30 June 2017 • by Lotte Hoes
SKE turns lecturers back into students
Since the beginning of this academic year, employees involved in the examination policy of their degree programme have been able to obtain the Senior Examination Qualification (SKE), which is a national certificate, from the HCTL. At this time, the fourth generation of participants is involved in this process.
The SKE was developed for lecturers with some degree of experience related to examinations; they could already be a member of an Examination Board, Exam Committee or educational development team, etc. But examination ambassadors, team leaders and programme managers could also benefit from the course. ‘I thought it was very interesting to be among the first to take the course,’ said Marcel van Vliet. He started taking the pilot version of the course back in September. ‘I signed up for it because I’m on the Examination Board for the Faculty of Technology, Innovation & Society. Because of my involvement as a member of the Examination Board and having the Basic Examination Qualification (BKE), I know a lot about how an exam or assessment is developed, but the SKE has an entirely different focus. It’s more about the entire examination programme within a degree programme and how it can be improved.’ The employees who organise the SKE course had more to say about this on the intranet: this course expands your knowledge about examinations up to the curriculum level. You also learn more about the relationship between the various examinations and forms of assessment.
For purposes of the course, the participants work an average of three months on their own portfolio for which they submit their own subject. ‘My subject, for instance,’ said Van Vliet, ‘was about supplementing the existing range of examinations in which I focused on the digitisation of exams. Things like having the right software.’ Others write about such topics as guaranteeing the quality of examinations throughout the school. To conclude the course, the participants undergo a criterion-focused interview given by their supervisor and an external second assessor. The latter also determines whether the participant has passed the course. Devising your own subject, creating a portfolio and defending your work: it sounds like a wide-ranging course that involves a lot of work. ‘Which it is,’ said Babette Dolfin, the course coordinator. ‘It’s not an undemanding course. It turns many lecturers into real students; they want to know exactly what they have to do to pass. But the criteria to pass the course are wide open, and there are lots of subjects you can use to develop your portfolio. You have to find your own assignment within the degree programme or school, and that can be quite a challenge!’
A new SKE course will start next September. Participants who would also like to obtain a certificate to become a BKE trainer can register for the SKE+.