2020 Programme Outline

See below our conference structure outline to help you plan your attendance. More information about each session and speakers will follow soon.

Day 1 – Wednesday 7th October

2:00pm BST | 9:00am ET

Welcome

2:10pm BST | 9:10am ET

Keynote: David Price

The Power of Us: How we Connect, Act and Innovate Together

David Price – Director at Educational Arts

David Price OBE opens the Surpass Conference with his keynote presentation. David will discuss how we maintain the momentum of change seen over the last few months, and how we build upon that to achieve lasting change.

David’s presentation will be followed by a live Q&A.

2:40pm BST | 9:40am ET

Company Update

Andy McAnulla – President of BTL Surpass
Sonya Whitworth – Managing Director at BTL

Hear the latest from the Surpass Team and what’s been achieved over the last year.

3:00pm BST | 10:00am ET

Break: Partner Updates

During the break, take the opportunity to watch messages from organisations that form part of the Surpass ecosystem.

3:20pm BST | 10:20am ET

Year’s Release in Review

Join the Surpass Product Communications Team as they give an overview of enhancements that have been made to Surpass over the last year.

3:40pm BST | 10:40am ET

Product Road Map Update

Simon Trevers – Chief Strategy Officer at BTL
Sophie Brumfitt – Product Manager at BTL

Join Sophie Brumfitt and Simon Trevers for a first-look at the Surpass product roadmap. Sophie will give an insight into some key features coming soon to Surpass, as well as discussing the important work of the Product Management team and how they arrive at key decisions during the feature development process.

Simon Trevers will discuss his role in understanding customer needs and keeping on top of industry trends to help us create the best possible product and services, and tell delegates about some key pieces of research and development in the pipeline for Surpass.

4:00pm BST | 11:00am ET

Break: Community Updates

4:15pm BST | 11:15am ET

Community Stories with SQA

A View from Scotland Through the COVID Mist

Graeme Clark – Head of Service, Digital Assessment, Support Materials and Understanding Standards at SQA

Long-time member of the Surpass Community, and trailblazers for innovation and change, this presentation from Graeme Clarke of SQA brings us a holistic view of Scotland’s approach and response to recent global events. Graeme begins by outlining the impact COVID-19 has had specifically on the Scottish education system, where household internet access is much lower than that of the ‘UK’ average, before giving it a positive spin and talking about lessons learned, and how emergency responses to recent events have provided opportunities that, if acted on now, could shape the future in supporting greater access to national qualification assessments from the home.

Graeme’s presentation will be followed by a live Q&A, and a special interest group SQA’s commitment to next generation qualifications takes place on Friday for anyone interested in continuing the conversation.

View a preview of the session below:

4:35pm BST | 11:35am ET

Community Stories with AlphaPlus

Dave Mellor – Deputy Director of Assessment at AlphaPlus

Dave Mellor has a wealth of experience in delivering high-stakes school examinations. During this session, Dave will be drawing on his own expertise and that of his colleagues at AlphaPlus to offer answers to the following questions:

• Globally, which school assessment models have been impacted the most during the pandemic?
• Would it have been possible to have just made the switch to remote forms of high-stakes delivery in England?

This session will be followed by a live Q&A.

4:50pm BST | 11:50am ET

Panel Discussion

Chaired by:
Dr Bob Gomersall – Chairman at BTL

Guests:
Dave Mellor – Deputy Director of Assessment at AlphaPlus

David Price – Director at Educational Arts
Graeme Clark – Head of Service, Digital Assessment, Support Materials and Understanding Standards at SQA

Join members of the Surpass Team and guests from the day’s presentations for a panel discussion on some of the key topics.

5:00pm BST | 12:00pm ET

Close

Day 2 – Thursday 8th October

2:00pm BST | 9:00am ET

Welcome

2:10pm BST | 9:10am ET

Keynote: Harry Patrinos

Harry Patrinos – Practice Manager at World Bank Education

Harry Patrinos from the World Bank opens day 2 with his keynote presentation.

This session will be followed by a Q&A with Harry.

2:40pm BST | 9:40am ET

User Group Introductions

Tim Burnett is joined by members of the Surpass Team to provide an overview of the User Group sessions that delegates can attend later in the day.

2:50pm BST | 9:50am ET

User Group Sessions

Delegates can choose from a number of different topics for this user group breakout session, where members of the Surpass Team will facilitate discussions and gather feedback on some new ideas for Surpass.

 

User Group 1 – Ideation: Future of Test Creation

Richard London – Head of Design & UX at BTL

We realise that the way our users use our platform has changed over the years. With this in mind, we need to evolve our product to match the changing needs of our users and their workflows. In this session we are going to be looking at test construction. BTL is deep-diving into what the future of test creation might look like so we develop HTML Test Creation with your needs in mind.

This session will be for you to speed-ideate: come up with as many ideas in 15 minutes as you can about what you would like to see in the new Test Creation.

 

User Group 2 – Rethinking Item Authoring: it could be working harder for you!

Darren Boocker – Senior UX / UI Designer at BTL

This session explores the next evolution of Item Authoring. Listening to user feedback on areas such as tags, BTL has learnt that there is room for improvement. This session will walk participants through the new concepts, as well as talking about the rudimentary principles that form the most essential parts of the design’s execution. Darren would like to invite the Surpass Community to see these exciting new concepts, as he explains the methodology that the item authoring process will benefit from. This session offers a chance to give feedback on these designs and hopefully ignite some interest from the Surpass Community to get involved with some users testing in the future.

 

User Group 3 – HTML delivery on any device

Neil Dickinson – Senior UX / UI Designer at BTL

If you wanted to, or are considering HTML delivered tests on any device, such as smart phones or smaller tablets, this session will be of interest to you. In this session, we will cover how HTML delivery will work on smaller devices such as smart phones as part of the work to make HTML delivery WCAG 2.1 conformant. This is going to be a small group so everyone can contribute as much or as little as you want.

 

User Group 4 – Take a look at our new feature: Standard Setting!

Wajeeha Arslan – UX / UI Designer at BTL

Over the last year we have developed an exciting new feature to capture standard setting tasks that’s fully remote, flexible and accurate. We have given control back to the administrator to conduct a session and track real-time progress of assignees.

Using user research and testing, this crafted feature is suited for the standard setting world of today. This tool includes the ability to apply Angoff and Relevance ratings with room for expansion. Join this session to find out more about how you can use standard setting in your organisation.

 

User Group 5 – Not so Flashy

John-Luke Ward – UX / UI Designer at BTL

Flash is an aging multi-media programming language which has supported the development of many applications, including Surpass, since its launch in 1996. Google has been romancing with other programming languages for several years and because of this we will be waving Flash off into the sunset as of December 2020.

In this session, we look into a post-Flash future of Surpass, see how BTL is tackling the conversion process away from Flash, comparing the old with the new and get a sneak peek into the modernised Test Administration screens.

 

User Group 6 – Introducing the new Surpass Help Site

Holly Nicol – Technical Author and Trainer at BTL
Tom Wardak – Senior Technical Author and Trainer at BTL

For the last two years, the BTL Product Communications team has been working tirelessly on creating a brand new documentation platform for Surpass products. We gave a sneak preview of this at the last Surpass Conference, but the site has developed a lot since then. In this session, we’ll be discussing the development processes and rationale behind the new documentation suite and inviting your feedback on what will be a continually evolving platform.

 

User Group 7 – User Experience Testing the Surpass Viewer

Ian Higgins – UX / UI Designer at BTL
Jen Warhurst – Senior Account Manager at BTL

An opportunity to get hands-on with the Surpass Viewer ahead of the release later this year. In this session you will get the chance to download and install the Viewer yourself and gain a first-hand understanding of the experience from different user perspectives. We want to know how you find this new way of working and are looking for some feedback to ensure we have considered all use cases for this product.

3:10pm BST | 10:10am ET

Break: Team Updates

Representatives from the Surpass Team share what they’ve been working on and key achievements from the last year.

3:30pm BST | 10:30am ET

Community Stories with Drexel University

ACE (Adolescent Comprehention Evaluation): A Solution Provided by LiteracyACE & Surpass

Dr. Lori Severino – Associate Clinical Professor at Drexel University Literacy Studies
Dr. Mary Jean Tecce DeCarlo – Assistant Professor at Drexel University School of Education

Join Dr. Mary Jean Tecce DeCarlo and Dr. Lori Severino from the School of Education at Drexel University, as they provide an update on their decision to utilise Surpass for the creation and delivery of the ACE (Adolescent Comprehension Evaluation) assessment.

ACE has been developed by Drexel University to provide a much-needed tool for assessing reading comprehension ability of students in grades 6-8. Research carried out by the School of Education revealed that students, particularly those with special educational needs, were being impacted by inadequate reading instruction due to a lack of appropriate assessment tools. By utilising Surpass for ACE, teachers gain access to extensive reporting data to better inform teaching instruction.

This promises to be a fascinating update on an innovative solution to improving the assessment experience for everyone. Join Dr. DeCarlo and Dr. Severino as they give an insight into the challenges they faced, why this problem needed solving, and why Surpass was chosen as the platform to best facilitate the ACE programme.

This session will be followed by a live Q&A.

3:47pm BST | 10:47am ET

User Group Sessions – Round 2

Delegates can choose from a number of different topics for this user group breakout session, where members of the Surpass Team will facilitate discussions and gather feedback on some new ideas for Surpass.

These user groups will be the same as those detailed in the previous user group session above.

4:07pm BST | 11:07am ET

Break: Help and Training Update

Hear from the Surpass Product Communications and Training Teams on updates to the Surpass help materials and the Surpass training programme to ensure users are equipped with the knowledge to use Surpass to its full potential.

4:27pm BST | 11:27am ET

User Group Feedback

Insights from the user group sessions earlier in the day will be shared.

4:42pm BST | 11:42am ET

Community Stories with Dainis and Company

In-person vs remote exam development: Supporting validity at every step

Amanda Dainis – CEO & Lead Psychometrician at Dainis and Company

Join Amanda Dainis for this insightful session as she discusses validity in exam development. Amanda takes a look at both remote and in-person exam development activities, exploring how Surpass can help whatever your processes may be, whilst always keeping validity at the forefront.

This session will be followed by a live Q&A.

4:57pm BST | 11:57am ET

Close

5:00pm BST | 12:00pm ET

Networking

Day 3 – Friday 9th October

2:00pm BST | 9:00am ET

Welcome

2:15pm BST | 9:15am ET

Special Interest Groups

Members of the Surpass Community and Surpass Team facilitate discussions on some timely topics during a choice of Special Interest Group sessions.

 

SIG 1 – Accreditation of Programs Using Online Proctoring

Amanda Dainis – CEO & Lead Psychometrician at Dainis and Company
Gary Barnes – VP, Service Operations at BTL Surpass

With many organisations transitioning their certification programs to online proctoring, Amanda Dainis leads a special interest group discussing the regulatory issues to consider when changing delivery methods. From accreditation to proving equivalence, Amanda explores the key topics and welcomes questions from the community.

 

SIG 2 – Legal Matters

Legal Team – BTL

Ask the legal team anything about privacy, security, contracts or any other legal matter pertinent to assessment and online invigilation. Possible topics and questions may include, for example, the issue of tackling the patchwork of worldwide privacy and security laws to deliver a worldwide service, privacy as it relates to the K12 market, and privacy concerns in relation to online invigilation, how BTL approaches these issues, or any other questions that the participants want to ask the BTL Legal team.

 

SIG 3 – Digital Solutions for Supporting Metaskills in the Next Generation of Qualifications

Ellen Rutter – Account Manager at BTL
Heather Bamforth – Digital Services Manager at SQA

Linn Macdougall – Itembank Manager at SQA

This discussion will focus on how SQA will develop digital support for its next generation of qualifications starting with Higher National (HN). This will include which digital tools might be suitable to support the underpinning assessment models such as groupwork, how holistic digital evidence can be supported end-to-end including QA, to what extent metaskills could be assessed digitally, and what considerations must be taken into account for college infrastructures. Your input and feedback in this two-way conversation will be appreciated.

 

SIG 4 – Enhancing Community Product Training, Help and Support

Ashleigh Whittle – Training Manager at BTL
Jacqui Smith – Service Desk Manager at BTL
Tom Wardak – Senior Technical Author and Trainer at BTL

It is in all our interests that as a community we use the most effective tools and techniques to help and support users of Surpass. Recently we launched our new Help site for Surpass and this autumn we will be deploying a new ticket management service. In addition, the training team have adapted their delivery and content following COVID-19, but we are certain that as a community we can find ways to improve the response rate of tickets and the quality of the resources we provide. This session is aimed at members of the community that make use of our training, help and support services, to see if we can identify improvements to the services we provide.

 

SIG 5 – The impact of COVID-19 on formative and summative assessment in schools

Dave Mellor – Deputy Director of Assessment at AlphaPlus
Simon Trevers – Chief Strategy Officer at BTL

Join Dave Mellor and Gavin Busuttil-Reynaud from AlphaPlus, along with the BTL team, for an enlightening discussion about the potential role of formative assessment models and summative assessment in general qualifications, how COVID-19 has affected both assessment modes, and the potential cultural implications of a change in the way assessment is used in education.

If you work with or alongside a general qualifications awarding organisation anywhere in the world get involved in the conversation to compare and contrast approaches and discuss the impact of using assessment in different ways in a post-Coronavirus world.

 

SIG 6 – Innovation within the Community: Exploring the latest ideas

Andy McAnulla – President of BTL Surpass
Ian Pearson – Head of Projects & Account Management
Sam Thompson – Copywriter & Content Specialist
Shubham Priya – Solutions Architect at BTL

Join us for this special interest group as we discuss the innovations process and why we want to hear your ideas. We’ll facilitate discussions on some of the ideas for enhancements to Surpass that have already been put forward by Community members, and seek input from attendees on the value that these could have for their organisation’s assessment design and delivery process. Shubham Priya, Surpass Solutions Architect will provide valuable insight into how ideas could potentially be progressed, as we encourage organisations to show support for ideas as well as sharing their own. This SIG is a starting point for what we hope will be a regular ideas and innovation workshop, to help us and the community better understand each other’s challenges and collaborate on new ideas.

 

SIG 7 – AI in Marking

Jim Crawford – Business Development Director at BTL

The Surpass Team have been considering the potential for AI marking for essay style responses some time, but understand there is some uncertainty around the capabilities of this technology, and challenges around its adoption for high-stakes examinations. Join us for the special interest group as we get feedback on how we think these challenges can be overcome, and give your thoughts on where you see this technology adding value.

 

SIG 8 – The Inclusive Accessible Iceberg

Andy Varley – Accessibility Analyst at BTL

A session regarding how accessibility and inclusive design work hand in hand to make a better overall experience for the end user. We’re going to look into what the end user sees and then what actually needs to be done in the background to achieve that result. During this SIG we will take a look at why we are designing our products in an accessible and inclusive way, and who we are designing for.

2:35pm BST | 9:35am ET

Break: Celebrating Success Updates

Hear from Surpass Community members on recent successes and achievements.

2:55pm BST | 9:55am ET

Special Interest Groups

Members of the Surpass Community and Surpass Team facilitate discussions on some timely topics during a choice of Special Interest Group sessions.

3:15pm BST | 10:15am ET

Keynote: Liberty Munson, Ph.D.

How Technology is Shaping the Future of Assessment: Imagine the Possibilities

Liberty Munson, Ph.D. – Senior Psychometrician at Microsoft Worldwide Learning

Liberty is passionate about the need to rethink the certification industry. In her keynote presentation, Liberty explores the ways in which technology can shape the future of assessment, including the opportunity to think differently about the questions we ask, and how we evaluate them.

Come away from this engaging keynote presentation feeling inspired to challenge the status quo of assessment and leverage the full potential of technology to more accurately measure skills.

This session will be followed by a live Q&A with Liberty.

3:50pm BST | 10:50am ET

Break: Innovations Update

Watch an update from the BTL Innovations Hub including a reminder of how you can get involved.

4:10pm BST | 11:10am ET

Special Interest Group Feedback

Insights from the special interest group sessions earlier in the day will be shared.

4:25pm BST | 11:25am ET

Community Stories with WSET

Chill, Pop, Pour, What a Lockdown!

Romana Moss – Project Manager at WSET

This presentation will outline WSET’s planned journey with Surpass to introduce computer-based testing on a BYOD basis at its Centres, in a reactionary international multilanguage exam environment that was slightly hijacked by COVID-19. Romana discusses how the lessons learned through remote invigilation will better inform their previous roll out plan.

This session will be followed by a live Q&A.

4:40pm BST | 11:40am ET

Panel Discussion

Chaired by:
Keith Myers – CEO at BTL

Guests:
Amanda Dainis – CEO & Lead Psychometrician at Dainis and Company
Liberty Munson, Ph.D. – Senior Psychometrician at Microsoft Worldwide Learning
Romana Moss – Project Manager at WSET

Join members of the Surpass Team and guests from the day’s presentations for a panel discussion on some of the key topics.

4:55pm BST | 11:55am ET

Reflections

As the 2020 Surpass Conference comes to a close, members of the Surpass Team reflect on the event and the key insights that have been shared.

5:00pm BST | 12:00pm ET

Close