My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Jamaican students doing CSEC Exams online in 2019 heralds Open Source Software Developement Future

linkbucks

Monday, June 25, 2018

Jamaican students doing CSEC Exams online in 2019 heralds Open Source Software Developement Future


“With a growing emphasis on incorporating information and communications technology (ICT) into the teaching/learning process, easier access to resources in multiple formats, such as audio, video, animation, text, images, hyperlinks, e-books and links to CXC social media platforms, should prove very attractive and useful to current students and teachers alike, and particularly boys,”

Minister of Education Senator Ruel Reid at a Press Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday May 10th 2018 to launch the CXC Learning Hub

CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) Exams are finally stepping into the 21st Century.

By the next set of CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) Exams in 2019, the Paper 1 (Multiple Choice) part of many exams may be done on a computer as noted in the article “Online CXC Exams Coming”, published Friday May 11, 2018, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Google Logo

So said Minister of Education Senator Ruel Reid at a Press Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday May 10th 2018! This was during the launch of the CXC Learning Hub, which will allow students to have increased access to CXC past papers with solutions produced by the examination body’s external partners.

This shift to e-testing may be welcome news for male students. Paper 1 of most CSEC exams aka Multiple Choice, will most likely the first to go online, will now have audiovisuals, videos and animations (think GIF's tailored made for CSEC Physics!!) making the examination come alive...or be a distraction.

Google Logo

Soon CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) and CCSLC (Caribbean Certificate of Secondary-Level Competence)…a whole world of animated Examinations await future student sitting CXC Examinations!

So how will this be done by many schools, most of which do not have computer labs to seat so many students?

CXC Examination Platform - BVI did it out of necessity

First a bit of a background as to why this may be happening….

Jamaica will not be the first to go this route; the BVI (British Virgin Islands) have already gone this route. They've experience the brunt of Hurricane Irma and lost a lot of the physical records of many of their students.

Google Logo

A switch to e-testing makes sense for them, as the exam can be marked in a matter of minutes, allowing them to know their grade at the end of the exam, if they are so inclined. It's also not a problem in terms of cheating, as the computer can be locked with the proper software so as to make communication during exams difficult.

Also less paper is used, making this a cheaper examination option. Finally the exam results are stored in a Database hosted in a Cloud Storage Server not located on the island; this safeguard the data from potential loss due to natural disasters.

Interestingly the BVI did both paper 1 and 2 of the CSEC, Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), [and] Caribbean Certificate of Secondary-Level Competence (CCSLC) online, with mathematics and English done without a hitch.

So says CXC Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch, quote: “This year, [BVI] has decided to do all of their examinations – Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), [and] Caribbean Certificate of Secondary-Level Competence (CCSLC) online, both paper ones and paper twos”.

So if the BVI can do it, then so can Jamaica, but for totally different reasons!!!

So what is the CXC Learning Hub? And how does it relate to Jamaica opting to have student do their CSEC Exams online?

CXC Learning Hub – Test run for Jamaican Online Exam Guinea Pigs

The CXC Learning Hub can be seen as a herald for the CSEC Online Examinations Platform in the future as pointed out in “Online CXC Exams Coming”, published May 12, 2018 By Ainsworth Morris, The Jamaica Information Service.

Google Logo

Resources in the hub will support CXC’s suite of qualifications:

1.      CAPE and associate degrees
2.      CCSLC
3.      CPEA (Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment)
4.      CSEC
5.      CVQ (Caribbean Vocational Qualification)

The CXC Learning Hub will provide the following resources for free for learners and teachers:

1.      Interactive syllabuses
2.      Subject reports
3.      Practice tests
4.      Digital toolkits

These Digital Toolkits will contain the following:

1.      Animations
2.      Audio
3.      Images and videos.
4.      Infographics

Games, process animations and other multimedia learning objects created by CXC will be a part of the premium content offered by the CXC Learning Hub. In short the CXC Learning Hub is a Test Run for Jamaican Online Exam Guinea Pigs!

So how will the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information implement this in the future?

Jamaican and CXC Examination Platform - Open Source will make it Secure

This is also possible in Jamaica as many examination centers are already equipped with labs to handle the number of student required. Most likely, they'll also utilize Open Source for their Computers and Web Platform, as these are more secure from hackers and anyone trying to sabotage the CSEC Exams!!

Google Logo

Telecom Providers, working with the Ministry of Education, can help provide high Speed Internet to stem any bandwidth issues due to so many webpages being opened at the same time, as the CXC Examination platform will most likely be cloud based.

Finally, should there be a shortage of computers, Laptops running the CXC Examination platform can be provided by the Government of Jamaica, soliciting help from various private sector organizations.

They can even turn to competitive bid to the same contractors that did the Table in Schools Project as noted in my blog article entitled “Why Tablet in School Rollout in September 2016 means Contractors and Kinesthetic Content coming”. 

Hopefully too, this start a movement towards developing our own Open Source Platforms in Jamaica as advocated in the Geezam blog article entitled “Tertiary Institutions in Jamaica should use more Open Source”...... but that is an article for another time!!!


Post a Comment