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Certification Exams with Remote Proctoring: Best Practices

Certification Exams with Remote Proctoring Best Practices

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a surge in the amount of certification exams with remote proctoring.  Obviously, the decision to migrate to this model is not one to be taken lightly.  This post discusses some of the issues and best practices to consider.

1. Determine the best type of remote proctoring

As I discussed at length in this article, there is a surprising wide range of remote proctoring out there, with dozens of vendors.  It can be overwhelming.  So first, determine which of the three main types of remote proctoring you need.

A. AI only

AI only proctoring means that there are no humans.  The examinee is recorded on video, and AI algorithms flag potential issues, such as if they leave their seat, then notify an administrator (usually a professor) of students with a high number of flags.  This approach is usually not relevant for certifications or other credentialing exams, it is more for low-stakes exams like a Psychology 101 Midterm at your local university.  The vendors for this approach are interested in large-scale projects, such as proctoring all midterms and finals at a university, perhaps hundreds of thousands of exams per year.

writing an exam

B. Record and Review

Record and review proctoring means that the examinee is recorded on video, but that video is watched by a real human and flagged if they think there is cheating, theft, or other issues.  This is much higher quality, and higher price, but has one major flaw that might be concerning to certification tests: if someone steals your test by taking pictures, you won’t find out until tomorrow.  But at least you know who it was and you are certain of what happened, with a video proof.

C. Live Online Proctoring

Live online proctoring (LOP), or what I call “live human proctoring” (because some AI proctoring is also “live” in real time!) means that there is a professional human proctor on the other side of the video from the examinee.  They check the examinee in, confirm their identity, scan the room, provide instructions, and actually watch them take the test.  Some providers like MonitorEDU even have the examinee make a second video stream on their phone, which is placed on a bookshelf or similar spot to see the entire room through the test.  Certainly, this approach is a very good fit with certification exams and other credentialing.  You protect the test content as well as the validity of that individual’s score.

2. Determine other technology, psychometric, and operational needs

Next, your organization should establish the other needs for your exams.  Do you require special item types?  Perhaps adaptive testing or linear on the fly testingPsychometric consulting services?  Specific operational controls such as exam time/date windows or navigation limits?  Write all these up so that you can use the list to shop for a provider.

3. Find an integrated provider for certification exams with remote proctoring

Most providers of remote proctoring are just that: remote proctoring.  They do not have a professional platform to manage item banks, schedule examinees, deliver tests, create custom score reports, and analyze psychometrics.  Some do not even integrate with such platforms, and only integrate with learning management systems like Moodle, seeing as their entire target market is only low-stakes university exams.  So if you are seeking a vendor for certification testing or other credentialing, the list of potential vendors is smaller.

Our flagship platform, FastTest, works with 6 different remote proctoring providers and can easily integrate with more.

test development cycle fasttest

4. Establish the new process

Once you have selected a vendor, work with them to establish the new process for delivering your certification exams with remote proctoring.  Remember, this goes FAR beyond exam day!

  • Candidate Handbook
  • Registration and scheduling
  • Candidate training and practice tests
  • Exam delivery (including verification, environmental rules, materials allowed, break policy, etc.)
  • Test security plan:  What do you do if someone is caught taking pictures of the exam with their phone, or the other potential events?

 

Ready to start?

ASC is one of the world leaders in this endeavor.  Contact us to get a free account in our platform and experience the examinee process, or to receive a demonstration from one of our experts.

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Nathan Thompson, PhD

CEO at Assessment Systems
Nathan Thompson, PhD, is CEO and Co-Founder of Assessment Systems Corporation (ASC). He is a psychometrician, software developer, author, and researcher, and evangelist for AI and automation. His mission is to elevate the profession of psychometrics by using software to automate psychometric work like item review, job analysis, and Angoff studies, so we can focus on more innovative work. His core goal is to improve assessment throughout the world. Nate was originally trained as a psychometrician, with an honors degree at Luther College with a triple major of Math/Psych/Latin, and then a PhD in Psychometrics at the University of Minnesota. He then worked multiple roles in the testing industry, including item writer, test development manager, essay test marker, consulting psychometrician, software developer, project manager, and business leader. He is also cofounder and Membership Director at the International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing (iacat.org). He's published 100+ papers and presentations, but his favorite remains https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol16/iss1/1/.

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