60-second interview: Howard Campbell

Howard CampbellHoward Campbell is a CIEA Fellow. He is the Senior Associate and Principal Consultant at Howard Campbell & Associates, a Jamaica-based firm established in 1997.

What is your role in assessment and how long have you been in this role?

My role, as principal consultant, at Howard Campbell and Associates, is to support school systems so that they can ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. We work with schools, systems, and large education agencies to design and implement assessment solutions. I have been in this role since 2009.

What are the rewards and challenges of your job?

The greatest reward is witnessing success. Success of individual students who have benefitted from well-implemented alternate assessment solutions, successful schools that have supported the effective learning of their students using appropriate assessment resources, and systems that have leveraged assessment data to make timely decisions.

The biggest challenge is low levels of assessment literacy that exist within the system. Based on the levels, it is challenging to get the buy-in needed for the rigour and pragmatism required to design and implement effective and responsive assessments.

What would you change about the assessment and qualifications system if you could?

I would change the extent to which the qualifications system relies on standardised tests that are conducted as test events over one or more sittings. The change I would propose is one that includes a range of authentic assessment methods that allow the individuals being assessed to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities using mechanisms that are better suited to their environment and situational challenges. The ideal system, in my mind, will better utilise performance assessments as a complement to the traditional objective and supply type assessments.

Why are you a member of the CIEA?

I am a member of the CIEA because of the professional recognition that it brings and the access to my peers that it facilitates. Being a member of the CIEA, at the level of Fellow, is an ideal way to demonstrate that I am among the most experienced and expert practitioners in educational assessment. I wanted an environment within which I could grow professionally and contribute to professional discourse through established channels.