Plans To Move GCSEs Online Despite Potential Pitfalls – Expert Reaction

Regulatory body Qualifications Wales is considering instituting online GCSEs, so that 16 year olds will be tested in a way that fits with their increasing use of technology, according to BBC News. Whilst recent technical issues with exams have highlighted the potential pitfalls of going digital, this shift to online examinations seems to be pushing ahead, as consultations are already under way regarding the testing of 16 year olds from 2026.

Experts Comments

February 25, 2020
Jake Moore
Cybersecurity Specialist
ESET
There are pitfalls in using technology for exams that must be addressed before the system is widely used. Even prior to focusing on the significant security issues at play, the technology used must be robust enough to work every time without fail. We have seen models like this fail in the past due to technical reasons, which obviously do not affected pen and paper exams. Along with this comes the security risks. Concerns would heavily focus on the identity of the pupil taking the exam, to.....Read More
There are pitfalls in using technology for exams that must be addressed before the system is widely used. Even prior to focusing on the significant security issues at play, the technology used must be robust enough to work every time without fail. We have seen models like this fail in the past due to technical reasons, which obviously do not affected pen and paper exams. Along with this comes the security risks. Concerns would heavily focus on the identity of the pupil taking the exam, to ensure that their personal data remains safe, but this would not be the first time that exams are taken online. There would need to be rules in place to reduce the risk of identity fraud, as well as clamping down on the use of the device that the test is being taken on. To ID children in school taking an online test, you would first need a solid identifying measure in place, such as ID cards, but we all know how much of a contentious topic this is in the UK at the moment.  Read Less
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