Half a lifetime of engagement with public examinations


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In this talk, I present a picture of my involvement and engagement with the HKEA(A) over a period of more than 35 years. I outline my first contact with the HKEA in the early 1980s, after which I list the different roles and tasks I have been engaged in with the HKEAA: from setter to subject officer to researcher to research committee member. An examination of my own publications indicates that a lot of my own ‘success’ has come from involvement with the HKEAA, with over a third of my publications being HKEAA-related in some way. I describe three types of engagement with the HKEAA: (1) major project involvement, where the HKEAA has supplied actual data; (2) ‘supporting’ use of data, where an HKEAA test is used as an anchor in a researcher’s own test, for example; (3) background, or ‘sideline’, support, where the HKEAA helps to facilitate a project, e.g., by sending out questionnaires to markers. I then give a picture of the key projects I have initiated with the HKEAA, after which I give an example of each of the three types of engagement listed above. I close with the observation that, unlike the old days, the HKEAA is now much more willing to open up its resources and data to outside researchers and teachers – a situation which has the potential to have positive impact on learning and teaching as well as on assessment practices. The HKEAA is a robust operation with full integrity, and has nothing to be afraid of or to hide. I therefore make a call for us to access what the HKEAA has to offer. Making use of their data and acknowledging them is good for the HKEAA’s, Hong Kong’s reputation as well as our own as researchers. Copyright © 2018 Research Forum on Using Assessment Data for Better Learning and Teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


Coniam, D. (2018, October). Half a lifetime of engagement with public examinations. Paper presented at the Research Forum on Using Assessment Data for Better Learning and Teaching, Education Bureau Kowloon Tong Education Services Centre, Hong Kong, China.


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