Digital Examination is definitely not impossible in the future for Singapore students. Is it a piece of good news?
In his latest appearance in the Parliament, Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung has been hinting the possibility of students in Singapore having digital exams in the future. We have highlighted these points extracted from his speech while observing the trends happening in schools.
Minimising Risks of Losing the Examination Scripts
For the past few years, at least, there were at least two cases of missing examination scripts during the marking process of GCE Examinations. Last month itself, 32 O-Level Additional Mathematics Paper 2 scripts from GCE O Level examinations were lost on a train in Britain.
Each year, about 1.1 million answer scripts are generated from the GCE-level examinations. While Mother Tongue, Social Studies and Coursework scripts are marked locally, the majority of the scripts are still marked by Cambridge Assessment. Due to the tight schedule between the exams and the release of results, it is very challenging to get all the scripts marked locally in Singapore.
The first step has been taken. By the end of 2019, marking for all GCE exams would be shifted online to minimise the losing scripts. Moving forward, the students will be assessed digitally.
Pilot Project Has Received Positive Feedbacks
Students have been participating in computer-based writing examinations that were introduced through a few subjects, such as literature and mother tongues. Instead of using the traditional pen and paper method, the students would type out either an email response or a blog entry.
"Students can more readily cut and paste, edit their essays, move paragraphs around. They can be asked to respond to an e-mail, write a blog or social media post, which better reflects real-life situations that students will go through later in life," said the Minister.
As a beginning, oral exams will be conducted electronically for the GCE N level English in 2019 and O level English in 2020.
Education Processes Starts Shifting towards Digital Learning
As part of its commitment to nurturing future-ready learners, the Ministry of Education had rolled out an online learning platform which contains curriculum-aligned resources and learning tools. Schools have increasingly subscribed to online learning platforms in order to keep up with this change.
While electronic exams seem a distance away, efforts have been taken to increase the readiness of schools and students in order to minimise any challenges faced by students who may not be exposed to technology as much as others.
We like it or not, the influence of technology on our children is increasing. In the near future, technology will be highly used in educational processes. While parents may have concern towards digital addiction, instead of banning our children from using the technology, we can work towards exploring ways to help them learn self-control since they are young.