Remote Proctoring: The Future of Online Testing, with ACT

By 8 July 2020February 3rd, 2021Case Study, Online Proctoring
Case Study - Remote Proctoring: The Future of Online Testing

Remote Proctoring is a convenient, reliable and scalable solution for delivering your certification program to candidates, wherever they are. With widespread access to reliable high-speed internet and the test taker’s own phone and web cameras, remote proctoring could be the perfect way to deliver tests to a candidate in the comfort of their own home or workplace.

In this case study, you’ll get an insight into how early adopters of remote proctoring, the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), uses this technology, including:

  • Why they chose remote proctoring over physical test center delivery
  • Key features of the process
  • Live vs. record and review proctoring
  • Tips for getting started

About the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT)

Organization type: Professional membership body for treasurers, with Royal Charter

Number of countries reached: 91

Number of students per year: 1,700 (3,500 exam sittings)

Number of examinations: 20

Busiest times: April and October

Chosen delivery settings:

Test Type: ☑ Session-based testing | ☐ On demand

Exam duration: 90 – 240 minutes

Breaks permitted: Yes, for exams with 4-hour duration

Test content: Multiple choice and Essay

Proctoring type: ☑ Live | ☑ Record & Review

Camera angles: 3

Support: ☑ Live | ☐ Automated

What is Remote Proctoring?

Demonstration of the proctor view for remote proctoring.

Remote Proctoring is the monitoring of a candidate taking a test using their device’s webcam, smartphone and microphones over the internet whilst they conduct their examination. As well as the person watching the live feed, or playing back a recorded exam session, AI technology can be used to support the candidate and flag potential instances of malpractice.

The workflow for remote proctoring with Surpass follows industry best practice. The following example illustrates one of the many approaches that can be taken using remote proctoring with Surpass.

Why did the ACT Choose Remote Proctoring?

The ACT began using remote proctoring in 2016, moving to the Surpass Remote Proctoring Service a couple of years into that journey. Remote Proctoring can be beneficial for many reasons, but some of the key factors for the ACT in moving to remote delivery were:

Cost

As a small global organization delivering qualifications to candidates in more than 90 countries around the world, hosting such dispersed sets of learners in test centers wasn’t cost effective. By using remote proctoring, there’s no limit to candidate reach.

Convenience

Candidates can take their exam from any location, such as their home, or even while on a business trip providing greater convenience and flexibility for both them and their employer.

Security

With a dual-camera view of the candidate as well as screen capture, thorough ID and environment checks, proctors trained to detect malpractice, and full access to recordings, remotely proctored tests are as secure, if not more so, than traditional center delivery.

“Since moving our online assessment platform to Surpass, and utilizing the online proctoring 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 – ACT

Key Features of the Process

Pre-exam day

As test takers are using their own device, it’s important to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements for the smooth-running of the assessment. Approximately 2 weeks prior to the exam day, a series of system checks are sent to the individual to carry out, along with instructions for downloading the smartphone app used during the self-serve security and ID checks. Following up with test takers who have not undertaken system checks is automated, helping to proactively identify and resolve any issues ahead of time.

“The fact that this is all done in advance, provides the student with the reassurance that they are ready to go.”

Nicoleta Toma – ACT

Exam day

The test taker logs into the portal and works through a series of ID and environment checks, which includes presenting valid identification, and using the smartphone camera to capture views under the desk and around the room, before placing the camera behind them. They then begin their Surpass assessment as normal at the exam start time, with in-test assistance available should the candidate have any technical issues. This process is automated to avoid long waiting times for candidates.

Remote proctoring dual-camera example icon

“We love that [dual-camera] element of it…having that third view, because so much happens on the keyboard…the phone gives you that, it’s brilliant”

Janet Legge – ACT

Post exam

Whether being proctored live, or reviewed afterwards, detailed incident reports from trained proctors are sent to the certification body flagging up potential malpractice during the test for further review where necessary. Marking can start as soon as the assessment is submitted using the Surpass online marking tools, and results issuing continues as normal. Exam footage is kept on file for a limited time, should there be any appeals.

“This method is really a game-changing way of invigilating (proctoring); our students are located in more than 80 countries and this enables them to sit their exams wherever they are in the world. As long as they have access to wifi, a smartphone and laptop or PC with a webcam they’re good to go… It’s particularly useful to have all the recordings available to review, not only in terms of checking the student is who they say they are, but should there be any issues, we can review them to check how the student may have been impacted, something that wasn’t possible in the old days of sitting in a venue.”

Nicoleta Toma – ACT

Live or Record and Review?

The Association of Corporate Treasurers uses both the live and record and review methods or remote proctoring and find both have their benefits in different scenarios.

The ACT chooses live proctoring for exams over 3 hours in length, and record and review for the shorter tests, but both methods provide the same level of security.

Live remote proctoring
Record and review remote proctoring

“It’s nice to have a choice, we find both functionalities incredibly useful… online invigilators (proctors) are highly skilled in body language, they have a high level of observation skills so it’s really reassuring to have someone there who can immediately pick up on suspicious behaviour…on the other hand, record and review is also very effective, as the videos are reviewed and reported on in detail still, allowing us to do any further investigation.”

Nicoleta Toma – ACT

With live proctoring, a trained proctor watches the candidate in real-time, with the session also recorded for audit purposes. With record and review, reviewers watch back test footage at high speed after the exam has taken place, which can be effective for spotting repetitive unusual behavior. With both methods, any suspicious activity, or anything that does not adhere to exam guidelines is flagged to the certification body using a RAG status for further review and action where required. The certification or awarding body makes the final decision over whether to follow up on suspected malpractice.

“People forget they are being recorded so their bad behaviour will come out… [malpractice] is more visible to us now than it would have been in the past, which isn’t a bad thing.”

Janet Legge – ACT

The ACT’s Top Tips for Getting Started with Remote Proctoring

The ACT successfully implemented remote proctoring in a short timeframe, and gained a lot of experience in how to effectively transition to this delivery method, and keep the process as straightforward as possible for candidates. If you’re thinking of venturing into remote proctoring, some key considerations are:

Get internal stakeholders on board

Having your team internally on board with this delivery method and ensuring they understand the benefits is key to a successful implementation.

Familiarization

Make sure your own internal team are familiar and comfortable with the technology. If the team isn’t confident, candidates won’t be either. Think about the impact moving to remote proctoring will have on your team and what new skill sets you may need.

Awareness

When delivering globally, be aware of where you’re delivering your exams, and the different challenges that might be presented in different countries.

Communication

Being transparent with candidates about what’s required and keeping that message consistent across multiple channels is key. Whether that’s via step-by-step instructions in an email, bite-size instructions on social media, or video how to guides, always give the same message. This can help change the mindset of those learners who may not be as confident with technology.

Further Resources and Information

If you’d like to learn more about the Surpass Remote Proctoring Service, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team by contacting sales@surpass.com.

More insight from Janet Legge and Nicoleta Toma on their implementation of remote proctoring can be found in this webinar and podcast.

About the Association of Corporate Treasurers

The only professional treasury body with a Royal Charter, the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) sets the global benchmark for treasury excellence, leading the profession through their internationally recognized qualification.

Founded in 1979 by a small group of practitioners who recognized the need for a professional association due to the growing significance of treasury management, it had gained 378 members by later that same year. This success continued, and today, The ACT has over 4500 members and 1700 students in over 90 countries, and in the UK in 86% of the FTSE 100 companies.

With a mission to ‘embed the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in the treasury world, and act as its leading advocate’, The ACT enables and supports treasury professionals throughout their careers.

www.treasurers.org

About BTL Surpass Inc.

BTL Surpass Inc., is a global provider of assessment services and technology. The assessment platform, Surpass, is a turnkey solution powering the development and delivery of tests for credentialing and licensure organizations, K-12 institutions, HE, state government agencies and national testing programs across the world. Securely delivering over 25 million tests in test centers or through secure online proctoring, the Surpass item bank and test driver is one of the most trusted and advanced technologies available in the market.

Organizations join the unique and ever growing #SurpassCommunity to collaboratively share expertise and knowledge. With BTL Surpass as your test development, technology and proctoring partner, you’ll have the confidence and control you need over your assessment program.

www.surpass.com