After being authorized to teach the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in 2018, the Swiss International Scientific School (SISD) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates made a distinct decision to implement the eAssessment to monitor and modulate student progression. The school also realized that they could give their students a competitive advantage against other MYP schools because of this style of assessment and its inherent focus on developing strong problem-solving skills.
Meeting student needs
The school had to make sure that the eAssessment catered to the rich community of nationalities and the students’ learning needs. Martin Koen, MYP coordinator of the school said, “We are proud to be a diverse school—welcoming international students from many different countries is one of the defining characteristics for us, and we view this as a major strength. To carter to the needs of our students, we offer the eAssessment in two different language strands (French and English)”.
Martin further explained that one of the benefits of the eAssessment was the ability to leave the school with an internationally recognized qualification, making it easier for you to transfer between different countries and join another school. It also allows a school to understand a student’s academic level more completely.
The eAssessment has positively impacted students’ learning. It has allowed them to:
Advantages of teaching
The students are not the only ones that have benefited from the eAssessment. Teachers are gaining valuable information on their student’s advancement throughout the MYP. “The eAssessment provides us with detailed data on a student’s progression. You can see the trajectory of their development, and if necessary, we are able to make interventions at the right time. It can help us compare the students’ predicted grades against their final grades and gives us plenty of data to analyze. This allows us to effectively set our targets, for example, setting a five-year target with the aim to achieve good school and subject results”. says Martin Keon.
“You don’t know if it will work for your learning community unless you try it out”.
Preparing students for further education
Martin, who is also the Career-related Programme (CP) coordinator of the school, sees a useful connection between the MYP and both the Diploma Programme (DP) and CP. He says that it allows students to select their DP and CP subjects because they know what subject their strengths lie, and it supports them in deciding what to take at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL).
Furthermore, the MYP is a skill-focused programme, meaning that students will have maintained and improved upon these skills once they finish the programme, which will be useful moving forward into the CP for example.
Recommending the eAssessment
Martin suggests that other IB World Schools should implement the eAssessment due to its benefits in tracking student progression and assistance with setting targets. He says that the new system worked well for his school and others should try it out to see its advantages first hand. “I would recommend looking at the Building Quality Curriculum (BQC) first, and then test it out. It can give an indication as to how assessments are structured. You don’t know if it will work for your learning community unless you try it out. I think schools should absolutely consider the eAssessment if they already offer the MYP and DP as it fits so fluidly around these programmes, allowing teachers to effectively monitor student progression through the MYP provides great indications to their expected performance within the DP”.
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