Your Official Guide to OAAB (Online Assessment for Awarding Bodies)

Your Official Guide to OAAB (Online Assessment for Awarding Bodies)

Was 2020 the year everything changed for awarding and qualifications market?

Nope. It turns out the Coronavirus can’t take the credit for exams going online. The truth is, test publishers have been debating how to make assessments for years. 

The ongoing search for more cost-effective solutions has been lengthy. However, now, thanks to better use of digital technologies, online exams are available for awarding bodies! 

Companies are finally expediting the exam process, without compromising the integrity of certifications. Should your company use an online assessment? Read on to find out!

What Is an OAAB?

Let’s start by clarifying what online assessment for awarding bodies (OAAB), is. OAABs can be described as a way for awarding bodies to assess and accredit qualifications, through online tools. Awarding bodies can be a part of the education system like universities. They can also be a government department.

Awarding bodies have specific purposes, set out in different legislation and funding rules. One purpose they have is to accredit qualifications. 

Specifically, qualifications that contribute to the development of a profession or trade. They also accredit short courses. The idea is to protect the public and create an equal opportunity for people to gain work-related skills. 

When awarding bodies work with online exams, they need to be certain the quality assurance processes are right. One way they can do this is through OAABs.

How Do OAABs Work?

First, awarding bodies specify the OAAB tool that they want to use. For example, they might decide on an e-assessment tool. E-assessments have a lot of functionality and can be used for different skills and qualifications.

After deciding which tool to use, awarding bodies need to identify what will be assessed in each qualification or training course. For instance, they might choose to assess the way that someone communicates through writing or their understanding of a certain topic. From this point awarding bodies generate assessment questions. 

For success, the awarding body has to make sure the questions conform with the specification for each qualification or course. Once all of this is done the awarding body modifies any material needed to support learners. 

Resources, such as learning materials or reference materials are made available. By using the available materials, and following trusted study tips, learners can grasp the subject’s content.

Then, awarding bodies work with learners through the e-assessment too.  After the assessment process has concluded, marking and moderation can begin.

Marking and Moderating

What does marking and moderating have to do with an OAAB exam? Marking is a way of assessing the accuracy of an assessment, while moderation is a process that ensures OAAB exams are fair.

When marking assessments, awarding bodies look for anything that might cause problems. This includes things like spelling mistakes or unclear wording. Another thing they check is whether there are any gaps in the learner’s knowledge. Learning gaps might cause learners to score low marks.

In moderation, awarding bodies make sure that the assessments are fair and appropriate. They do this by comparing how different people perform on a given assessment. For instance, they might look at how one group of learners with a specific background score on an OAAB exam compared to other groups.

Benefits of Taking an Online Test

Why take OAAB exams online, instead of in person? For one, they can be scheduled at off-peak times to suit your needs and save money. If you live in an area where it is difficult for learners to access training or education, you can make things much more accessible.

Online exams for awarding bodies can have advantages for learners, too. They can study using a variety of tools and resources to fit their learning style. Learners also get feedback quickly so that they know where they stand with their training or qualification.

Another advantage online tests offer over paper-based exams is that they are more inclusive. For example, anyone can see the questions online to make sure they have understood them. This means that people who don’t read well or struggle if reading from paper will get a fair chance of passing their exams.

How to Choose an Exam

While OAABs offer clear benefits to awarding bodies and learners, you still need to decide whether an OAAB is a right choice for your course or qualification. Before choosing an OAAB, make sure the tool is available and suitable for the qualification or training you need to offer. While there’s a wide variety of options, not all accreditations are a good fit for online testing.

After finding out the qualifications the online test supports, look at the details of the exam. For instance, does the online option offer the flexibility needed for the qualification?

Are there resources to match each assessment question? It’s also helpful if there’s a marking guide. The marking guide will let you know how marking for each assessment question should go.

Next, find out how big the assessments range of questions is, and how you’ll access them. What about getting the results back from learners, how will you do that? The more familiar you are with the assessment you’re considering, the better your experience will be.

Each OAAB exam offers a different range of features, so make sure to look at all that are available before making your final decision. Lastly, take into account the software requirements needed by your learners to access the OAAB exams.

See if You Qualify for An Online Assessment

OAAB exams offer a wide range of benefits for awarding bodies and learners alike. Learners get the chance to show what they know through familiar interfaces. As a bonus, online assessment is also faster for organizers. Organizers can finally streamline marking and moderation work processes.

While online exams might not be a good fit for every qualification, they offer many advantages for learners. Find out if your qualification or accreditation is available as an online exam today! Are you ready for more tips? Read another one of our guides.

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