While the concept of digitalisation in the education sector isn’t new, the ongoing pandemic has put increased pressure on educational institutions to digitalise and implement new technologies. Whether or not these digital solutions merely supplement or entirely replace existing, more traditional teaching and testing practices, they should ultimately provide additional value to educators and students alike. But, if implementation isn’t done properly, these innovative solutions may get left behind. So how should they be implemented?
Higher education institutions have gradually made the transition to digital learning and teaching, but online exams, especially via online proctoring, are still in their infancy across the EU. The reasons are manifold: questions and circulating misinformation regarding data protection, compatibility with education law, insufficiently qualified online examiners, and a lack of awareness among internal university stakeholders (university management, teaching staff, and students). Still, online exams are often the only way to give students access to appropriate testing. Paired with online proctoring, educational institutions can provide this important alternative to on-site exams, giving students the flexibility to take tests when and where it is most convenient for them to do so while still maintaining the academic integrity of assessments. That’s why the implementation phase is so important.
There are three pillars to the successful implementation of online proctoring: involvement, compliance, and applicability.
- Involvement: In keeping the process transparent by providing detailed information to students and involving them in the process from the outset, institutions will be able to foster trust and understanding in the student body. Keep in mind that there will always be students who prefer other testing options and make sure to offer viable alternatives (i.e., on-site exams or postponed exams). Typically though, when these steps are taken, there is an above average acceptance rate: generally over 95% chose online proctoring over alternatives.
- Compliance: The discussion around online proctoring often begins with data protection concerns. Make sure that the system you want to implement satisfies applicable regulations and standards (e.g., the GDPR) and be sure to share detailed information about your relevant compliant processes to avoid being met with resistance.
- Applicability: Not every exam lends itself to online proctoring. Make sure you have a process in place to determine the best testing formats for any given exam. A doctorate thesis defense may not be ideal for online proctoring, whereas a test of reading comprehension could be. These decisions should be made on an institutional level to promote fairness and equity.
Written by Proctorio for OEB21. For more information about implementing online proctored exams, check out their session at OEB21, where they will be supported by one of Germany’s most renowned universities, the Technical University of Munich, which has successfully introduced Proctorio.