Seizing Opportunities in Assessment: Cirrus’ Vision for Q3-Q4 2024

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These are exciting times in education and assessment: With groundbreaking advancements in Artificial Intelligence and digital testing, we can now evaluate candidates in more meaningful and efficient ways than ever before. As workforce requirements evolve, technology advances, and international borders become less important, testing organisations face both significant opportunities and new challenges. Meeting changing test-taker demands is essential.

At Cirrus, our top priority is to help you seize these opportunities and overcome the challenges. From AI Item Generation and AI Essay Marking to authentic, skill-based evaluations, Cirrus is not just adapting to these changes; we’re leading the charge. 

We’re excited to unveil our bold plans for the second half of 2024, which will revolutionise your assessment processes, making them more efficient and effective.

So, how will the upcoming Cirrus enhancements benefit you? 
  1. More Efficient Assessments
  2. Authentic Testing
  3. Taking Advantage of AI 
  4. Improved Collaboration

More Efficient Assessments

We understand the pressures you face—tight schedules, heavy workloads, and the constant demand for high-quality assessments. Our mission is to support you in delivering assessments without stress, as efficiently as possible. As our Founder and CEO, Vegard Sivertsen, always says, “The goal of Cirrus Assessment is to help our users save time, improve quality and have fun while doing so”.

Our newly enhanced scoring page, launching in June 2024, is set to revolutionise your marking process. With an intuitive interface and time-saving features like keyboard shortcuts and quick-annotations, manually scoring open question types like Essay and File Response questions becomes much more efficient. Read all about the new scoring page here. 

The updated question editor, arriving later this year, is designed to make your assessment creation process significantly more efficient. With a streamlined, intuitive interface and enhanced side panel features, crafting and editing questions like multiple choice, essays, and file responses will become much easier. 

Authentic Testing

We are committed to enabling more authentic testing experiences. Unlike traditional assessments that often focus on rote memorisation, authentic testing assesses a student’s ability to apply knowledge in practical, meaningful ways. This approach better prepares students for the complexities of real-world situations, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. However, these methods were traditionally time-consuming and difficult to implement. 

Our enhanced scoring tools, released in June, are designed to support the delivery of more authentic question types, such as Essays and File Responses, without the usual drawbacks. These tools simplify the marking process, significantly reducing the time and effort required. With AI essay marking, you’ll breeze through marking, allowing the technology to handle the heavy lifting. This enables you to integrate these question types into your assessments more easily, ensuring a comprehensive measurement of test-taker skills. No more bottlenecks—just smooth, efficient, and accurate scoring that frees you up to focus on delivering top-notch feedback.

Moreover, with responsive mobile support, Cirrus will take flexibility to the next level, allowing your assessments to be conducted anytime, anywhere. This is particularly useful for observational assessments. Think outside the classroom—assessments can now happen on-site, in the field, or wherever the action is. This approach offers a true-to-life measure of students’ skills and knowledge, and brings a new level of authenticity to your assessments.

Taking Advantage of AI 

At Cirrus, we’re harnessing the power of AI to transform how assessments are created and marked. We understand the immense potential of AI to enhance efficiency and accuracy, and we are committed to helping you take advantage of these opportunities in a safe, risk-free manner.

AI Item Generation will allow educators to quickly produce high-quality, diverse questions, saving time and ensuring consistent and creative question pools. This tool can significantly enhance the variety and depth of assessments, making it easier to cover comprehensive curricula. 

Meanwhile, AI Essay Marking will automate the essay marking process, providing efficient, unbiased, and detailed feedback for students. This not only reduces the workload for educators but also ensures uniform grading standards and helps manage large volumes of essays effectively. 

We are researching these game-changing upgrades, but until we are completely confident in the AI providers’ support for data privacy and ability to deliver high-quality, unbiased results, we will not release these features to our customers. Your trust and the integrity of your data, along with the assurance of top-notch, equitable AI performance, are our top priorities.

Improved collaboration

Effective collaboration among educators is crucial for maintaining high-quality and consistent assessments. It allows for the sharing of insights, ensures consistency, and fosters a cohesive approach to education. Recognising this, we are introducing several features to make teamwork easier and more efficient.

The newly enhanced scoring page will include powerful collaboration tools. You can view and comment on colleagues’ scores and annotations, ensuring seamless teamwork and reducing the need for back-and-forth discussions. 

Arriving later this year, the updated question editor will further feature a comprehensive revision history to support collaboration on refining questions and generating feedback quickly. Real-time commenting and tagging streamline communication, ensuring everyone stays aligned. 

Finally, the new Tasks and Notification Centre will enhance collaboration and efficiency even further. Users will be able to create tasks, assign them to colleagues, and set deadlines, improving the coordination of team efforts and ensuring everyone is aware of their responsibilities.

We are excited about the journey ahead and the opportunities these advancements will bring to your assessment processes. We welcome your feedback and input as we strive to make Cirrus even better. Stay tuned for more updates and join us as we revolutionise the future of assessments! 

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Picture of Vegard Sivertsen
Vegard Sivertsen
Cirrus’ founder and CEO is passionate about the potential of EdTech to transform how we teach and assess skills and knowledge.
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