Martin McDonald has over 25 years’ experience in international education, corporate language training and EdTech, working in leadership roles across Europe, Japan and Australia. He is currently Director of Business Development for Examity, helping to drive adoption of secure online assessment around the world.
After eighteen months of change and uncertainty, two things have become clear. Firstly, the pandemic accelerated many trends that had already begun. Secondly, some of the innovations that we have seen over the past year and a half may become permanent.
Remote testing fits into both of these categories. Even before the global health crisis, the idea of online assessment was gaining traction. Education and assessment providers had begun to recognise its many benefits for test-takers: taking tests online can save time, increase flexibility, and create a more streamlined assessment experience. Unlike Clarity, which has long been a pioneer in online test delivery, many organisations that preferred their brick-and-mortar testing centres were slow to embrace change — until the pandemic sped up the adoption of remote models. Now, having seen the advantages that remote assessment provides, it’s unlikely that things will ever go back to the way they were. For test-takers and providers alike, that’s a good thing.
Of course, the arrival of remote testing also creates new challenges — test security and integrity first among them. It seems straightforward to scan for violations of academic integrity in a face-to-face setting, but how, in a remote testing environment, can providers maintain the same level of quality assurance?
Enter online proctoring. Technological advances over the past decade have enabled the creation of secure, seamless proctoring solutions that protect the integrity of test content while also providing a smooth and flexible experience for test-takers. Done right, online proctoring can help remote assessment programmes fulfil their mission of expanding access and improving flexibility, while also eliminating the costs associated with physical testing spaces. But how can providers select the right proctoring provider for them?
Here are five key considerations for any organisation choosing an online proctoring provider.
Selecting the right proctoring partner
The key to a successful proctoring partnership is to find a partner who will support you throughout your journey. Is the integration and onboarding experience relatively easy and fast? Will you have a dedicated account manager to support you within your time zone? How supportive and hands-on is the proctoring team when helping your test-takers in real-time? Given that test-taking can be a stressful experience, it’s critical to find a partner that responds to your unique needs, and to the needs of your test-takers.
The often-unsung heroes of test integrity are the proctors themselves. Ask providers about their proctoring teams and get to know them. We recommend proctors with a university degree, who are good communicators and understand the pressures of testing. It’s also important to find proctoring providers who can guarantee a low proctor-to-test-taker ratio to ensure that students are receiving the kind of personalised support that can help them throughout the testing experience.
In order to realise online assessment’s promise of flexibility, you need a provider who can offer support 24/7/365. One of the most transformative parts of online proctoring is that it allows test-takers to engage wherever, whenever — but that’s only possible if they have the support to do so. Make sure your proctoring partner is able to accommodate test-takers’ schedules, no matter where they are in the world and when they take their test.
Online assessment often requires a combination of technology platforms, from learning management systems to test drivers. Before selecting an online proctoring provider, be sure to check if they can easily integrate with your test driver or LMS. What will that integration look like, and how can the experience for test-takers be as seamless as possible?
It’s also important to ensure that your proctoring provider can offer flexibility across a number of dimensions — from price to modality. Look for proctors with a pay-per-test model that enables you to scale as needed, as well as those that offer multiple modalities, such as live, automated, and record-and-review, to meet test-takers’ unique needs.
To learn more about how online proctoring can improve your test integrity, secure your intellectual property, reduce your admin load and enhance your test-takers’ experience, please visit examity.com or contact our team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.