AQA examiners pioneer e-Marker® technology

Jun 10, 2014, 10:10 AM
Following a successful pilot with DRS in 2003, the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) appointed DRS as its technology partner and introduced electronic marking in order to improve marking standards.

Following a successful pilot with DRS in 2003, the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) appointed DRS as its technology partner and introduced electronic marking in order to improve marking standards. In 2004, AQA used the e-Marker® technology to electronically capture the marks from approximately 300,000 GCSE scripts. Over 300 examiners marked the scripts at home, entering the marks directly into their PCs and transferring the marks awarded straight into AQA’s processing system.

DRS e-Marker® offers a variety of modular and scalable electronic marking methods for awarding, assessment and professional bodies. Designed to add value, reduce time to announce results and improve accuracy and reliability of examination marking, e-Marker® harnesses the power of real-time, award winning image capture readers, specialist bureau services and sophisticated software delivered across the internet, to securely capture item-level responses and marks from examiners.

AQA’s research department has been exploring whether the introduction of electronic marking has enhanced the quality of marking. A short piece of research was conducted investigating the impact of electronic marking on enquiries after results, using data on the number of remark requests and their outcomes for externally assessed GCSE components in June 2005 compared with 2006. Generally speaking the number of requests to remark has increased and continues to do so, but their findings suggest that electronically marked components had reduced the proportion of outcomes where a grade had been changed at a statistically significant level.

With better access to electronic marking technologies, including imaging techniques, AQA examiners and markers can mark scripts efficiently and effectively without the logistical problems faced with paper script marking.

AQA has seen the benefits of:

  • greater accuracy of marking and quality control
  • improved speed of mark transmission
  • improved management data
  • improved post-examination data analysis
  • more future study information for students.
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