Let your candidates sit their exams safely and securely with online proctoring

Person performing exam at home using remote proctoring

With the recent global coronavirus pandemic declared, and advice that’s changing by the day to help minimize the spread of the virus, you’re probably thinking about the impact that this will have on the delivery of planned test sessions.

As an organization, you’ll be considering your next steps to ensure that candidates can still sit their exam securely and comfortably, even if they were to have to isolate, or test centers were to close, so that you can avoid having to cancel examinations altogether where candidates are fit and well.

To avoid disruption to your exam timetable, online proctoring could be the solution to delivering exams securely to candidates working remotely from home.

‘Since moving our online assessment platform to Surpass, and utilising the online invigilation service…we are confident in the security and quality of our assessments and the experience for students has improved significantly. Working only with BTL for a single end-to-end solution is extremely beneficial…in that we have only one supplier to work with; the students are supported throughout the process by a team that understands the full solution, and it’s cost effective.’

Janet Legge, The Association of Corporate Treasurers

What is online proctoring?

Online proctoring is the observation of a candidate through audio and visual links over the internet whilst they take their examination. This means that candidates can sit their exam in the comfort of their own home, without compromising the security of the exam itself, or creating any opportunities for malpractice.

This can either be done live or using the ‘record and review’ method where footage is watched at high speed after the exam has taken place, with any potential malpractice flagged up to the university, awarding or certification body to action.

Thorough system, ID and environment checks take place, so you have the confidence that not only will the candidate be able to sit their exam without issue, but that security is always maintained.

Online proctoring is a secure and convenient way of testing, when test center delivery is not a suitable option.

What is BTL able to offer with Surpass?

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, and to help universities and awarding bodies continue with their planned assessments over the coming months, BTL is offering access to our Surpass online proctoring service. Just some of the features you’ll benefit from by using this service are:

  • Dual-camera monitoring utilizing smartphone technology to monitor the candidate from multiple angles
  • Screen capture, so you can see everything the candidate is doing during the test
  • Pre-exam day system checks sent to the candidate to ensure everything works as expected and to resolve any issues prior to the day
  • Easy to navigate ID and environment checks using the computer’s webcam and smartphone camera
  • Recorded exam session with the ability to re-play footage at high speed to better detect potential malpractice
  • In-exam technical support

‘[Online Invigilation] is a game-changing way of invigilating….and in most recent times, with the spread of COVID-19 awarding bodies are facing difficult decisions to postpone exam sessions, cancel venue bookings, and because of this invigilation method that we’re using we’re in a pretty fortunate position where it’s pretty much business as usual, for those who are well, and able to sit their exam, they can.’

Nicoleta Toma, Association of Corporate Treasurers

What’s the candidate experience like?

We ensure that our solution provides the best possible examination experience for candidates, and that even if they are used to a traditional test center, candidates still feel comfortable, supported, and able to complete their exam with ease.

Communication is key to candidates knowing what to expect on exam day. They are sent a number of system checks to carry out prior to the day, which establish that the correct software has been installed, and the application has access to the device’s webcam. These checks ensure any problems are resolved before the exam. On the exam day itself, candidates follow a series of simple instructions to present their identification and perform environment checks using their smartphone. Once completed, they place the phone behind them to monitor the room and begin their assessment as normal.

‘In my experience, candidates seem to soon forget that they are being recorded. The benefits of being able to take their test in a convenient location, reducing stress levels, seem to far outweigh any concern about the cameras.’

Ceri Harper, Head of Test Delivery Services, BTL

We asked an expert whether remotely invigilated assessments could fill the void if Test Centers close, here’s the response:

“Absolutely. Create a small silver lining in the current situation and use this time to explore alternative methods of exam administration. If you or other leaders in your organization have been hesitant about using remote proctoring in the past, this is the time to try it. My own experience with clients who administer exams via online proctoring vs in-person proctoring have led to my conclusion that remote proctoring is actually less susceptible to cheating efforts, due to impressive security measures that are in place. I have advised our current test-center-based clients to switch to online proctoring for the time being, and we will be analyzing both test-based statistics as well as candidate feedback at the end of this period to make comparisons with regard to efficiency, flexibility, and most of all, security. You may find that, after this period of online-proctoring, you make the switch permanently because it is simply more efficient, flexible, cost-saving, and secure.”

Amanda Dainis, CEO and Lead Psychometrician, Dainis and Company, Inc.

How to get started with online proctoring

Adopting a new delivery method quickly in reaction to the current situation can be a daunting thought, but we’re here to help and get you up and running as quickly as possible.

We’ve put together a list of key questions and answers on our website, to help ease any concerns you might have, including:

  • How quickly can we set up online proctoring?
  • What is record and review?
  • What happens if your proctors suspect malpractice?

There’s also a simple contact form on the website for you to request further information or speak to one of the team.