Describe your school:
We are a secondary school and sixth form school in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. We have an above national average rate for students who are eligible for free school meals and currently have 22 students in y10 and y11 who are entitled to the use of a reader in exams.
Did you trial the C-Pen Exam Reader initially, if so, what “review process” did you follow and what conclusions did you draw?
I ordered a C-Pen Exam Reader to trial and was blown away by it. I had trialled the WizCom ExamPen at an RTA event in September 2014, but the C-Pen Exam Reader outperformed it in every way.
The C-Pen Exam Reader was shown to a few key students (in addition to a few key members of staff) and asked for their opinions. The decision was made to purchase 10 C-Pen Exam Readers as we were originally going to give them to students in the lower school so they could get used to using it.
What do you most like about the C-Pen Exam Reader?
The C-Pen Exam Reader is so ergonomic and sleek looking. It not only makes the C-Pen Exam Reader easier to use, but it encourages students to use it, as it does not look like a learning aid in the way the old WizCom ExamPen did.
Please describe how you are using the C-Pen Exam Reader?
We have just received approval to roll out the use of the C-Pen Exam Reader to students who are entitled to a reader in examinations regardless of their year group. The pens are (successfully) filling the void after a TA left just before the summer who has not been replaced.
The C-Pen Exam Readers will also be used in exams (both internal and external). There was a concern that students would not be comfortable using it accurately and that it would potentially disadvantage them, however, even our weaker students have grasped the ability to use the C-Pen Exam Reader within (on average) 5 minutes of seeing the C-Pen Exam Reader for the first time.
Please describe how the use of the C-Pen Exam Reader has affected your students?
Students are more receptive to the C-Pen Exam Reader during examinations than they are to a human reader. Due to costs involved and the number of students eligible for the use of a human reader, one human reader was previously allocated to a handful of students and seating across one or two rooms. This discouraged the students from accessing the help as they felt embarrassed to raise their hand in front of their peers.
Please describe any other areas in school you feel the C-Pen Exam Reader has helped?
In addition to filling the void of a TA, the C-Pen Exam Reader has also cut down on the cost of invigilation and has minimized the disruption to the remainder of the academy at exam time as additional rooms are no longer required to facilitate students with readers. There is also the logistics of only having to manage outside noise in one part of the academy to avoid disruption to exams as opposed to (at times) 4 different locations.
How likely are you to recommend the C-Pen Exam Reader to others?
I have already recommended the C-Pen Exam Reader online and will continue to recommend it.
Any other comments you would like to add?
The academy has just agreed to purchase a further 10 C-Pen Exam Readers due to their popularity among staff and students.