Here at Active-Class we believe that, when it comes to assessments, there are two major considerations that need to be brought forward. If assessments are to continue online, then they must either be (1) properly and thoroughly proctored (observed, to prevent cheating), or (2) adapted to formats where cheating is no longer possible. In past blogs, we have already established the difficulties of online examination, as well as the importance of assessments in education.
Proctoring is the process of invigilating an exam. This term is often used for online examinations and comes in many forms, with many different software. Online examinations require proctoring in order for them to maintain credibility, otherwise, any and all students have the opportunity to cheat. While, of course, we don’t expect that many students want to cheat, this lack of credibility manifests due to us not being able to ensure who has and hasn’t cheated.
As such, the need for proctoring (in the current format) is clear. Active-Class has built-in exam monitoring system. Using state-of-the-art technology and behavioural science, Active-Class has developed a system capable of identifying cheating behaviours more effectively than past iterations. This also comes at the luxury of requiring less manual (human) observation. For a full breakdown of how this system compares in the market, see our comparison page.
So, hopefully the importance of proctoring is clear. If universities want to persist with online assessments (and many do), then deploying proctoring software is quite simply a must.
(2) Adapting assessments
You will have noticed in the previous section that I made to sure caveat the importance of proctoring for assessments ‘in the current format’. This is because many assessments are setup to be ‘closed book’. This entails students memorising all the material they need for the exam beforehand. The alternative, however, is to have open-book format assessments. In these, cheating through access to materials is not possible as it is allowed and accounted for. While it may still be advisable to deploy proctoring software for such assessments, the types of cheating behaviours that will be possible will be far easier to catch. For instance, communicating with a peer will be far easier to spot then someone looking at their notes.
Here at Active-Class, we want to facilitate both forms of assessment. As such, our learning management system is fully integrated with our exam monitoring service. Through these platforms, you can design an assessment that fits either format, meaning that you can assess students’ knowledge through traditional means (i.e., closed-book) or through nuanced open-book formats. All the while, any institute can be sure that their exams, of whichever format, are as credible as possible.
Before the pandemic, the need for such proctoring services may have been less, though was still in circulation. However, nowadays it has become apparent that online formats of learning (and assessment) are here to stay. Whether it be for budgetary reasons, convenience, or even just preference, online assessments will likely become a permanent staple of the education system. As such, it is time for everyone to recognise the issues and suitably react.
Active-Class are spearheading this charge and want institutes and students alike to feel comfortable and at ease through this adjustment period. We don’t want students to feel like they’ve constantly been assumed to be cheaters, and we don’t want institutes to feel accusatory towards their students.
So, whether you’re a student, teacher, or represent an institute, it’s time to join the Active-Class family and start trying to reclaim some normality in a whole new educational world.