Bradesco Foundation in Brazil improves quality of vocational assessments for 100,000 learners
Bradesco Foundation is a non-profit institution founded in 1956 by Mr. Amador Aguiar to provide education and vocational training for 100,000 children, teenagers and adults in underserved communities throughout Brazil. The activities of 40 schools are complemented by digital learning centers in the vicinity of each campus and by a virtual school, “Escol@ Virtual,” which offers technical distance learning and support for face-to-face learning.
Bradesco Foundation began using Questionmark in 2001 to streamline the work-flow of the evaluation process, a time consuming operation in a large institution. Along the learning curve, many Questionmark applications were explored and added to the Foundation’s regular practices, resulting in a significant improvement in the quality and efficiency of its assessments. The assessment process, by providing valuable statistical information and analysis, is helping to further the organization’s mission of promoting social inclusion and helping disadvantaged socioeconomic groups through education and training.
Before adopting Questionmark, the Foundation conducted locally produced tests on 40 campuses, with supervisors travelling all over the country to administer them. Today, participants access Questionmark surveys, quizzes and tests via the Foundation’s internet portals. In addition to helping the foundation work far more efficiently. The switch to online assessments has helped teachers develop a new attitude to the concept and practice of assessment. Teachers write all the assessments that are then formatted by the centralized Questionmark team. Once stored in the central repository, the assessments can be reutilized by teachers directly.
Students -- whether digital natives or newcomers –appreciate the ease of taking tests and the availability of instant feedback.
The flexibility of Questionmark stimulates teachers, instructors and administrators to use it for different purposes and in diversified situations. The foundation uses Questionmark not only for summative and formative evaluation within courses but also for evaluating the performance of teachers, instructors and support materials. Reaction evaluations, opinion surveys and cross-section sampling face-to-face learning groups] are also used. Staff members appreciate the variety of question types they can use within the assessments they deliver to more than 100,000 students in several categories. These include 45,000 in K-12 schools, 15,000 in adult education and 40,000 in professional education.
The Bradesco Foundation uses Questionmark together with the SumTotal learning management system. Tests are launched from within the LMS and results are sent directly back to it, providing a comprehensive record for each learner.
The Foundation appreciates not only the speed with which Questionmark processes results but also the ability to analyze them. Statistics and reporting allow the Foundation to engage in meta-assessment and “evaluate the evaluation in itself.” Staff members look at learning outcomes as proofs of concept of the educational theories and practices they have adopted. Assessment results, viewed in the context of the Foundation’s goals, targets and strategic plans, help administrators identify needed adjustments to learning programs.
Bradesco Foundation Supervisor Olímpia Valéria V. B. Teixeira values the statistical information that helps the Foundation promote conceptual changes and practices in its schools. “Questionmark can also be used as an instrument of verification to validate moments of continuous training of employees and students,” adds Teixeira. “The numbers always showed us the level of quality of the actions planned, which led us to reflect on the various adjustments that needed to be made.”