HMP Low Newton have been running online exams at their establishment for over two years. Learners and colleagues have benefited greatly from the use of online exams and are dedicated to supporting learners with their digital skills.
It began with just vocational qualifications and then expanded to include functional skills exams, and most recently essential digital skills.
Of the nine courses that currently contain exams, HMPYOI Low Newton offers online exams in five of them, these include:
- City and Guilds Functional Skills Maths (Level 1 and 2)
- City and Guilds Functional Skills English (Level 1 and 2)
- City and Guilds Hairdressing (Level 1,2 and 3)
- City and Guilds Food Safety (Level 2)
- NCFE Essential Digital Skills (Entry Three and Level 1)
There are plans for all courses to switch to online exams once the other courses offer the opportunity.
For learners to take their online exams, they require a certain level of digital skills which the tutors at Low Newton understand and have been working hard to embed digital skills into their education delivery, regardless of course.
Virtual Campus and Computer Suites
The vocational and functional skills tutors regularly book out the Virtual Campus and computer suites in order to allow learners to enhance their computer skills and showing them how to use multiple logging in processes.
The learners also complete online tasks such as completing an AIMs Unit on health and safety or completing functional skills eLearning modules on bksbLIVE. BKSB is an assessment tool to identify starting points in English, maths and digital skills, with a large bank of learning materials and knowledge checks to support progress and encourage independent learning.
By providing learners the opportunity to regularly use the virtual campus, it allows them to remember their username and password, so when it comes to their exams their accounts do not need to be reset and they can log into the system with no issues.
It also helps learners to build their basic digital skills that they need in order to complete their exams. For example, it helps learners get used to using digital hardware such as using the mouse and keyboard.
In the case of functional skills and ESDQ it also gets them used to using the exam platforms. By doing this, learners are more relaxed when it comes to completing their exams.
Since HMP Low Newton started delivering online exams, both learners and tutors have really taken to and engaged with the process!
The benefits of online exams
There are many benefits to using the online exam process such as:
- Exams are live for 30 days - If a learner does not attend an education session on the scheduled day, the exam can be completed anytime within 30 days.
- Quick results - Depending on the exam, results can be instant or within a short turnaround from the Awarding Bodies.
- Exam breakdown - Most exams provide a breakdown for each section of the exam which together, tutors and learners can review and build on for improvement.
- Tutor insight - The exam breakdown can be used to analyse any trends in questions learners are struggling with, allowing for adjustment of teaching to address this.
The team's dedication and hard work are enabling an increasing number of learners to acquire digital skills that will help them to be successful upon their release.
Keep up to date with our digital provision via the news section on our website.