Prodigy Learning wins contract for online assessment tool in Irish schools

2 Sep 2020162 Views

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Dublin-headquartered Prodigy Learning will provide its online assessment platform for standardised testing in Irish primary and post-primary schools.

Students across Ireland will soon come face to face with a new online assessment platform developed by Prodigy Learning. The Dublin-headquartered edtech company was named the winner of a nine-month international tender process that will see its platform, called Skillify, used for computer-based standardised testing in Irish primary and post-primary schools.

The contract was awarded by the Educational Research Centre (ERC), which selected Prodigy Learning over other global testing and assessment platform providers. The contract initially covers the next five years, with the option of extending it for a further three years.

The Skillify platform, built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, will replace the ERC’s current computer-based standardised testing tool used in primary and post-primary schools. As it will be deployed by the ERC, the platform will be called the ERC Drumcondra Online Testing System, or ERC DOTS.

ERC DOTS can initially conduct 40,000 tests per year, with the capacity to scale up if needed. The first tests available on the platform for primary schools will assess English reading and mathematics through both English and Irish for students from third to sixth classes.

In post-primary schools, the platform will assess verbal, spatial and numeric reasoning for first-year students, as well as English reading, Irish reading and mathematics in second year. The ERC plans to develop further testing after 2021.

A ‘major win’

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“One of the goals in our 2019 to 2021 strategic plan is to produce a regularly updated suite of high-quality and relevant assessments that reflects best international practices and serves the needs of the Irish educational system,” said Dr Jude Cosgrove, CEO of the ERC.

“Securing a new best-in-class online assessment system is key to delivering on this goal. After an extensive procurement exercise, we are delighted to have selected Prodigy Learning to deliver the new system and have no doubt that it is a solution that can grow with Irish schools in line with their needs and with the rapidly changing digital technology landscape in education.”

Prodigy Learning’s CEO, Andrew Flood, described getting the contract as a “major win”.

“We developed our online assessment platform alongside input from our industry partners after years of research and feedback from a global customer base,” he said.

“Perhaps the most important benefit of the platform is the ability to support secure delivery at scale with the flexibility to expand functionality and add different types of tests and questions as schools rapidly move to online assessment.”

Prodigy Learning was founded in 2000 and now has offices in Dublin, London and Sydney, as well as a New York office that was opened last year.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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