June 2016

ZIMSEC selects GradeMaker to supply item banking technology

Following a procurement exercise, the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) has appointed GradeMaker as their item banking and authoring technology partner. The move underlines ZIMSEC’s commitment to delivering world-class exams through quality and process improvement.

GradeMaker is a market-leading exam authoring solution which brings together cutting edge e-authoring tools and item banking technology, within an intuitive and easy-to-use system.

Since its launch two years ago, GradeMaker has been working with Awarding Bodies around the world to improve exam authoring, and embed training and quality control at each stage of the process. GradeMaker’s authoring tools support the practical operational process of exam authoring, and will enable ZIMSEC to digitise their existing item bank, implement richer qualitative and quantitative review methodologies, and start to build banks of items to strengthen the authoring process.

To support the successful rollout of the new system, GradeMaker will be providing ongoing training, with assessment experts providing feedback via GradeMaker’s review tools at key points in the authoring cycle.

David Haggie, Managing Director of GradeMaker said: “Everyone at GradeMaker is delighted and honoured that ZIMSEC have selected us to supply these important services, and we are looking forward to working with the team in Harare, to ensure implementation is a real success”.

May 2015

GradeMaker agrees strategic partnership with FFT Education to deliver new data analysis services

GradeMaker has agreed a long term strategic partnership with FFT Education, the UK’s leading provider of educational data analytics. The combined service will enable exam boards and education ministries to provide richer, data driven support for school improvement.

Under the agreement, FFT’s Aspire technology (a national scale data analytics portal) will be provided to GradeMaker customers through the GradeMaker Direct interface. This will enable GradeMaker customers to offer schools richer insight into performance, empowering the work of head teachers, subject leads and inspectors, as well as informing policy making. The collaboration allows GradeMaker and FFT together to play a bigger role in supporting school improvement around the world.

Following the agreement, FFT’s data analytics system will be made available to GradeMaker customers outside of the UK. The collaboration will also enable GradeMaker and FFT to offer analytics tools to ministries of education, making it easier for education leaders to access insightful data to inform policy making.

FFT Education is the UK’s leading supplier of education analytics. Its technology is used by the Department of Education in England, the Welsh Government, 170 UK local authorities and 20,000 individual schools. Each year over 100,000 school leaders and teachers access 3,000,000 reports from its systems, making FFT one of the UK’s most important enablers of data-led school improvement.

David Haggie, Managing Director of GradeMaker said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with FFT on this exciting new venture. FFT is a world leader in the use of educational data and has had a huge impact in making data-led school improvement possible in the UK. Through this collaboration we can help bring this expertise to new markets. Bringing FFT’s data suite into the GradeMaker Direct system will trigger exciting innovation and help complete our vision of enabling exam boards do more to support school improvement”.

Commenting on the agreement, the Managing Director of FFT Education Paul Charman said: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with GradeMaker to offer FFT’s analytics tools to ministries of education and schools around the world. There is clear evidence from international studies that the effective analysis of pupil results has a real impact on improving school performance and student outcomes. FFT’s analytics tools are already used by 100,000 teachers and 20,000 schools, and we are looking forward to providing these through GradeMaker Direct to countries outside the UK.”

GradeMaker is a UK-based assessment technology company specialising in tools for exam boards, focusing on the exam authoring process and exam board services to centres such as schools. The authoring tools (GradeMaker Pro) help boards raise exam quality and improve process efficiency. The tools for centres (GradeMaker Direct) help exam providers deliver richer, more coherent support services to teachers and students. GradeMaker is a member of the Stephen Austin Group.

FFT Education is a UK-based company specialising in the analysis of education data for schools, local authorities and government. For 12 years, they have managed the processing and matching of national pupil datasets on behalf of the Department of Education in England and the Welsh Government, matching over 10 million pupil records each year. FFT has been a leading force in promoting and enabling ‘data-led’ school improvement throughout the UK.

June 2014

GradeMaker presents ‘Knowledge management for improved test production’ to the SAAEA conference in Namibia

Technology systems for exam authoring have traditionally focused on providing support for authoring workflow and on automating aspects of test construction. In this paper a new approach is considered, whereby technology can be used to strengthen the professional judgements which underpin authoring quality, from item commissioning to item setting, item review, paper construction and paper finalisation. The paper maps best practice guidance from the UK regulator to the exam authoring process and demonstrates how knowledge management systems can significantly enhance quality and consistency at every stage. It concludes by considering how this approach can be extended in a regional, cross border context where technology can facilitate the sharing of expertise, best practice and proven materials between national exam councils in order to improve standards. To find out more, contact us.

June 2014

GradeMaker issues Item Banking Across Borders, a white paper developed for Southern African exam boards on the use of technology to promote regional collaboration.

Read the paper in full

May 2014

GradeMaker selected as the partner to the Mauritius Examination Syndicate

Mauritius Examination Council has adopted GradeMaker to drive process improvement and deliver richer services to schools. The announcement was made at the MES 30th Anniversary celebrations in Mauritius, to an audience including the Minister of Education and education leaders from across the country. David Haggie, Managing Director of GradeMaker and Rory Fowler, Chairman, attended the event and presented the key benefits of the service to an invited audience.