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New Partnership Brings Long-Awaited e-Assessment Solution to Integrate for Canvas Users

As of October 2019, TestWe is officially partnering with Instructure, the leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that make softwares that make people smarter. Why? To integrate with their LMS Canvas.

The e-Exam solution will now integrate directly with the LMS for a swiffer assessment process and a complete deployment in higher education institutions.

"By integrating our LMS platform with TestWe, higher education institutions will now get access to a secure e-assessment process and in-depth reporting for the learners and professors" Kurt W Showalter - Director, International Partnerships @Instructure

With the interconnection created, professors will now be able to create, manage and grade exams through TestWe. For students, it is easy and faster access to their results and a good way to observe their evolution (analysis on grades, competencies and soft skills).

“Our clients had asked for the Canvas API for a long time. They will now connect to both solutions with unique credentials. All reporting regarding students results will be directly reported onto the LMS” Clément Régnier - CEO and co-founder @TestWe

About TestWe

For organizations developing excellence in learning and assessments, TestWe delivers peace of mind because it’s reassuringly secure!

We propose a software for students that is secure, offline and comfortable for students so that they can focus on their argumentation without the pressure of time. Most importantly, students can take their exams on their own device.

TestWe is a complete e-Exam solution: a platform for the administration and offline software for learners. With in-depth reporting and analytics on the students competencies (LO, LG, soft skills…), TestWe plays its cards right!

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5 (big) problems Students live everyday

More and more solutions appear every day in the world of Education, in Higher Education. Nevertheless, the main actors in this universe, the students, are still victims of a number of problems. Some are social, others have to do with pedagogy, others are budgetary.

Here are 5 recurring issues in student life.

Stress

This is not new, the stress among students of Higher Education is felt by all and significantly. For example, 58% of French students who claim to experience regular stress peaks and sleep disorders, 80% in the United Kingdom.

The problem is that these numbers do not change, or go from bad to worse. The source of this disorder is structural, inherent in the system of Higher Education. In fact, according to a study, 94% of students in a stressful situation say that exams are the cause followed by studies and then their professional orientation.

So there is a problem here. Huge social pressure put on the shoulders of students in relation to career, employment, success in a great competition against others. The note is in the centre, learning well seen, but optional? This is changing and what is certain is that universities and schools will have to make profound changes.

According to a study conducted in March 2018 and relayed by Le Monde by the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance, it is almost 88% of 15-24-year-olds who report lack of sleep. 38% sleep less than seven hours a night while they need at least eight. This is problematic and it has a lot of repercussions on health.

A problem that is also a repercussion of stress due to exams and grades and to social and academic pressure, but not that. The use of digital technology before sleep causes many students to experiment with nights that are too short, promote a regular sleep disorder and an absence in class.

Add to that the abuse of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and we are in a vicious circle. What to do to remedy this? Sport, less digital replaced by meditation, before sleep or in the day. Also, it would be very interesting for schools and universities to promote the practice of meditation during study days and especially during exam periods.

The benefits of meditation are multiple: well-being, balance, better health, increased concentration of concentration, control of emotions, self-understanding ... Meditation is an art open to all!

Budget

Classic. We all knew "student shitty moments". Often short of money, a lot of pressure, what to do?

The question of the budget, also called financial stress, is "a feeling of not having control over one's financial situation, accompanied by discouragement, helplessness and distress," as defined by the Université de Moncton. The problem is that this simple feeling is one of the causes of intense stress, bad sleep, loss of appetite and indirectly abandonment.

The feeling is known yet the situation is more and more alarming. According to the SMEREP (Mutualist Society of Students of the Paris Region), students live less well than five years ago and hygiene takes a hit especially because of ... stress.

Real support for independent student support organizations must be provided to promote prevention and support for students in need; social and economic support.

Social link

We leave the structural problems for a problem, less, but equally impacting. Making friends is simple for some, rather complicated for others. Loneliness does have an impact on depression and academic success.

On the other hand, some social connections can be toxic. We are thinking here of the impact of fraternities and of certain abuses, notably hazing, of which some of their members and new members are victims.

This does not mean that student events are harmful, on the contrary, they are the lungs of student life. It is simply necessary to create an atmosphere of discovery and well-being among students.

The future

Which orientation? What professional future? Where to go? Can we change direction during his studies? Just as many questions that strongly tease our students. Well Named.

The immense pressure on the professional choice is insane, so much so that it ends up affecting the genres, the sex of the students. We lose outright any connection to learning.

Here’s the proof: in marketing, you will see more women, in engineering and finance, more men. Another point, the notes. Grades have become such a problem that learners prefer to head to a course where grades will be easier to get rather than a course that really interests them.

All this to promote maximum first job just after their studies. It is therefore extremely important to review these models and offer better orientations at university and from high school! Similarly, it is now urgent to stop the links between studies and genres.

And you? What do you think? Are there any other problems? What are the solutions to solve them? We start the debate!

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What's the responsibility of Education facing the climate crisis?

First look

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports are clear: the collapse of our industrial societies is here and it's too late for sustainable development (Dennis Meadows has been saying this for decades, anyway), but we can still reduce the intensity of the shock.

Macroeconomic data no longer hide the existence of a critical situation for the world economy (oil spikes, recession, a surge of the price of gold, massive layoffs, less and less arable lands, etc.).

Biocapacity and biodiversity are at a loss and it is more than conceivable to consider our time as a 6th massive extinction of species, only this time we have accelerated it.

To top it off, one of the most destructive hurricanes in the history of the United States, Mister Dorian, strolls around the Caribbean.

In addition to this, the Brazilian clown Bolsonaro plays the role of Nero in the Amazon.

Then, the American Caligula, I named Donald "the smartest guy in the room" (lol) Trump, laughs and denies the crisis.

AH! There’s more! "King" Jinping aka Neo-Mao, decided a few years ago to go sport mode and realize during his lifetime the great project of the "New Silk Roads", an ultimate uppercut for the simple existence of our civilizations.

We could continue the list infinitely, but we will stop there and move on.

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The reactions to these global aberrations, fortunately, came quickly in many countries.

In France, it’s been now four years since Collapsology and the studies of the collapse of civilizations have gradually risen up the stage, that their reports hit politicians’ desks.

On August 29, 2019, Jean-Marc Jancovici gave a worrisome and intensely interesting conference at Sciences Po Paris.

Regularly, author and engineer Philippe Bihouix reminds the importance of our companies to promote what they call the low tech studies.

We can believe what we want, we can believe an infinite growth in a finite environment exists, the story has changed for young people and future generations. Now we know and at different scales, we act.

So how do you limit the fall?

Some are betting on Silicon Valley and our good old GAFA buddies who propose us to mine the asteroids, reach eternal life and send us to Mars.

Others prefer to calm down, to do it more "hipster" and to bet on Elon Musk's Mars project. Too ambitious? Well, then, his Tesla, his solar panels ...?

Question: how are the numerous rare metals mined to build a solar panel? In fine, with ... oil or gas.

There are many methods that can let us live better during the likely drastic changes ahead. Structural and substantive transformations at every level and Education plays a leading role.



Observation on the world of Education in this pivotal period

Clearly, today, too few programs allow learners to understand the magnitude of the situation.

In higher education, you have to get into the niches of engineering, social science and environmental studies programs to understand the problem and try to answer it.

The answers are not lacking, we see more and more young people, researchers, entrepreneurs effectively address the problem, but these are individual businesses, almost isolated.

Exit the rest, indeed, we must create employment ...

The climate issues are on the program of History Geography of the college, it is true, but it does not generally allow young people (relative to the educational ambition of a teacher) to understand why we arrived there.

In the business world, we talk about promises, commitments, beautiful puns and CSR teams in large groups, which, it must be said, either lie to themselves or produce superhuman efforts for changes often. minimal, either lie open to the face of the world.

Yet there is some positive stuff happening!

In July 2019, the CGE, CPU, CDEFI and their members decided to join forces and called for political support to focus on the climate emergency with their students in every program in order to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the UN to "save the world".

In the same vein, the think tank The Shift Project, chaired by Jean-Marc Jancovici, calls massively to train all students and professors of higher education in climatic and ecological issues.

It seems that the questioning and planning of the action is already launched in the world of French Education. This is a good thing.



What are some concrete actions?

Rethinking the campus

One of the first actions would be, in the case of some energy-consuming establishments, to review the entire organization of the campus and give more initiatives to students to build a campus circular, social, "green" and impacting areas nearby.

Example: leave the students to organize permacultures, hive areas, renewable energy installations but also new room models.

A leader? The installation project of the EMLV illustrates this movement!

Identify the ecological axes of transformation and integrate them into the programs.

Obviously, without changing the curricula, we replicate generations of labour market entrants immersed in a culture of environmental damage reproduction. To change these programs is to launch innovators and people trained in a relatively long period of crisis.

Examples: Introduce low tech civil engineering, urban planning, teach and promote agronomy without oil, architecture programs favouring local renewable resources, for "circular" constructions, business schools less focused on a culture of finance, or international logistics. a political science more focused on an idea of ​​democratic functioning in a decreasing society.

A leader? Wageningen University (The Netherlands) or the University of Nottingham (UK).

Make massive calls to student projects.

Once the programs have been modified (or even before), it is necessary to make all the learners cogitate on specific themes. Bringing brains together in a multidisciplinary set means applying the principles of collective intelligence and therefore of innovation by the greatest number. It is also a way of decentralizing the initiative and creating a fast culture of experimentation as well as an ecological and circular culture!

Example: Let's go back to campus transformation. We can think of political actions. If not, rethink the use of renewable energies or CO2 capture, urban planning projects, short-circuit social operation, etc.

Lobby the politicians.

Local or national political support can restore knowledge to a real impact on our societies. Without political action, without a massive hack of our political "pluralism", efforts will be in vain, and budgets will remain centralized around initiatives that are not necessarily effective. We think of Germany and its nuclear shutdown to invest in solar panels that led to the reopening of coal plants.

Be a driving force in the local transformation of the surrounding areas of universities and schools.

A campus is primarily an area directly linked to an urban environment. A well-thought-out campus is, therefore, a striking example for the surrounding communities, especially since these are also populated by students from universities and schools within them. This amounts to facilitating local political and social action.

Diversify pedagogies, favour horizontal pedagogies.

As we have written, diversifying pedagogies means maximizing the learners' learning process and thus accelerating it. However, accelerating the understanding of a subject, a thematic, problematic, speeding up learning is the number one goal that will allow us to change the way we do things and put in motion a maximum of initiatives.

Example: Horizontal pedagogies such as peer learning are real drivers of learning, motors of collective intelligence. That’s an extremely effective pedagogy in cases of making and carrying out projects.

The leader? We Are Peers is the startup that reintroduces peer learning in higher education and business. it can be considered that this startup is perfectly suited to Education in a crisis or profound transformation.

Change the way we evaluate learners.

As with pedagogy, tests must be adaptable. We need to change the way we think about evaluation. Putting weight on the verification of knowledge, a possibility of important feedback for the learner, and not a factor of elitism, a factor of future success in the labour market, etc.

Example: We talked about it, changing the context of presenting a test, presenting it in a benevolent way, so changing the methodology, can help to link learning and evaluation.

A leader? At TestWe, we are deeply committed to gradually changing the way we look at evaluation processes. We are adapting our solution to focus assessments on skills reports rather than ratings. Didask is another startup giving a lot of methods to

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This is just a small list of concrete actions that Higher Education can put in place in a fairly short time horizon. For the rest, let’s start the discussion, what are your ideas?

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TestWe partners with Peergrade!


What's Peergrade?

Peergrade is a free online platform to facilitate peer feedback sessions with students. Concretely, it allows professors to create and manage assignments that will be reviewed and commented by students between them.

During that feedback session, professors can track all feedback shared between students as well as the progression of their students on a specific subject.

Thanks to an intuitive design and efficient way to improve students' learning experience, Peergrade has been able to attract numerous universities like UCL, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen Business School, Texas A&M University and others.

Although Peergrade is mostly used in and designed for higher education, it is also used in K12.


Peergrading is an alternative type of assessment

In our previous white paper, we already talked about peer grading and showed how efficient it could be for the learning experience. As we try to change the way exams, tests, assignments or assessments are given and taken, we obviously are very interested in alternative assessments such as peer grading.

That is why we first contacted the Peergrade team to understand their product better. We quickly became fans of their work and understood that our two products, TestWe and Peergrade, had a match.

After several introductions and discussions, we decided to team up.


What's the partnership about?

What we figured out was that we could propose our solutions as a package. You may need an e-Assessment solution like TestWe to optimize and digitize your assessment process on a global level, but you'll maybe need more tools to diversify as much as possible your formats of exams. Here, you can get Peergrade with TestWe.

On the other side, you may need Peergrade to test and change toward more alternative assessments, but you may also need a solution to help you manage on a global level the digitization of your assessment process and still use more traditional types of assessment. Here you can get Peergrade and TestWe as a package.

So here you go! If you have more question, simply contact us!

Check everything about Peergrade here

And on their social networks:
Facebook: here
Twitter: here
LinkedIn: here
Medium: here

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Neuromyths and Memory: How do we learn?

For this new WeTestEd video, we decided to venture into the cognitive sciences and especially the neurosciences.

"I learn better by listening than by reading."

"Oh yeah ?"

"Yeah, I have a hearing memory."

We all said it one day. We would learn better through one meaning in particular. Thanks to Didask, I realized that ... Well it was a lie. A neuromyth.

So how does it work?

It's quite long to explain, so the goal here is to vulgarize as much as we can. So let's go. First, it is important to understand that, on the contrary, the treatment of information is carried out by all senses and through different actions.

Also, the more we go through different formats of information and different kind of activities we do around a subject, the more we learn from it.

This is called Active Learning. that is to say, to put it simply, the engagement of a person on a subject mobilizing his cognitive capacities in several forms (reading, hearing, action, speaking, discussion etc.).

So, you should think about changing activities during class!

Obviously, hiring someone into an activity and about a topic is difficult. There are various recipes to promote it, we will talk about it very soon.

Mike and Sofia learn to play the guitar...

Take the example of these two characters.

Mike wants to learn how to play the guitar. He has one hour a day to practice. He plays on his guitar every day and repeats the chords he seems to need to master the basics of this instrument.

At the same time, Sofia also wants to learn how to play the guitar, but she only has 15 minutes a day during which she can actually play her instrument.

Nevertheless, she will spend a greater part of her time, on the way to the university, for example, to listen to music, to read between two courses of tutorials and the structures of the notes ... Reading, action, hearing, thinking ...

A month later, Mike will have learned to master a number of chords and will certainly have learned a song.

BUT, Sofia, she will be able to play a song certainly, but also to listen to the music to learn a lesson, she will be able to improvise using the chords she learned.

Conclusion

Learning and memory are areas teeming with neuromyths like the one mentioned at the beginning of the article.

It is important, in order to ensure quality learning, not to fall into the different panels and to know not only a little brain function related to memory.

What must be remembered is that learning is done by being active and by analyzing different faces of the same subject.

In the same way, we approach different facets via different formats. The goal is then to make these formats as engaging as possible in order to maintain a general active learning state.

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Rémy Challe, Edtech, Higher Ed: What changes?

This week we are talking to
Rémy Challe, the CEO of Edtech France, the new association gathering more and more startups of the French Edtech.

On the menu, the state of Edtech in France and elsewhere, its problems and opportunities for the future. Has Edtech really succeeded in changing Higher Education for the better? What are the inherent problems of education that hinder educational innovation?

Many questions to which Rémy answered through his analysis.

TestWe: So what is the state of Edtech in France?

Rémy Challe: We are at the beginning of something there. 6 months ago I did not really know what it was for various reasons. But there is clearly a growth curve that is emerging. Now, although this growth curve is double-digit in France, when we look at the massive investments in India, China and the United States, you realize we French still have a long way to go.

France is a country of education! We must be able to support our entrepreneurs much more and not just send them to CES in Las Vegas, if not in a few years, the tools we will use will be Chinese, Indian, American etc. That does not mean that they are bad, they are just, I think, less adapted to the system of values ​​of the French education. French Edtech becomes almost a question of sovereignty!

T: What is the French value system? What are we claiming?

R.C: There is a form of universalism, France is also the country of Human Rights. In a very pragmatic way: the protection of data, well, it is not known in the same way in France, China, India etc.

And that, we must claim it, we must protect these values ​​and promote them in France and abroad. I sometimes meet entrepreneurs from the French Edtech who make 100% of their profits abroad. So that's good, it means that they export easily and that the "French touch" is successful, but it's sad at the same time because it means they have difficulties offering their solution in their own country, and that's not normal.


T: What is the feeling of the actors of Education regarding Edtech tools?

R.C: (laughs) Well, there are various feelings. First, here, I would not talk about continuing education/ professional training, because Edtech is widely accepted and there are fewer dogmas. We are dealing with actors who are companies that are going through periods of significant digital transformation, and Edtech is already considered as a solution that one must be armed with to train all members of a company.

When we talk about school in France (ie K-12) it's complex, because there is a market that is a public market. In France, it is not the professors who buy for example, which is not the case in China. And even if they want to buy an innovative and relevant solution to meet their educational needs and those of their students, it is not they who will pay.

You want to sell to a primary school, you have to go to the commune, you want to sell to a college you have to go to the department and for a high school, you have to go to the regional administration. And then the one who decides is not the one who pays, the one who pays may not be the one who will use the solution, and he may pay for someone else to finally use the solution, so you see it's a little nightmarish.

And then there is more dogma. First, there is the argument that education is free while there is always someone who pays in the end, and then there is always a kind of a distrust of the private sector. There is often this vision of entrepreneurs as sharks of finance when in reality it is far from being the case. In Edtech, we find almost exclusively entrepreneurs passionate about Education or people coming from the world of Education who seek to solve real problems. Whatever happens, we do not go on this sector for greedy purposes.

Finally, there is this third silo which is that of Higher Education. Here we find private actors, public actors. Generally, in Higher Ed, there is a general awareness that Edtech could greatly help. This position is explained by several factors. First, there is an appetite for innovation, there is a climate of competition that pushes institutions to innovate. And then there are these 20-year-old students, who use their smartphone during their classes. So the question is not how to ban these tools but rather "the learner that faces me is not the same as one was twenty years ago, so I must adapt. " So there is a change of posture expected but also a change that is inevitable.

Basically, we are moving from a time when the teacher was the only holder of knowledge to a time when knowledge is everywhere and we just need to know how to access relevant information, a time where we must learn how to learn and the teacher plays a determining role there above. The teacher must become ... well, a coach.


TW: What do you think about teacher autonomy?

R.C: There are programs that the teacher has to follow, it's clear, but after all, teachers have a certain pedagogical freedom and you have to have that freedom, through which you can choose your own methods, your own textbooks, and so on.

TW: In the Finnish way? In Finland for example, teachers have total autonomy ...

R.C: So we're not there but besides I do not even think that we should replicate this model in France. Finland is Finland, and then it's a smaller country, the scales are different, the traditions are different. On the other hand, in France, there is still pedagogical freedom. The problem is that it is not at all extended to innovative solutions. So perhaps we should give more freedom to teachers as to their pedagogy, their methods ...

In Higher Education, on the contrary, there is more freedom! In the development of programs, the choice of methods ... that's why it's a space that interests me and that can perhaps by capillarity, disseminate this educational freedom to K-12.

So yes, there is a resistance to change, but as I said earlier, awareness is already there.

T.W: Let's get out of the classroom and talk about Education as a whole and more structurally. There is a crisis of Higher Ed that looms on the horizon, especially in the US and the UK. A financial crisis but also a crisis of knowledge via the skills gap phenomenon. What do you think?

R.C: So first, the situation in France is not quite comparable to the Anglo-Saxon situation. Firstly, because Education is "free" when we talk about universities for example, or costs a few hundred euros.

TW: On the other hand there are also more and more students going into the private sector, like business schools

R.C: That's right, there are these schools of commerce, communication, engineers where the costs are relatively high. To be clear, the cost of a student at university (about 13,000 euros) is about the same as that of a student in a management school.

So for the university, it is the community that pays and it's great, and in the big management schools it is the learners who pay and it's not stupid either.

So yes there is a student debt that exists but it remains very far from American or British cases, so the crisis that can be seen in these regions does not exist in France ...



TW: But can it exist?

R.C: It's a fact, tuition fees have increased significantly in management schools over the last decade, they have almost doubled. And yes to start in life it can be a ball to the foot.

Now there are lots of support programs and alternative programs like apprenticeships where it is the companies that pay for students who are also paid between 1,000 and up to 2,000 net euros per month!

Also, we must also not fall into the cliché of prestigious management schools as the places where we find exclusively rich spoiled brats! There are sometimes more diversities in the grandes écoles than in some lecture halls at the university. Even in the grandes écoles, one can have access to scholarships, one can work alongside his studies, one can borrow from the banks if need be.

While it is true that the costs increase, I do not think they can still go up, contrary to what others think, it would not seem reasonable to propose schools at a 20,000 euros yearly tuition fee.


T.W: And the return on investment remains positive?

R.C: Yes it is still positive, now ... It is not exactly the same either compared to 20 years ago. The more graduates we have, the less value our degree has in away. So hiring wages are probably less efficient than 20 years ago.

But I do not believe that the crisis that you seem to announce with reason will arrive in France. On the other hand, there are points of vigilance, we must be careful, education is not a commodity, at least not like any other, we must not fall into a trap as it can be observed in the United States. or elsewhere.

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Why e-Assessment Helps to Focus on Learning.


Imagine students as a group of athletes who run and prepare for the Olympics.

Beautiful, vigorous athletes. But there's this thing, we don't really understand why but their trainers give them these weird shoes to train. Ski shoes. They tell them to run faster than Usain Bolt with these. Quite hard to do right?

Well, this is the problem with Education today. Many things have changed and innovation changes the style of Education but students still have these ski shoes, represented by paper-based exams. And consequences are many.

Apart from being a hassle for professors in terms of logistics and academic data management (in this I mean getting all the data compiled and visualized in one place), assessments and grades have more concerning impacts on students and learning.

According to some studies, due to social pressure and the need to get good grades to get higher-paying jobs, students tend to develop highly pressuring anxiousness and tend to focus only on their grades which, according to a study, tends to prioritize memorization over learning.

Worse, they tend to choose the easy path, that is, a diploma where they could get better grades and chances to find a job in the end. No more interest for real learning, for building expertise on what they love. And we push them to act like it.

Nice.

Thus we have a deeper problem here. There is no connection between learning and grades (and assessments). To answer this problem, new methods of assessments have been developed. Among these methods is the use of other forms of grading and assessment methods like engaging assessments, mastery-based learning or self-assessment teaching.

These innovative methods are invading the world of Education and are proven to be effective.

However, grades and assessments as we know them won't get out of the Higher education's horizon soon and it's not a bad thing.

Why they won't get out?

Simply because grading, in all its forms, helps to understand the competencies and masteries of a student on the labor market. That, we know.

Still, because there's a gap between learning and grades, the goal should be not to erase them, but rather to unite them.

We're getting there.

While new ways to grade and assess are rising and growing in importance, we still need an environment to make sense out of it, to manage these grades and integrate them into the learning process in order to help educators analyze them and improve the learning experience.

Hence, e-Assessments. These solutions are not new, on the contrary, they're quite ancient. They help you digitize your assessment processes, they optimize grading time, they propose secure environments.

Addressing these issues is interesting but e-Assessments are not really solving the problem and grew to be considered a slow and quite a crowded market?

It needs a little evolution.

Because e-Assessment in its core has everything to be that platform to manage to learn with grading, to manage the learning experience and keep an eye on competencies acquisition by students.

It lets professors manage competencies per test, lets them optimize their grading, manage their tests schedules.

Add to it scalable data visualization (student, group of students, class, program etc.) and that is how you make e-Assessment a tool to focus on learning using grades.

Add some spices, bring up tools to automatically give advice to students on their learning based on the grades they had.

Finally, make it adaptable to any kind of assessments, even self-assessments, and you have a platform adapted to today's students.

In France, there are debates about whether a digital education is relevant, whether tech in school is only a matter of "trendy thing". It is true that Education shouldn't be about tech.

Nevertheless, giving the chance to better educate and better managing learning through tech, now that's unavoidable!

That's a fact, according to our study on a hundred school deans and directors, 50% said digitizing their processes was unavoidable, 50% said it was urgent. 75% said using new assessment techniques was on their agenda, adding data management as a criterion they need to improve for learning.

e-Assessment is evolving and shows the opportunity to solve the grade/learning issue and give the right shoes to students in order to let them break records. We just need to give it a look and give it a try.

What do you think? What's your solution to solve the grading/learning issue?

Hey! Take a look at our new white paper on the problems with assessments and grading, we went deeper and analyzed the new ways to grade and assess students!

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Our Top Learning Content and Blogs to Follow For This Late Summer A RELIRE

Summer is about relaxing, of course. It's also a great moment to get inspired for Back-to-school and fill yourself with ideas you'll use to innovate in your pedagogy. You know, be prepared to impress them like never before.

For this purpose, we found for you some great learning content and blogs you should follow to get that most wanted inspiration. Some are directly related to Education some are not.

We selected them because of their format, because of the content they offer and the ideas they share.

Here we go!

Nerdwriter

This is Evan Puschak, the Nerdwriter. He does magnificent video essays on several subjects going from political and economic analysis to film and art analysis.

His videos became so popular that his editing style influenced many, many, many Youtube essayists..

Apart from delivering interesting learning content on so many subjects, Puschak is inspiring for a teacher who wants to innovate and propose other formats of assignments or projects to his students.

We wrote here a study on video essays and how it is a powerful tool for Education.



Don Wettrick's StartEdUp Innovation

Now, this is Don Wettrick. His pedagogical approach is totally innovating, disrupting, incredible.

Wettrick is proposing very promising methods of assessments, grading and students' self-development. So much that it turns Education upside down.

You must follow his blog here and vlog here and here.

We wrote another study about his methods, notably the ROTH Ira process he uses with his students that kind of resembles Growth hacking.

Believe us when we say this man helps students exploit their full potential, master skills and become experts, activists or entrepreneurs in various domains.

It's just impressive and inspiring. There's nothing better for teachers than watching examples like this.



Cult of Pedagogy

This blog is like a cave full of treasures. Founder and Editor in Chief of the blog Jennifer Gonzalez (that' her below) gives with her co-authors passionate and resourceful insights and interviews on Education's most interesting innovation as its most alarming issues.

Jennifer Gonzalez is a gem for every teacher, education innovator or student who wants to go further, to know more about what's going on in the alternative side of Education.

Her interviews gather true entrepreneurs of learning who experiment learning techniques with their students and met success. Gonzalez's (and the other writers of this blog of course) interviews and reports will inspire you to act as soon as possible. Simple, just subscribe to Cult of Pedagogy.

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is kind of a growth hacker, master of processing things in order to accelerate learning.

To summarize his accomplishments, apart from launching successful businesses and investing, he wrote several bestseller books and became a Chinese kickboxing champion, among other things, using accelerated learning techniques.

We really recommend you to follow his blog, you will find interesting methods you could try to implement with your students.

Accelerated learning is an incredible domain that everyone should study.



Vox and Vox - Borders

Vox videos and blog offer a superb analysis of current affairs and many diverse subjects (like the (Mostly) true story of hobo graffiti you will definitely learn something great here). Vox is a media that investigate a lot and that try to go deeper than the rest.

The Vox - Borders subchannel is (for us) even more interesting as the Emmy-nominated journalist Johnny Harris (below, swimming between Haïti and the Dominican Republic) goes at borders between two countries and analyses the geopolitical situation (cultural, social, economic, etc.) and its impact on the culture and the day-to-day life of people.

This learning content is a resource and a blog you should use to try to innovate or to propose new sources of knowledge and discussion in class with students, as well as new formats of assignments and group projects.

There are many other content and resources you should take a look at, but these ones just slapped us in the face. We leave you pleasure to take a look at them and enjoy this late Summer period.

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The French National School of Administration (ENA) now uses TestWe!
From June 22nd to 25th, the French national school of administration (ENA) let their learners take their Law and Public Finance exams in order to prepare them for the classification tests.

ENA is a prestigious French institution that prepares since 1945 their students to become top national administrators, in France and in other countries.

The school thus decided to use TestWe in the context of a growing digitalisation of the French Education. Using the solution in this context is also taking the opportunity to modernise its evaluation methods and processes!
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Is it the beginning of the end for Standardized tests?

More and more universities (ex: Yale, Columbia) in the US are dropping standardized tests as a requirement in students' applications, making them optional. The reason is those top US universities until today had very low acceptance rates while students complained about the costs of required standardized tests like ACT or SAT. The results were that although few students (fewer than 10% of applicants) were admitted into the universities of their choice, many others just spent money on being refused in the end. Without entering higher education, learners are thus already spitting money.

Nevertheless, there's a deeper problem to that. One test, or even a few tests, should absolutely not rule them all. As James G. Nondorf, UChicago's dean of admissions and financial aid told the Washington Post, "Testing is not the be-all and end-all". Indeed, when we think of these types of tests, one word comes out: scary. One test should not be able to determine the whole future of a learner.



The Problems of Standardized tests

Exam phobia is a real thing everywhere in the world. The thing is that scaring students is not the best way to help them prove they deserve to be admitted in the university of their choice, universities may miss the best students because of a simple test and that is unfortunate.

Making standardized tests optional and prioritizing more diversified tests, continuous assessments and skill tracking show that, according to universities, assessments are a key element in adaptive learning, something we just did not think of up until today (well at TestWe we did of course). More than performance, they focus on integrating assessments in the learning process.



e-Exams are an opportunity to better assess students

While standardized tests are made optional, asking ourselves how we could make exams less scary and more able to spot "golden brains" from every background is the right thing to do.

But pushing this idea further is also crucial. It's time to make exams more than just performance indicators. It's time to give exams the tools we need to better follow students, the way they learn and how we can better help them reach their goals. Better assessments benefit everyone and encourage active learning. And for this, e-Exams are the answer. By giving professors the way to facilitate their insights, by optimizing their time to improve their learning content (exam creation/ exam grading), e-Exams help them get what matters in assessments: how a student is doing and what could professors improve. Concerning standardized admission tests, e-Exams are also very useful and for certain reasons:

  • Because they drastically reduce logistics, creation & grading time, e-Exams reduce the costs of assessment, reducing in the end students' spendings

  • Grading automation or easy grading tools accelerate admission processes

  • The secure environment provided by e-Exam solutions offer more flexibility to applicants that can stay at home while taking the assessments
Learn more about e-Exams here.



So: the end of standardized tests?

Making standardized tests optional for more flexible, accurate and adapted tests that show more a student's skills is making more top education opened to students from many backgrounds and giving them equal chance to develop their thirst for knowledge and skills.

But wait! It doesn't mean we should stop standardized tests, it's more about rethinking them. Because, anyway, tests like ACT or SAT are "too big to fail". Nevertheless, there is definitely a need to lower their importance, lowering thus extreme stress rates from applicants.

Assessments are like a construction site. We understood the problems it represented and, right now, many interesting opportunities, like e-Exams, are popping up. We are slowly integrating tests into the learning process, making them less and less standardized, more and more adapted.

So is it the end of standardized tests? It's not the end, it's not even the beginning of the end. But perhaps the end of the beginning.

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6 steps to digitize your tests and all its process

Intro

e-Exams are among the top 7 trends of Edtech this 2018. More than simply digitizing the exams you give to your students, more than making them pass the exams on their laptops, it is about improving learning and simplifying exam creation, grading and taking for everyone.

How does it improve learning? By offering the tools to the professors of your institution that will help them make better exams, more often and implement a better skill follow-up of their students.

Then, add learning analytics tools to an e-Exam solution, you’ll understand why some students have difficulties, why they succeed, if there’s a problem coming from course content, you’ll even predict which type of exam would be more adapted to the students.

e-Exams are key to the implementation of continuous improvement in universities, corporate universities, business schools, any type of educational institution!

Choosing e-Exam is right. But implementing an e-Exam solution can be difficult as previously said (lien vers précédent article). To be sure you’ll get it right, they’re 6 steps you must follow.




1. Everyone must know what an e-Exam is, even though they’re not testing it yet

Communicate

Changing your assessment processes is as crucial as being accredited. You need everyone to know what it is and what are the consequences. Don’t worry it’s not as complicated as an accreditation process. Nevertheless, it changes the way your institution works whether we talk about instructors, students or the administration.

Plan

Once everyone is aware of the coming changes, plan the adoption of the solution. How are you going to test the solution, who are going to test it?

Process

Map your processes. Assign roles to exam creation, grading, who’s going to proctor during exams, who’s going to analyze results? How will get feedback and from whom?



2. Don’t be scared by conservatism, it takes a little time to change habits

Be sure of it, you’ll receive bad reviews from a certain number of people due to the change of habits or due to misunderstandings or simply because they don’t like it.

It’s normal, it takes a little time before everyone an e-Exam solution. We calculated that after 3-5 tests/ exams, the large majority of an institution adopt the solution.

In the case of schools (higher education), we found that the most conservative population would be a minority of professors having difficulties using digital tools. The reject expressed was, in fact, a consequence of a lack of formation.


3. If you can test it on a language course first…

Language learning is the best kind, of course, you can run tests on, using e-Exam solutions. The obvious reasons are that:

  • classes are generally smaller, which facilitates the adoption from students and the collection of their feedbacks
  • students in language classes must take a lot of tests, from simple MCQs to writing and oral expression assessments
  • you’ll thus have results fast and be sure you can go to next phase

4. Then on a Program, before implementing it to your whole school

Implementing an e-Exam solution to a whole program is the next phase. Nevertheless, do not target a program because it’s “short”. Here you must test it on a program on which you can measure improvement from your students and professors.


5. Ask for support

You can’t be alone, ask regularly support to the people who brought you the solution. They know the solution better than you do. And generally, it is notably for us, support, meetings and formations are included in the services. Use that help to better use and personalize the solution according to your needs.


6. Make sure you have constant feedback to benchmark the evolution

Students and professors feedbacks are extremely precious in order to entertain a continuous improvement of your learning quality. How can you improve e-Exams, how can you better understand your students and professors needs without feedbacks? Must you change of digital provider? Must you focus on Learning Analytics? Try to get as much feedback as possible.



If you follow these steps, first you’ll ensure a scalable improvement of the quality of your learning processes. Second, you’ll ensure that your students learn better. But hey! We’re here to help you too!