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A map showing how countries around the world are handling the exam situation

Testing Times: The Exams “Debacle” in the UK and What COVID-19 Has Meant for High-stakes Exams Around the World

Thanks to COVID-19, national exams in England were replaced with a combination of school-allocated grades and a centralised algorithm leading to a set of results that were widely perceived as inequitable. What did other countries do, and was there any “good” option during this year of lengthy school closures? Using our COVID education tracker, we coded and mapped governments’ approaches to national exams in more than 100 countries where we could find reliable data.

Map of the world showing distance-learning options by country in May 2020, with significantly improved coverage

Six Ways COVID-19 Will Shape the Future of Education

Most of us have been living with closed schools and some version of lockdown for four months now. For all the reimagining of education in the 21st century, nobody predicted that the greatest disruption of all would come from a virus. As education policymakers all over the world grapple with distance learning provision and safe school reopening, they will no doubt also be thinking about what the pandemic means for education in the longer term. We examine six ways COVID-19 is likely to shape the future of education.

Chart showing a relationship between student answers on the problem of the day and the overall test results

Is It Possible to Measure Learning by Phone?

Using lessons from early movers in Botswana, together with the extensive literature on face-to-face oral assessments, we’re concluding, “yes,” we think it is possible to measure learning by phone. We’ve published some preliminary principles and discussion in a new working paper. Below is a quick summary—five tips which we hope are helpful for those embarking on their own efforts.

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