Digital Assessment: secured, bigger, better support and remote

Introduction

The Digital Assessment Plateau III project builds on the two earlier plateaus, which involved EUR starting with 336 digital assessment sites and assessment software from Remindo and Ans. This third plateau seeks to expand the provision to 720 digital assessment sites, strengthen the management of the examination organisation and connect the student information system Osiris with Remindo assessment software. Services relating to online proctoring were also established via the project during 2020, and a temporary contract was signed with supplier ProctorExam.

Two European tenders are being implemented in the follow-up to the project. The first relates to a tender for online proctoring software. A supplier for services relating to online proctoring will be selected for this. This tender is expected to be completed in March 2021. The second relates to a tender for digital assessment software. Up to two suppliers will be selected for this to support the primary digital assessments and digital assessments with additional answer types (for example mathematics tests). This tender is expected to be completed in May 2021. Both tenders are being implemented in close cooperation with the management organisation (E&S and IT) and the faculties.

Project goal

The aim of the project is to support digital assessment on a larger scale with an improved management organisation and via secure software that is aligned with EUR’s needs.

In March 2021, the online proctoring contract was awarded to the current supplier ProctorExam. This ensures the continuation of the services related to online proctoring. 

Introduction

The demand for online proctoring emerged in March 2020 with the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, examinations had to be postponed because students were not allowed to come to the campus. A CLI project team was created to explore if, how and when online proctoring could be introduced.

A three-pronged approach: different assessment formats, doubling of assessment capacity and online proctoring
It quickly became clear that it would not be possible for testing to take place on campus until at least 1 June 2020. In order to remove uncertainty among students, prevent study delays and minimise drop-out rates, the faculties worked with the CLI to find options for facilitating testing during the COVID-19 period. A three-pronged approach was chosen and it was decided to:

  1. Offer alternative assessment formats where possible. Faculties would receive support with this aspect in the form of educational advice;
  2. Accelerate doubling the capacity of the digital assessment facility in examination hall M to allow for holding more digital assessments on campus; 
  3. Facilitate EUR-wide online proctoring to make remote assessments possible while taking privacy aspects into consideration.

Preparations for online proctoring
In April 2020, a contract was entered into with ProctorExam in order to be able to facilitate online proctoring. It was possible to quickly conclude this contract because EUR had already been working with ProctorExam on a small scale before the COVID-19 crisis.

A support plan was prepared together with the faculties and services to make sure the provision of services related to online proctoring went smoothly. Instructional and communications materials were subsequently prepared, along with the organisation of live learning sessions to quickly make sure the departments for exam administration were prepared. The first examinations with online proctoring were held in mid-April, and this initial phase involved examinations with a maximum of 150 students.

Scaling up online proctoring
At the request of the faculties, in May/June 2020, the service was scaled up to also be able to facilitate large-scale examinations during the ongoing lockdown. All assessments (including the additional resits) were able to take place in the summer period and approximately 60% of all assessments took place with online proctoring. In the period from September to December 2020, alternative formats were used for assessments. The assessments were held both on campus and remotely using online proctoring.

Continuation of the online proctoring service
In addition to the scale-up, and after entering into a contract with Proctor Exam, steps were also taken to make arrangements for the continuation of online proctoring services. In order to continue providing this service, EUR is legally bound to hold a European tendering procedure. The European tendering procedure would additionally be used by the faculties and services as an opportunity to make the right choice for an online proctoring product and supplier.

In March 2021, the online proctoring contract was awarded to the current supplier Proctor Exam. This ensures the continuation of the services related to online proctoring. Having concluded the European tender procedure, the project team transfers all current matters related to online proctoring to the existing E&S and ICT management organisation.

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