2017 Conference

View presentations from the Surpass Conference 2017 in York.
Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler

Learning Innovations Consultant

Assessment in the Digital Age: The Future of Learning? In his opening address to the Surpass Community, Steve Wheeler looks at some of the more recent technologies and methods that have been adopted by learning and training institutions, and how these might be applied to the assessment industry for formative, summative and ipsative assessment.



With Tom Morgan & Simon Sear from SPARCK

Artificial Intelligence in Assessment? Like it or not, AI is happening and it has the potential to completely change the way we approach assessment. In this presentation Simon and Tom, from the strategic design consultancy SPARCK, draw on examples from other industries and their own Innovation Labs to discuss how AI and machine learning has the potential to shape the evolution of technology. This exciting insight was followed by a capacity-filled in-depth Design Thinking workshop on the second of the conference.

Andy McAnulla

Andy McAnulla

President, BTL Surpass Inc.

In light of the tenth anniversary Surpass product update, Andy begins by looking back at some of the innovations from the Surpass Community that have made Surpass what it is today. This is followed by a look to the future, sharing some of the more recent innovations that will help us continue to keep Surpass on the leading edge of assessment technology.

Sonya Whitworth

Sonya Whitworth

Chief Operations Officer, BTL Group Ltd.

BTL operates an open culture policy, and each year the Surpass Conference is an opportunity to give delegates an insight into the people behind BTL and an overall company update.

Dave Dixon

Dave Dixon

Head of Solutions, BTL Group Ltd.

With Li-Ann Kuan (Prometric), Tom Gomersall (BTL) & Gavin Busutill-Reynaud (AlphaPlus Consultancy).

Data is a fundamental part of assessment and as we increase our use of e-Assessment, the data generated will increase as well; but what can we do with it? How can we use it to improve quality and enhance test creation and delivery? This session looks at a number of projects BTL and its partners have been working on over the past year, using bank-based statistics to influence test creation and delivery.
We have made some superb innovations in technology to support automatic test creation and, as part of this session, Li-Ann from Prometric will present the benefits of Linear On the Fly Testing (LOFT). Gavin from AlphaPlus will discuss a new project where Surpass will be powering a national, formative ‘adaptive testing’ programme for school pupils. Gavin will explore the reasons for the tests’ introduction and explain why adaptive testing is the future.
Additionally, Dave and Tom explore some of the underlying technologies that have driven these examples of innovation in assessment. This will include enhancements to features such as the unlocking of external optimisers and connection to third-party adaptive algorithms within native Surpass tests. Dave will lead a discussion on the prerequisites of undertaking testing programmes such as these, with a particular focus on pretesting.

Bob Gomersall

Dr. Bob Gomersall

Chairman, BTL Group Ltd.

With Patrick Craven (City & Guilds), Andrew Harland (International Examination Officers Association), Emelie Bral (NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences) & Martin Jones (JT ltd. CompEx).

During this session, Martin Jones from JT Limited CompEx explores the topic of oil, gas, and chemical worker certification along with how on-screen technologies have improved
the efficiency and security of this global testing programme.
Andrew Harland from the IAOE asks the question ‘Whose exam system is it anyway?’ and exploring why a change in culture is necessary to make assessment more accessible.
Patrick Craven from City & Guilds provides us with an insight into the potential impact of planned changes to the UK vocational sector.
Finally, Emelie Bral from NHTV University of Applied Sciences discusses the e-Assessment revolution in the Netherlands.

Keith Myers

Keith Myers

Chief Executive Officer, BTL Group Ltd.

With Sean McDonald (telc), Adam Birt (ICAEW – The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), Ian Morgan (WJEC/CBAC) & Jamie Saldutti (NBME – National Board of Medical Examiners).

In this session, we asked a number of new and existing Surpass Community members to join us on stage to share their assessment experiences with the delegation.
Jamie of NBME (one of the newest US organisations to choose Surpass) introduced us to the world of medical assessment and why NBME chose Surpass for their content creation.
Ian from WJEC shares information from a recently published report comparing paper and on-screen testing and exploring what the future holds for General Qualification assessment in the UK market.
We welcomed Sean from telc to the conference for the first time to discuss language testing.
Finally, Adam from ICAEW discussed the past years’ accountancy examinations and how the BTL Test Centre Network have worked with them to support their innovative simulations and shift from multiple location testing.

Ian Brumfitt

Ian Brumfitt

Senior Account Manager, BTL Group Ltd.

With John Winkley (AlphaPlus Consultancy), Linn Macdougall (SQA – Scottish Qualifications Authority), Lizzie Anstiss (BTL) & Kirk Stevens (BTL).

For this session, we look at how a business’s authoring and development teams can work together. The awarding market is a rapidly changing landscape. With over 160 awarding bodies in the UK market alone, more and more organisations – both here and abroad – will need to work together if they are to survive.
John Winkley of AlphaPlus provides an insight into his experiences with consortia and offers some hints and tips for survival. We will then be looking at the management of large authoring teams.
We will learn how a move from paper to on-screen-authoring may affect the culture of a business – a topic that Linn from SQA will be guiding us through. Lizzie from BTL will follow this with a demonstration of some features in Surpass that promote efficient team-working before we finish the session with a discussion about team-working in development, with contributions from Arcadia, Prometric, and NBME.

Sonya Whitworth

Sonya Whitworth

Operations Director, BTL Group Ltd.

With Bob Hurford (BTL), Barry Potter (BTL), Alistair Franke (Surpass Candidate) & Leon Hampson (BTL).

BTL have long been passionate about improving the assessment experience. During this session, we look at how the teams are making positive changes from the perspective of the customer and the candidate. During the first part of the session, relationship and support experts from our customer management and operations teams guide you through the recent improvements to our release communications and incident management processes.
Next, user experience experts from the Design Team talk you through the improvements to the platform, including accessibility features. During this interactive session, they explore the processes used to make Surpass such an intuitive solution.
Finally, we are joined by a candidate who will be sharing his experiences with assessment and why he beleives computer-based testing is the future for professional examinations.