Up, up and away day

Up, up and away day

This week we had our first joint away day with the Central Assessment Team.

The Central Assessment Team, previously know as the exams team, are responsible for the delivery of all centrally managed assessments at UCL. The team produce the examination timetable, manage and print exams papers, book the venues for the exams, train and co-ordinate appointment of invigilation staff, deal with examinations adjustments and generally oversee all exams matters. Since Covid they have  been carrying out many of these functions through the AssessmentUCL (Wiseflow) platform, though this year they will be running both in-person and online assessments.

Their work massively complements the work we do around digital assessment. It felt important to spend sometime together as a wider group. This would enable us to:

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of each team
  • Understand challenges faced by both teams
  • Understand where workloads and challenges align
  • Think about how teams can work together to share knowledge and information and support each other (flexibly)  
  • Agree ways of working to be a united front 

The majority of the day was spent on team building exercises. We started out with an exercise where we broke out in to small teams and had to imagine we were stranded on a mountain due to a plane crash and must survive until rescued​. We needed to choose 10 items that we would save from the plane (in the moments before it bursts into flames) to help the team survive. After our discussions we fed back to the group on our survival strategy.

Stranded on a mountain
Stranded on a mountain team game

Later on we spent time reflecting the personalities of the team using the Buzz animals quiz, which relates to the Myer’s Briggs Personality types. 

Sabina presents
Our facilitator, Sabina Lamstaes, explaining the number of ‘sea animals’ in our group

There was also the opportunity to talk through the work each team carries out. This was in order to understand the different pressures we experience at particular times of the year and the variety and complexity of our work loads.  You can see an outline of the current Digital Assessment Team work below.

We concluded the day by thinking about the challenges faced by each team and how they could be supported, and knowledge sharing across the teams. The next steps include: setting up a shared teams channel, more regular all-team catch up meetings at peak assessment times and more generally on joint areas of interest, and improved communications.
Central Assessment Team and Digital Assessment Team
Central Assessment Team and Digital Assessment Team