The concentration was palpable, yet the ease with which the MYP5 students used computers instead of writing on a question paper was like water off a duck’s back for our MYP5 students.
With about six months to go before the first IB onscreen examinations at TIS MYP5 students have completed a number of end of semester assessments by using the IB interface for onscreen exams. During November, the MYP5 (Grade 10) students submitted their first full onscreen assessments for their end of semester assessment. These assessments used were originally written by the IB for a past onscreen examination.
As the name suggests, these assessments are onscreen, but not necessarily online (connected throughout to the internet). The facility to work offline exists and is the preferred option of conducting the onscreen assessments at TIS. Students currently use their own devices, however, there are several mobile school devices and computers in the IT labs that are ready for use in onscreen examinations should student devices develop problems just before or during an assessment. The assessments themselves were developed in such a way that, disconnections due to power cuts and problems with chargers did not compromise the actual assessment being written at the time, nor is the time remaining on the assessment changed by disconnection problems. MYP students at TIS have progressively moved towards onscreen formative and summative assessments. ManageBac (MB) is our system for sending in, marking and assessing students’ work. Using MB this way obliges MYP students to learn to use all the IT tools available on their laptops or school computers in order to complete set tasks.
The availability of IT for assessments is meant to continually develop the skills of both teachers and students. As with all IT devices, one can never tell when a problem might develop, hence the need for familiarisation with the onscreen assessment process. Establishing strong IT support in the MYP, ensures that challenges in using IT in MYP teaching, learning and assessing are kept to a minimum. MYP5 students have demonstrated their flexibility by being able to switch between (types of) devices when the need arises. They have also demonstrated in November that they can
use the IB eAssessment interface for examination purposes. Language and Literature (English), Physics and Mathematics (Standard, Extended) took part in this exercise. Other e-assessment subjects, (Geography, History, Biology, and Chemistry) had the use of the Assessprep (AP) interface. These subjects will have an opportunity to take part in the IB onscreen assessments that take place during the MYP mock examination in February 2020.
As with all trials, just having the experience was very informative. Students and teachers have taken away many reflections on the process, with which to prepare themselves for the real and final MYP onscreen assessments.
Yvonne M Tagoe