Robin Drummond CEA

What is your current role and background in educational assessment?

I currently work for an awarding organisation in the UK, developing summative assessments for a range of qualifications. Before this I worked in teaching for ten years, during which time I became increasingly interested in the assessment aspect of education.

Why did you decide to complete the CEA course and assignment?

I wanted to go deeper into educational assessment, and explore the theory behind the practice, as well as learn about different ways assessment is approached in different places. I was also drawn to the CEA assignment as I wanted to explore a particular aspect of my job in much more depth than I am able to do as part of the ‘nine to five’.

Had you already completed the Certificate/Diploma in Educational Assessment?

Yes. I applied for an exemption for the Certificate, given other training I had already completed as part of my job, and experience I already had in educational assessment. I then completed the Diploma with the CIEA as a separate course.

What did you like about the course?

I particularly liked the fact that other people on the Diploma course were from different parts of the world and doing different jobs to me. This helped me learn more about the different ways assessment is approached in different places, as mentioned above. I also I found the course leaders very approachable and positive throughout, and the online learning platform was straightforward to use.

Briefly describe the context and focus of your CEA assignment

I have been interested in marking for many years, having worked as an examiner whilst teaching. Examiners are usually required to have several years of teaching experience in the relevant subject/qualification in order to apply to be an examiner, but I became interested in a body of research that suggested this requirement was too strict, and that non-teachers could mark as accurately as teachers. I therefore based my CEA assignment on a piece of practical research into whether non-teachers (specifically undergraduate and post graduate students) could mark as accurately as experienced teachers.

How has the course benefitted you / your employer / students

The course has deepened my understanding of educational assessment and given me greater confidence in my current role, which of course is a benefit to my employer also. Whilst I am not an academic by profession, the course has shown me that my practical experience is a good place from which to explore the theoretical side of assessment and I continue to explore this as part of my current role as well as an area of personal interest.

Why would you advise someone else to do this qualification?

The full CEA qualification involves a number of different ways to develop one’s understanding of educational assessment – from group sessions on the Diploma course to the more individual and focused assignment, which is a great way to learn. Whatever your particular role/experience, the qualification will expand your educational assessment horizons, by meeting people from different places, who do different things in terms of assessment, and exploring the theory that underpins assessment practice. If you want to develop a career in educational assessment it’s a great qualification to begin with, given its clear progression from the Certificate, to the Diploma and finally the CEA assignment. It is also relatively easy to fit in around existing work commitments – I completed the qualification whilst working full time.