Doing what research, where?
The *owner* of ETS Europe appear to be doing reasonably well in a commercial sense, but a lot of US schools don't seem to like them.
ETS failed for the following reasons (among others):
1) Inability to organise.
- Many markers were not told where and when their marking training would be until the day before. In some cases, the day after. To top it off, they were usually sent to the other side of the country instead of the local training session.
- Some markers were never told who their team leader ('line manager' to the rest of us) was.
- Many markers failed to receive proper contracts. Some markers were told "As you marked well last year...", despite this year being the first year they did it.
2) Massive logistics errors.
- ETS insisted that all papers had to be sent to marker's home address on a weekday. This resulted in almost every delivery being returned on first attempt, as most markers are teachers with jobs.
- ETS insisted that all schools send the papers to a central warehouse for re-labelling and forwarding. Previously, the papers were sent directly to the markers.
This meant that the warehouse was incredibly over-full - the delivery company eventually decided to deliver on weekends to clear the backlog.
3) Inability to create usable online data-entry system.
- Markers were required to enter the mark for every individual question, instead of the page totals. (Previously only grand totals were entered)
- Markers were not given proper login credentials until after deadlines.
- It was impossible to enter any marks for students that had not completed all the papers.
The data-entry system was also very difficult to use.
The online marking system used to 'ratify' markers was also incredibly difficult to use, allowing markers to go back and check sometimes, but not every time, and giving no indication of how much was remaining.
The helpline was rather understaffed - not surprising, given the above problems!