In 2019, researchers predicted that the online test assessment and proctoring industry would grow about 16% between 2020 and 2027. But as you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic expedited that growth and forced educators worldwide to adapt to remote learning rapidly.
One of the critical concerns with successful remote learning was figuring out how to administer tests successfully and securely without creating more hassle for the end-users. Cambridge Linguaskill was one of the schools that had to quickly address the needs of their candidates that assuaged a common pain point: exam integrity.
Rajeev Menon, Talview’s Strategic Business Adviser, (virtually) sat down with Peter Deane, Delivery Lead of Cambridge University Press & Assessment; Sophie Tattersall, Global Channel Manager of Cambridge Assessment; and Namita Pandey, Global Product Manager, HE and Adult, of Cambridge University Press & Assessment.
In this webinar, the group discussed the dos and don’ts of implementing an online proctoring solution. We summarized the key points from the webinar below. You can watch the online proctoring webinar with Cambridge Linguaskill on-demand and skip to these parts of the presentation:
- 3:15 – Overview of Talview’s Online Proctoring System & Introductions
- 8:40 – Situation Overview: Certification with Cambridge Linguaskill
- 14:00 – Solution: Unified Proctoring Solution
- 22:57 – Results and Lessons Learned
- 34:00 – Summary
- 38:35 – Q&A
“Our agents are also in the same process of redefining their normal. Will it be brick and mortar; will it be hybrid? So all of us are going on this transformation journey together with our agents. And the fact that we have this solution [with Talview] helps them to explore those business options.” - Namita Pandey, Global Product Manager, HE and Adult, of Cambridge University Press & Assessment
Situation Overview: Certification with Cambridge Linguaskill
Sophie kicked off the discussion by explaining Cambridge’s situation at the onset of the pandemic. They set six goals for improving their virtual test assessment system to make it more accessible to users:
- Increase the global reach of the product
- Provide an enabler for existing customers that allows them to sell during the pandemic
- Ensure secure product delivery to candidate’s location
- Offer a cost-effective solution for remote proctoring
- Employ a scalable and flexible solution quickly
- Guarantee a seamless setup that easily integrates with customers’ IT policies
Solution: Unified Proctoring Solution
Namita chimed in to talk about applying these goals to a unified proctoring experience. She highlighted the fact that switching to online assessments was already a massive disruption for the students taking tests, so it was essential to their team that it would reduce any friction for the end-users.
Cambridge ended up turning to Talview because it offered a streamlined, secure, and scalable way for candidates to complete assessments. They also took advantage of Talview’s feedback features to gain insights from the students about their experience with the online assessment process.
Navita explained her team’s decision to “buy” rather than “build,” claiming that although they would have been willing to build their own platform, they realized that they needed to get an effective solution to market quickly.
Results and Lessons Learned – GDPR and Security
Cambridge Linguaskill hosts over 200 agents and thousands of candidates, and the solution needed to work for every user. And each user, as well as Cambridge’s team, had varying degrees of experience with remote proctoring.
Peter stated that one of the first roadblocks Cambridge faced was that many people were happy using systems like Zoom to administer assessments, but that left holes in security. So, Cambridge’s solution needed to be as easy to adopt as Zoom but significantly more secure.
Peter admits that his team is still learning and that it’s essential for their team to listen to feedback and learn as they go. The initial solution worked to get the tests out quickly, but right after the platform launched, they ran into the obstacle of candidates wanting to re-sit the examination. Cambridge’s team took this feedback and collaborated with Talview to develop a solution within a few days.
Additionally, Peter spoke to the incredible level of support Cambridge received from Talview. Customer support pipelines can quickly become muddied or messy, and Cambridge wanted to stick to its goal of providing an easy assessment solution that included direct user support. Talview and Cambridge teamed up to create a system that would help agents and candidates get the help they needed quickly and efficiently so they didn’t eat into their testing time.
“It is all about that human kind of interaction and communication that is the most important thing when you implement something like this,” Peter explains.
Peter then dives into the security component of the solution and their team’s desire to find a GDPR-compliant service that would take care of sensitive data. Talview’s system helped take pressure off Cambridge’s agents because it eliminated a lot of the security risks. By diligently ensuring security, more people felt confident about using remote proctoring.
Summary – Three Factors for a Successful Remote Proctoring Solution
Sophie lists three crucial takeaways from her team’s implementation of a remote proctoring solution:
- Staff and agent training is a key success factor in ensuring successful remote proctoring implementation. Clear expectation management for our customers, both agent and institutional clients, as well as candidates, by providing them with the right guidance and support.
- When considering a remote proctoring solution, it is vital to understand the balance between security, cost, and usability for the product, our customers, and the candidates.
- Our close ongoing relationship with Talview helps us overcome any challenges and issues, including unique custom requests, and grow together as we look to align our roadmaps where it helps us both to reach our goals.
"70% of candidate feedback after the exam was a 4- or 5-star rating." - Peter Deane, Delivery Lead of Cambridge University Press & Assessment
Sophie cited multiple positive responses from candidates who wanted to keep moving forward despite the pandemic. And while there will always be negative responses, the platform still received overwhelmingly positive responses because it helped students continue working toward their goals.
Peter added that 70% of candidate feedback after the exam was a 4- or 5-star rating. He explained that many of the negative reviews came from unrealistic expectations (such as students who believed they’d be able to take the test with notes on their desk or get up and grab a coffee in the middle of their exam).
Cambridge sees their remote proctoring partnership with Talview as an opportunity to expand their operation to an international scale.
“Our agents are also in the same process of redefining their normal. Will it be brick and mortar; will it be hybrid?” Namita expresses. “So all of us are going on this transformation journey together with our agents. And the fact that we have this solution [with Talview] helps them to explore those business options.”