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QCTO elearning policy guidelines

QCTO is committed to quality assuring all forms of assessment of programmes and qualifications within the sub- framework. To this end, there is recognition of the prevalence of use of technology not only in delivering training programmes within this sector, but also in assessing students.

E-assessment is any type of assessment that has an electronic component and incorporates one or more of e-testing, e-portfolios and e-marking. Examples of e-assessment include:

  • Assessments that are distributed, completed, marked automatically and administered electronically using local intranets/networks and individual workstation
  • Assessments that are distributed, completed, marked automatically and administered electronically using the internet.
  • Assessments comprising a combination of automatic marking and manual.
  • Electronic test delivery, with all marking completed manually on screen or on paper.
  • A range of multimedia formats for submitting assessment
  • Electronic scanning of completed assessments for marking.
  • Tests downloaded from the internet by the centre.
  • Delivery of assessments and submission of completed assessments by secure e
  • E-portfolios to store and manage candidates’ evidence electronic
  • Assessments that are automatically marked and react adaptively to student performance

Validity of e-Assessments

Assessment Quality Partners should ensure that:

  • Students who pass the programme demonstrate the graduate competences indicated in the purpose and exit level outcomes of the programme.
  • Where relevant, practical competences are adequately assessed
  • Systems have been put in place to ensure reliability, rigour and security of the e- assessment system for remote students
  • Assessment activities are sufficiently varied for the programme purpose and level and the diversity of its student bod Appropriate constructs as covered in the relevant courses are adequately covered in the assessment.
  • Where students submit assessment individually by electronic means from homes or workplaces, and not from a recognized assessment centre, the programme has the necessary security systems for electronic assessment.
  • Programmes delivered exclusively or mainly through electronic learning methods do not narrow the range of assessment to the assessment of factual knowledge (which is most easily assessed), rather than the full range of outcomes and depth of knowledge required for the particular programme of stud In technology supported distance education delivery, there is the danger of limiting assessment tasks to low level cognitive skills (e.g. simple multiple choice questions [MCQs] that can be computer-marked) at the expense of high level skills (usually requiring more open-ended written and practical assignments) that enhance deep and critical engagement with concepts. Higher order thinking skills like application, analyses, evaluation and creation should be covered in the assessment.
  • There is evidence of staff development to familiarise academic staff with online assessment strategies that take high level cognitive skills into account thereby ensuring credible online assessment.

Management of e-Assessment

  • There is evidence that the assessment body understands the importance of feedback on formative assessment in e-learnin
  • There is evidence of an assessment management system to ensure that feedback on assessment is confidential and reaches the right students timeousl Systems are in place to communicate feedback and results quickly, efficiently and securely to a distributed student body.
  • Adequate systems to guarantee the integrity and security of the assessment system and the authenticity of student submissions (including means to discourage plagiarism from online sources) are in place.
  • E-assessment systems are tested to ensure proper functionality and any shortcomings identified are fully addressed prior to full implement
  • There is regular monitoring and checking of the smooth functioning of e-assessment systems to make sure that the assessment system is not compromised in any way.
  • The e-assessment body has enough competent staff to address any technical problems students face with the assessment system to ensure the assessment process runs smoothly and does not in any way disadvantage the studen
  • The assessment body does not pass on unnecessary costs to students.
  • There is a policy on external moderation of the e-assessment and the policy is effectively implemented.
  • External moderation reports are used to improve the various aspects of the e- assessment process, like the validity of the assessment instruments, the quality of student performance, and the reliability of the marking process.
  • Assessment partners must have effective quality assurance measures in place to ensure the integrity of the assessment data.
  • E –assessment systems must have capacity to generate key information like system error reports and data that demonstrates regulatory compliance.
  • Where Assessment Partners enter into partnership arrangements with any other provider, formal service level agreements with clearly stated roles and responsibilities must be signed.

Teaching / Learning value of e-Assessments

  • The central role of formative assessment and feedback in online learning is formally recognised and there is evidence of an appropriate (1)number and variety of formative assessment tasks, and (2) mechanisms for the monitoring and (3) quality assurance of feedback and (4) minimum turn-around time are in place.
  • Accurate and reliable records of student e-assessment are kept and can easily be retrieved as when there is need.
  • The potential of the electronic environment for the use of ongoing formative assessment of different kinds (self-, peer- and tutor assessment) is exploited appropr


User friendliness of e-Assessment System

  • The rules and regulations governing assessment are published and clearly communicated to students and relevant stakeholders.
  • Evidence is provided to demonstrate that these rules are widely adhered t
  • Breaches of assessment regulations are dealt with effectively and timeously.
  • Students are provided with information and guidance on their rights and responsibilities regarding e-assessment processes (for example, definitions and regulations on plagiarism, penalties, terms of appeal, supplementary examinations, etc.).
  • Student appeals procedures are explicit, fair and effect
  • There are clear and consistent published guidelines/regulations for:
    • Marking and grading of result
    • Aggregation of marks and grad
    • Progression and final award
    • Credit allocation and articulation.
  • As much as possible, e-assessment systems should operate on inclusive principles and therefore accommodate learners with various forms of physical challenges.
  • E-assessment systems are designed in such a way that they are easy for learners to navigat Assessment partners should ensure that learners do not spend much time grappling with system issues instead of with the content of the assessment.
  • Mechanisms are in place to support learners who are less competent in working with technologies so they can gain the necessary skills and gain sufficient confidence in working with the technology; and
  • Ensure that there is fair and equal treatment of all undertaking e-assessment, irrespective of geographical location, time of assessment and course.

Use of e-portfolios for assessment

In addition to regulatory principles, e-portfolio systems should (1) store and (2) maintain performance evidence for access by (3) all required parties securely, meet the (4) evidence needs for a range of qualification types and (5) enable learners to move their portfolios from one centre to another.

  • E-portfolio systems must have the capabilities to store and maintain a variety of forms of performance evidence or coursework for secure access by the learner, assessors, verifiers and moderators based on a robust authentication proc
  • As far as is practicable, awarding bodies must give due consideration to the need to support a degree of inter-operability in the e-portfolio systems that they develop or endorse to enable learners to move their portfolios from one centre to anothe


The qualification assessment specifications must spell out clearly the internal and external assessment modes identifying whether the assessment will be practical, paper based, electronic or blended.

The e-assessment instruments must be designed and developed in accordance with the QCTO Guide for developing assessment tools.

Administration of e-assessments and technical support

  • All staff undertaking e-assessment processes at assessment centres must be familiar with the on-line environment and have undergone appropriate training prior to gaining access to the syst
  • Accredited Assessment centres should have plans in place to manage every aspect of the e-assessment procedure, ensuring that the process is robust, reliable, fair and efficient and that robust contingency plans are in place to mitigate against technical failure.
  • In the case of technical failure occurring within the first 80% of the scheduled time of the assessment, it is recommended that the EISA be rescheduled. If a technical failure occurs within the last 20% of the scheduled time, the assessment may be concluded (provided the previous 80% has been saved), and the marks gained may, at the discretion of the AQP and the QCTO be standardised accordingly.
  • In cases of serious technical failure which affects the whole group assessments may be rescheduled or where appropriate students offered the assessment in paper for In either case, the QCTO should be immediately informed of the new arrangements by telephone and a written communication should be sent to the QCTO soon after the assessment.
  • Learners must be given access to and be familiar with the assessment format, question types and the technology prior to the summative examination.
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