Ever since I started my role as Training Coordinator – Exams Officer, it has been my mission to improve the exams officer training available online.
‘But what about face to face?’ you may ask. Well, face to face training has its benefits. You get to network with people away from your workplace, and you feel like you’re being listened to by someone who cares. However, it also has its negatives, especially in an international context. It can be challenging to achieve consistency of content, and often people forget things as soon as the training is over. Being an exams officer is all about remembering the rules and getting it right, so it’s really important that we provide effective training. If you can’t remember the deadline or regulation, we need to make sure you know where you can find the information. This is where online training has the edge.
Over the last year, the online exams officer training provision has been steadily improving. There are now regular interactive webinars specifically for new exams officers, and series-based webinars on making entries and also preparing for results release. All these webinars are run three times in two days to make sure that wherever you are in the world, you can access them. They are also recorded, so if you do have issues connecting to the internet, you can still watch them. All our webinars on the Professional Development Learning Community, so if you register and attend one live webinar, you can see all the other recordings as well.
We have also added a self-study ‘Guidance on’ course which provides small, ‘just in time’ modules, which are process and regulation focused, rather than series specific. These now include small quizzes and links to external reading so you can find out more about concepts which are global.
We’ve added forums for both these courses so you can now ask questions about the training, or just deal with any technical issues you may have.
So, the next course I’m working to improve is the one currently known as ‘Getting to know the Cambridge Exams Cycle’. By far our most popular course in terms of enrollment numbers, it’s also the course that a lot of people don’t complete. There are many reasons for this, but one issue with it is, it isn’t accessible for those who use mobile or Apple devices and it uses a lot of bandwidth, which is a problem in some areas of the world. This means that exams officers enrol on the course, struggle to access it and give up.
In September and October, we will send out information about changes to this course through our Cambridge Exams Officer eNewsletter and regional teams. The course will no longer be delivered in pop-up content, but will instead follow the same design as the ‘Guidance on’ course. There will be a forum, glossary and lots of small modules for you to read and go back to whenever you need to. There will also be a certificate once you have completed certain steps. More information on what we plan to do can be found in the FAQ document.
I’m really excited about this re-design as I think it will bring exams officer training more in line with our teacher training online provision, and will also give exams officers the opportunity to learn, check, consolidate and network through the forums. It will also be easier to update and link to further resources. I hope you see the positive change.
If you haven’t already engaged with our exams officer training programme, we publish all training information in the monthly Cambridge Exams Officer eNewsletter. Or log on to the Professional Development Learning Community, and enrol on the courses to start learning!