COVID-19 education response webinar: managing high-stakes exams and assessments during the Covid-19 pandemic; synthesis report

Organisation(s): UNESCO

Publisher(s): UNESCO

Date: 2020

Pages: 7 p.


The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented scale of school, university and other learning institution closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the period of school closure is extended in most countries, considerations for handling exams and timetabled assessments are now among the top priorities of all policymakers’ agenda. A variety of strategies have been adopted in this regard including cancellation, postponement, derogation, on-line assessment/onscreen test, exams with special arrangements (e.g. paper-based examinations with physical distancing, remote assessment with parents supervision), using alternative approaches for validation and certification (e.g. review of past assessments/validation of learning). They represent a sheer challenge for policy makers as the interruption of these examinations is delaying the decisions on student progression and graduation, and in the case of technical and vocational training and higher education, on credit transfer, certification and qualification affecting their access to graduate programmes and/or the labor market. This may lead to an increased use of online assessment and onscreen test, a potentially larger learning gap within and among countries and a potential lack of qualified individuals for the following year in most of the professions, leading to lifelong consequences on the students and learners as well as a broader socio-economic impact on the economies and societies.

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