CXC’s Response to the Independent Review Team’s Recommendations

 

The Independent Review Team (IRT) commissioned by the Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council® (CXC®), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, in response to concerns raised across the region with respect to the July/August 2020 CSEC® and CAPE® Examinations, suggested 23 recommendations to address these concerns, eight of which were for immediate action.

The following  section provides details regarding the recommendations made for immediate action and the initiatives implemented by CXC® in response to the recommendations.

The second recommendation made by the IRT was to reduce the cost for Requests for Reviews (RFR) for the recent 2020 sitting of examinations.

As such, the Council reduced the cost for Reviews by 50 per cent from US$30 to US$15. Additionally, those who had already paid the previous cost of $30 would be refunded.

The IRT suggested that the Council revert to its pre-January 2018 position and practice, where a review included a remark.

All Reviews now include a remark.

A recommendation was also made to expedite Requests for Reviews, particularly for scripts that are borderline single grade changes.

A portal was created on 21 October 2020 as an additional and easy access point for candidates, which also facilitated the submission of immediate responses to candidates. Additional markers were also engaged to expedite the requests received.

The abandonment of grade diminution in CXC’s declaration “that a review of your script may result in your overall Grade either increasing, decreasing or remaining the same” was expressed under this recommendation.

Given the nature of the crisis, CXC® announced that a script reviewed would not result in a downward change of Grade.

The IRT recommended that the Council facilitate easier access and speedier response to Query Requests (QR), distinct from Requests for Reviews (RFR) and that a live chat and/or similarly more responsive medium should be used to allow stakeholders to make queries and receive timely responses.

Currently, Facebook Messenger and additional resources such as FreshDesk (Customer Support Portal), support@cxcsupport.freshdesk.com; cxcezo@cxc.org; and the support portal at www.cxc.org were employed to improve response times.

A total of 11,551 Requests for Reviews have been received for CAPE® and 10,055 Request for Reviews have been received for CSEC®. Additionally, 945 Queries were received for CAPE® while 2,174 queries were received for CSEC®.

The IRT recommended the execution of a reflection workshop – improved communication for Local Registrars about the grading exercise and function of profiles in grading.

CXC® made a presentation to Local Registrars on 21 October 2020 on “Understanding Your Grades”. Furthermore, training will be conducted for Local Registrars on Grading. Additionally, videos will be created for sharing with the public. One such video “Understanding Your Grades” was created and shared with the public on Friday 13 November 2020 (see below).

The final recommendation for immediate action is for the execution of a damage control campaign across traditional, new and emerging media to inform a positive public relations perception.

CXC® has produced this interactive web portal with specific content and videos for stakeholders, based on their feedback. One such video “Understanding Your Grades” has been created and was shared with the public on Friday 13 November 2020. 

Virtual town hall meetings will be held to engage stakeholders, beginning with parents and students. The dates for the virtual town hall meetings will be published shortly. In addition, students' forums will be held for student council and association leaders. 

The Council values and appreciates all our stakeholders’ feedback and will continue to listen and engage with each stakeholder group as we work together.

We want to hear from you - kindly complete this short survey: https://bit.ly/cxc-student-sy 

Formalize the provision and release of strategic training workshops for teachers to arrest the difference between teacher-awarded scores and CXC-moderated scores.

CXC’s Action:

Strategic training workshops to be conducted for teachers for improvement in School-Based Assessment.

Workshop sessions to include analysis of:

a) teacher and moderator score difference

b) share moderators’ comments across territories for each subject.
(To be completed in 1st quarter of 2021).

.

Institute initiatives and programmes to ensure a more rigorous and much sharper focus of teachers in preparing students for SBAs and provide requisite training on all aspects.

CXC’s Action:

Strategic training workshops to be conducted for teachers for improvement in School-Based Assessment.

Workshop sessions to include analysis of:

a) teacher and moderator score difference

b) share moderators’ comments across territories for each subject.
(To be completed in 1st quarter of 2021).

Formalise administrative training for teachers on preparing and uploading SBAs.

CXC’s Action:
Create video for self-paced training of teachers across region for the upload of SBAs. Videos will be useful for continued capacity building for new and existing teachers. 1st quarter of 2021

Engage in a series of education campaigns for students to help them anticipate, respond to and avoid consistent impediments faced in completing SBAs.

CXC’s Action:
See response to recommendations 1-3. 

As technological innovation for handling voluminous files is updated and refined, information should be shared with stakeholders including local registrars and teachers and requisite training conducted.

CXC’s Action:
Deployment of Data Portal (1st quarter of 2021).

Conduct an audit of the standardisation process for moderation of exams within and across countries.

CXC’s Action:
Immediate discussions with Local Registrars to commence process. To be completed in the 1st quarter of 2021.

Formalise the provision of a series of workshops for examiners in each subject area on the grading approach and marking activities.

CXC’s Action:
Workshops for Examiners. Commence in 1st quarter 2021 and throughout 2021.

Replenish and expand the exam item bank on a scheduled, regular basis for all subjects to avoid overuse and mitigate security breaches (Paper1).

CXC’s Action:

  • Item writing programme to commence (1st quarter of 2021)
  • Full Item Bank Replenishment Strategy to be implemented (2021-2023)

Engage in a strategic network campaign to strengthen and deepen the relationship between CXC® and teachers within and across territories.

CXC’s Action:
Stakeholder consultations, education and career fairs for students, Higher Education Institution conferences, Teacher led conferences, media engagements and speaking opportunities. (1st quarter and throughout 2021).

Develop a system with regular sampling at all centres.

CXC’s Action:
100 per cent moderation across all subjects, across all centres using an improved statistical mechanism for sampling. Completed and to be used at the next examination sitting. (3rd quarter of 2021).

Conduct Efficiency Audit of Local Registrars.

CXC’s Action:
Efficiency Audit to be conducted of LRs operations. To be completed by the 1st quarter of 2021.

Create individual portals on CXC® webpage dedicated to significant class of stakeholders including students, teachers, registrars, testing centres and parents.

CXC’s Action:
Rollout of the redesigned CXC® corporate website which includes artificial intelligence and chat bots. This will include pages for each stakeholder. (Commence in 1st quarter of 2021).

Establish a research and development unit to undertake empirical research and rigorously mine the volume of data already being collected, to inform and strengthen CXC® in evidenced based and data-driven policy making.

CXC’s Action:
Research Unit to be established in the Western Zone Office (WZO). (1st quarter of 2021).

Undertake contingency planning as part of CXC’s strategic planning process.

CXC’s Action:
Develop and Implement Business Continuity and Disaster Risk Management Programme. (1st quarter of 2021).

Strengthen biennial stakeholder satisfaction surveys to assess CXC’s compliance with its mandate.

CXC’s Action:

  • To enhance stakeholder satisfaction, stakeholder consultations, education and career fairs for students, Higher Education Institution conferences, Teacher led conferences, media engagements and speaking opportunities will be increased. (1st quarter of 2021)
  • Biennial stakeholder satisfaction survey as recommended.