesses it immediately prior to the exam starting time and instructs the local system to notify the IB server that the platform is now online and ready for the impending exam.
“Once open, the system cannot be closed or minimized. The e-Assessment has a window period of being live for, at most, 5 hours, after which it becomes inaccessible. At the end of each paper, the software scrambles each student’s response file and begins automatic upload to the IB secure site,” said Esther Nondi, AKA Mombasa’s MYP Coordinator.
The scrambling of the data ensures there are no cases of hacking the exams, or answers, since they are encrypted and cannot be read or reproduced without being unencrypted.
Students are registered beforehand and given login details which are used to access the exam, during the course of which no other activity can be carried out on the screen, allowing students to focus only on the test.
The e-Assessment, which was first used by AKA Mombasa’s Year 10 students in June this year and unlike manual hardcopy exams, where teachers have to go through the long process of marking, which sometimes brings about inconsistencies when judging a student’s work, e-Assessment allows the exams to submitted directly to the IB for marking and the results sent back.