Last updated: 08.06.13

More examiners marking papers online

An increasing number of educators are embracing technology and new research has revealed that two-thirds of GCSE and A-level exam papers are now marked online.

According to the Review of Quality Marking Interim Report from Ofqual published today (June 7th), there has been a widespread move away from the traditional method of assessing papers and some are even marked as far away as Australia.

This is because using the internet in this way saves exam boards time and money and means work is judged more accurately, with examiners able to input their marks directly into an online system.

Ofqual's chief regulator Glenys Stacey said the research shows there have been significant developments in marking in recent years and overall, the increased use of on-screen marking is a positive thing as it "allows for more frequent and flexible monitoring of examiners and reduces the logistical risks".

Since electronic marking was introduced in 2003, it has soared in popularity and now all exam boards use it for at least some of their papers.

As well as being more convenient for teachers, it also allows institutions to outsource the work abroad and yes or no questions have been known to be sent to Pearson Edexcel's Australian branch.

Technology is not just useful for marking purposes, it is also great for assessing pupils' work all year round. With Virtual College's dedicated learning management system, educators at schools and businesses can monitor their students' progress through a variety of e-portfolio functions.

Enable - which is used by more than one million people - further allows companies to upload video assessments and documents that can then be viewed by third parties.

The Ofqual report also studied the quality of examiners and out of 10,000 participants, 99 per cent were found to have teaching experience and at least one-third were senior and were - or had previously been - a head of department.