Botswana Examinations Council (BEC)

BEC wb

In the space of just two years, the Botswana Examinations Council has made their test development process much more efficient by moving their authoring online.

The Botswana Examinations Council is responsible for the conduct and management of examinations and assessments at general education. They give thousands of primary and secondary students the opportunity to gain important qualifications every year.

With the support of GradeMaker technology, BEC has been able to successfully digitize their question paper development process.

Within GradeMaker Pro they now manage their entire workflow in one place, ensuring the automated progression of papers, from first draft to final approval. 

After early successes trialling this method, BEC is now creating multiple papers across various subjects and qualifications. This includes some of their most complex and widely sat exams such as Standard 4, PSLE, JCE and BGCSE.

Editable Exam Writing Workflow for faster question paper development
Workflows can be as extensive as you like, with some tests going through 50+ steps before approval.
“BEC is using the opportunity created by the pandemic to fast track the development of the high-level e-assessment strategy to innovate our exam processes. We selected GradeMaker Pro technology because it enables secure authoring, even remotely, as well as improvements in efficiencies through workflow management.”

Enhancing Security During Exam Development

Security has always been a top priority for the BEC team. Therefore, it was of critical importance to them that any changes which facilitated efficiency in their process should not compromise the security of papers.

Fortunately, in moving to digital authoring, the teams at BEC were able to enhance their security processes and eliminate unnecessary and unapproved access to papers.

By using GradeMaker Pro they were also able to reduce the need for question papers to be printed during review stages. 

BEC began to customise permissions for all contributors, limiting the access each user has to particular subjects and qualifications. In this way they ensured that authors and reviewers could only access the papers they are assigned, and could only see them during the phase of development relevant to them.

Test development versioning Ensure total comment and correction implementation
Every comment is recorded and actioned centrally, so you don't have any more branching versions or missed corrections.

Combined with this, they were able to introduction two-factor authentication, the most effective way to protect accounts from unauthorised access. This has offered BEC an extra level of security which has been very re-assuring to the project team.

Protecting your papers from leaks during development is key to maintaining the value and integrity of those qualifications.

You can find out more about the security risks we help you to address in this article by our Chief Technology Officer: The 3 common security flaws putting exam content at risk – and how to fix them.

Paper Development Progress Tracking

The benefits of digital authoring have not been limited to improving the security of papers. Senior staff have also been able to avoid the hours of work that had previously been spent manually chasing for updates and managing workflow between team members. 

GradeMaker Pro displays the important milestone dates within each workflow, providing the team with an early warning system for any papers that may be delayed.

This feature has enabled the project team to avoid delays and speed up the progress of their papers.

Milestones and deadlines of question paper development
Workflows pass tasks between users automatically.

Currently, BEC is streamlining their development using the Whole Paper Authoring method to create the majority of their tests. They are also using a mixed source approach for any papers with a combination of authors. 

In addition to this, BEC is pioneering approaches which will make their test building processes more efficient in future. In order to do this, they are exploring the item banking options that are available within GradeMaker and are planning to utilise this approach for some of their future items.

See how our test development tools can work for you

Every test development team is different. That’s why we work closely with our customers to make sure GradeMaker Pro is flexible enough to support a wide range of approaches to test development. 

If you’re interested in moving to a more organised authoring system, but aren’t sure what to do next, we can help. Even if you don’t have any immediate plans to move to online test authoring, we would be happy to discuss your future options. 

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