Dublin-headquartered global education technology firm, Prodigy Learning (@CertMatters), is pleased to announce that it has been selected to provide its online assessment platform for use in the rollout of computer-based standardised testing in Irish primary and post-primary schools. 

Following a 9-month multi-stage international tender process, Prodigy Learning’s ‘skillify’ online assessment platform was selected over many other leading global testing and assessment solution providers by the Educational Research Centre (ERC), a statutory agency of the Department of Education. The contract is for an initial 5-year period.

The software-as-a-service solution from Prodigy Learning, built natively on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, will replace the ERC’s current computer-based standardised testing tool used in primary and post-primary schools. The new solution employed by the ERC will be known as ERC DOTS (ERC Drumcondra Online Testing System).

“One of the goals in our 2019-2021 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,” noted Dr. Jude Cosgrove, Chief Executive Officer, Educational Research Centre. "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 solution will provide an integrated online assessment system incorporating test authoring, item banking, secure test delivery with multiple assessment methods, student, school and test-item level reporting, hosting and technical support. The cloud-based assessment platform will allow the ERC the flexibility to develop their own question types and test designs. Its intuitive design will allow schools throughout Ireland to easily select and administer tests, and its highly efficient test delivery system will help to ensure a stable and smooth testing experience for students and schools. 

Commenting on the ERC tender award, Prodigy Learning Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Flood, said: “This national contract is a major win and vote of confidence in our online assessment platform at a time of growing worldwide demand for online learning and assessment tools. We are proud to be selected to provide this critical platform to Irish schools. Our team will be with the ERC every step of the way to continuously improve both the test-taking process and results based on continuous feedback.”

The platform will initially accommodate approximately 40,000 tests per year with the capacity to scale as needed. The five-year contract has an option to extend for up to three years and it is expected that more schools will continue to adopt online assessment. ERC plans to develop further tests to meet varied school needs after 2021. 

Prodigy Learning’s ‘skillify’ platform is a well-proven solution, built natively on the highly available and secure Microsoft Azure Cloud. The platform hosts many other assessment programmes worldwide including the Company’s own Coding in Minecraft programme, digital skills assessments and assessments for education, state and government clients. 

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