What to expect from your online assessment

Three teachers take us through their experiences of online assessments.

06 August 2020

As soon as we went into lockdown, our exams team got straight to work, exploring and assessing how we could continue to deliver our exams and recognise the hard work of our learners. Over the course of 11 weeks, our exams team worked with a small group of learners from ages 7 to 63, on over 100 examinations scenarios. Once we were confident that we could deliver the same high-quality assessment experience as our in-person exams, we launched the initial group remote online assessments, with the first online exams taking place in mid-June.  

Not sure what to expect? We talked to teachers to hear about their experiences of online assessments.   

As learners are not coming to one of our physical centres, Catherine Gardiner (CAST School of Speech and Drama) suggests turning the day into a special event. “We worked to create an occasion out of each exam, and had parents sending us pictures of their children all dressed up and ready to go, often with their favourite toy or picture.” With nearly 200 learners examined over three days, it was quite a feat however Catherine exclaimed that the assessments “could not have gone better!”. 

We’ve had learners from across globe completing their LAMDA Exams remotely. Families in Switzerland, Shanghai, France, Russia and Kuwait were pushing sofas back against the wall to make room, moving distracting objects out the way and making sure their space was exam ready. No matter where you are in the world the process will be the same. Once your camera’s in position and you’ve had a final rehearsal, you need to get ready to join Zoom at your allotted arrival time. Just as with our in-person exams you’ll be greeted by a LAMDA steward who’ll wait with you until the examiner is ready. “The examiner and LAMDA steward put our learners at ease straight away,” private centre coordinator Alice Nicholson reassures.  

The LAMDA team will also be on hand to help with any technical difficulties which may come up. “There was the odd little hiccup of learners logging into the wrong ‘room,’ and little ones feeling it was very important that the examiner met their pet, or saw how fast they could run around their living room,” Catherine laughed, but added that the team did “an amazing job of making sure the technology worked and everything ran smoothly.” 

Once learners have completed their exam, the Zoom call will end and it’s time to celebrate! As teacher Jason Thomas commented, “every student left the session beaming and came out of the room feeling they'd given their best.” All that’s left to do now is wait for the results. 

After an uncertain few months, all three agreed how important it was to have a sense of normality with LAMDA Exams. “Being able to have some conclusion to the year was a profound psychological boost to all after the school year had seemed lost. The boys returned to school early June with new energy and vigour, determined to do well in their LAMDA exam,” Jason explained. 

Alice agrees. "The kids were all very happy post exams. Having worked so hard pre-lockdown, I am so pleased that they have had the opportunity to see the whole process through and take their exams.” 

The sense of pride for teachers and students alike is clear. Catherine concluded, “being able to hold online assessments at all provided such a wonderful focus for our students in a time of huge uncertainty, and I am so proud of all my students and how they dealt with it all.” 

If you would like to find out more about the online exams we offer please click here