Reducing the Skills Gap with Digital Assessments
The world in which we are living in is continually changing. The digital revolution is becoming more and more important when it comes to how businesses operate. Unfortunately, the education sector is struggling to keep pace and there is a digital skills shortage on the horizon.
There have been reports carried out which conclude that there has already been a 40% drop in the number of students studying IT at GCSE level alone, which is huge! A large percentage of employers would struggle if their workforce didn’t have digital skills. So, it is essential that we start to work on closing that skills gap sooner rather than later. The question we need to be asking is; how we can change the education system in order to ensure the younger generation are equipped for the post-education world of work?
How Digital Assessments Can Help
So going back to the title of this blog, digital assessments could be a way to help resolve the issue. Within a number of sectors, such as finance, accountancy exams have been carried out online using digital tools for a number of years. The process of these assessments is usually closely aligned with the digital processes used by employers themselves. This makes an easy switch over when it comes to employment.
As students have not been able to undergo exams in the normal way during the past couple of years, many institutions are swapping the traditional handwritten exams for digital alternatives. Rather than having physical invigilators, remote ones are being used to ensure fairness and consistency. Digital assessments allow for so much more flexibility as students can sit their exams where they like, and when they are ready.
Adaptive tests are those which give students a more personalised experience. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to adapt to previous answers the student has given, this means skills and knowledge can be assessed in a more efficient way. There has also been an increase in digital tools being used to provide ‘checkpoint assessments’. These notify students when they are ready for their final assessment. Ultimately this helps to provide both teachers and students an insight into how they are progressing. Checkpoint assessments are also a useful tool to help save time and money. If a student isn’t ready to take an exam they won’t be entered for it.
The education sector has always been a bit behind the times when it comes to implementing the latest innovations. However it is now more important than ever to adapt to the latest technologies to help students improve their digital skills, ready for post-education. Digital assessments can play a huge role in developing digital skills, and should be embraced in schools and colleges.
In an ideal world, the development of digital skills should be introduced to students in lower education, in order to set them up from the start. This means as they reach primary and secondary education, digital skills will come naturally to them. There is still a lot of resistance between using technology and traditional methods of teaching. But that is mainly because the benefits are not widely recognised. Administration time is significantly reduced when digital tools are used, allowing for more student-teacher interaction time. Digital assessments also provide real-time insights which can help gain clear insights into the progress of each student.
Change Is Needed
Many industries had to completely change their way of thinking during the last year. Many now look back and recognise that these changes have actually brought with them huge benefits. The education sector is no different; it is time to start moving away from traditional approaches that may not necessarily provide students with the best education possible.