Examinations Development and Production

The Examinations Development and Production Division was first established as the Test Research and Development Division on 1 August, 1975, with primary responsibility for preparing tests, student handbooks and supervisors manuals for the pretesting of items in schools across the Caribbean. Prior to this date the same functions were carried out by the Evaluation and Research Unit as a joint initiative of the Canadian Government and the School of Education, University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. Once under the Headquarters’ remit (May 1976), the Division had additional responsibiliy for revising and assessing the relevance and effectiveness of the evaluation methodology of the Council in relation to the needs of the school population, and to curriculum development at the regional level. The Division was later renamed the Measurement and Evaluation Division in 1978.

In 2009, through the merger of the Measurement and Evaluation Division (MED) and the Production Division, the Examinations Development and Production Division (EDPD) was formed.

The Division is currently responsible for the development of all the examination papers for CCSLC®, CSEC®, CAPE®, and primary level examinations in two territories. Additional tasks include: setting and editing examination papers; item analysis; preparation of technical and subject reports; grading; and the selection of top examination candidates in various subjects.

The Division also facilitates syllabus development and provides technical assistance on measurement and evaluation to Ministries of Education and other institutions.

EDPD is staffed by persons who have specialized training at the graduate level and who have been working in measurement and evaluation for a number of years.

Heads of Divisions included:

Year  HOD
1975 CIDA Consultant, Dr A Elliott, Test Research and Development Unit
1979-1985 Mrs Joyce Chase, MED, (Operations)
1985-1991 Dr Kofi Quansah, Head, MED
1996-1997 Mr James Halliday, OIC, MED
1997-1999 Mrs Astrid Waterman, Production
1997-2001 Mr James Halliday, MED
1999-2003 Miss Elma Licorish, OIC, Production
2003-2007 Miss Elma Licorish Production
2002-2009 Dr Yolande Wright, MED
2009-2012 Dr Gordon Harewood, Production
2012-2013 Dr Anthony Haynes (Acting Head, EDPD)
2013-2019 Dr Charles Mayenga, EDPD
2019-Present Mr Alton McPherson, EDPD

 

Division Head Information


Mr Alton McPherson, MA

Mr Alton McPherson joined the staff of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC)® on 1 June 2013 as Assistant Registrar (EDPD) now termed Manager. In April 2016, he was assigned the Supervisory role of Coordinator (Cognate Team 3) and had responsibility for scheduling, coordinating and contributing to the development of examination papers and items, as well as the grading and reporting of examination performance for the subjects within that portfolio.

Mr McPherson acted as Senior Manager (EDPD) from 26 March 2018 and was appointed to the role on 15 June 2019. As Senior Manager, he is responsible for managing the Examinations Development and Production Department; providing leadership and direction for professional staff involved in test construction and related activities; providing technical advice to the Council and its Committees on all psychometric issues relating to syllabus development, setting examination papers, marking of candidates’ scripts and the grading of candidate performance; conducting and supervising research activities; and, providing technical assistance to institutions and member countries; planning and coordinating the production, printing and delivery of the Council’s examination question papers and related materials.

Mr McPherson’s adept handling of this portfolio as well as his varied background in the measurement, evaluation and educational sectors in both government and non-governmental institutions and his ICT knowledge are strengths required for the role. Among his credentials he possesses a Masters of Arts in Education – Educational Measurement from the University of the West Indies, Mona, a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Statistics with Honours from the University of the West Indies, Mona, and a Diploma in Electrical Engineering- Power from College of Arts, Science and Technology.

He also possesses Certificates in Computer Repairs and Mechanization.

About the Division

The Examinations Development and Production Division at CXC is responsible for the development of all the examination papers for CCSLC, CSEC, CAPE and the primary level examinations in two territories. The Division does a variety of tasks including pre-testing items, setting and editing papers, item analysis, preparation of technical and school reports and grading and selecting top candidates in the various examinations. The Division also facilitates syllabus development and provides technical assistance on measurement and evaluation to Ministries of Education and other institutions.
This Division is staffed by persons who have specialized training at the graduate level and who have been working in measurement and evaluation for a number of years.

The Caribbean Examinations Council has over 30 years of experience in developing syllabuses, formulating tests, administering examinations, issuing results and analyzing statistics for large-scale examinations. This tradition includes the provision of orientation and training of teachers to deliver our syllabuses, as well as training in item generation and fundamentals of classroom assessment.

Most training programmes are offered on the request of a territory’s Ministry of Education and are facilitated by our highly qualified staff – both Syllabus Specialists and Measurement & Evaluation Specialists are involved. CXC also draws on a network of professionals associated with the work of the Council to provide specific expertise as required.

We intend to offer a systematic schedule of training in conjunction with international partners in a variety of areas that will include:

  • Item writing – multiple choice and constructed response questions
  • Principles of test construction and analysis of test results
  • Assessment techniques for the classroom
  • Management of school-based assessment
  • Utilization of assessment for learning
  • Curriculum and syllabus development procedures
  • Use of software for item banking and analysis of performance.

Other Measurement and Evaluation Services to include:

  • Development of customized assessment instruments using specifications provided by clients or developed by CXC in collaboration with school-based or professional clients
  • Development of performance assessment instruments and recording systems for non-traditional professional clients (police, nurses etc)
  • Quality assurance for traditional educational assessment from primary to post secondary levels and technical vocational and performance-based initiatives

Ministries or organizations requiring customized training for staff in any aspect of measurement and evaluation are invited to write to us indicating their specific needs