Contributed by CELC.
The Centre for English Language Communication (CELC) adopted the digital assessment software Examplify for its Qualifying English Test (QET) for the first time in July 2019. The proctored test which is conducted in a secured assessment environment is for students matriculated in AY2019/2020 who have not met NUS English Language requirements.
A total of 1,983 students took the QET this July. There were two tests, held one week apart. One was for local students and the other for international students. As these students were new to NUS, they had to attend a compulsory briefing conducted by the Centre for Instructional Technology (CIT). They were told to bring their laptops for the one-hour briefing, which also included a 10-minute briefing on the test by CELC. CIT also helped the students resolve any technical problems they faced during the briefing. Altogether 16 briefings were conducted by CIT. CELC was in charge of the briefing registrations, email communication with students and attendance taking. CELC made it clear that students who did not attend the briefing would not be allowed to sit for the test.
Five venues were used for the assessment. While three of the venues were equipped for digital assessment, the two large venues, MPSH1 and MPSH2, were not. Registrar’s Office (RO) had to install 100 socket points in each hall. As students required a password to access the test paper, a projector would have been useful to help those who were not able to process the password when it was announced. This was not an issue in the lecture theatres and the computer lab but for MPSH, CELC had to prepare the password on A4 papers for their invigilators to show the students as they walked up and down the aisles since there are no projectors in the halls.
CIT also conducted briefings for all CELC staff on Examsoft. Detailed SOPs on how to handle the possible problems before, during and after the test were also circulated to the invigilators prior to the tests. Invigilators were reminded of the key points of the SOPs on the day of the test. A specific briefing was held for chief and deputy chief invigilators a day before the first test. Ms Wu Haixin from CIT was at hand to clarify any questions at the briefing. She also assisted in the uploading of the test paper and assigning of scripts to markers.
The success of using Examplify in both tests is due to the cooperation and assistance of CIT and RO. CELC would like to thank CIT, in particular Haixin, and RO, in particular Hilda and Mui Keng, for their professional help in our preparation of this massive exercise.
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