Newsletter 9

Newsletter 9

Category : Dissemination

Following our third transnational meeting in Paris, we provide you with an update on the OP4RE project.

Dissemination and output

For the upcoming international Technology Enhanced Assessment conference 2018 (TEA2018), the OP4RE project had four successful submissions. The first submission is a practice poster by Gwendoline Somers and Silvester Draaijer about Coping with students’ anxiety and concerns when using online proctoring for the first time. The second submission is a practice poster by Silvester Draaijer, Arno Lodder, Jessica Hrudey and Youssef Fouad ‘A lawful basis for online proctoring’. Further a practice paper by Amanda Jefferies, Karen Barton, Andrew Pyper, Jonathan Meere, Amanda Yip, Stilianos Vidalis and Sulanie Peramunagama ‘Support online distance learners taking assessments: reviewing the options for remote invigilation’. Finally, a study by Nicolette van Halem, Chris van Klaveren and Ilja Cornelisz about barriers using online proctoring was accepted. We believe that the experiments that are conducted as part of the OP4RE project are gradually resulting in valuable outcomes for the wider scientific and practice assessment community. You can still register for the TEA2018 conference.

Daniel Haven (ProctorExam) also presented on 25 October at the TesLA conference on e-assessment market trends. And lastly, Silvester Draaijer and Sabine Bottin will present the OP4RE project at the LERU Online Blended Learning Conference of 9 November 2018.

Next to these presentations and postersessions, Daniel Haven of ProctorExam and Silvester Draaijer were interviewed by the French online newssite NewsTank. In the interview they discussed the future of online proctoring in higher education, based on the experiences gained in the OP4RE project. The experimentations show that for a number of applications, online proctoring can gain a substantial share of ‘the market’ for examination in the upcoming 5 to 10 years. Though the technology actually already works, a relatively slow uptake will take place. This is because of the many cultural and organisational changes that are needed to accept and support this form of proctoring. Also, in the context of the EU, the complex and often ambiguous GDPR regulations with regards to special categories of data and specific legal exceptions. It will take time, development of practices (as is one of the goals of the OP4RE project) and recognition of practices to move forward. The article can be found here (behind subscription wall unfortunately).

Update on the intellectual outputs

The work carried out within the framework of IO3 on bring your own device, in the recent months has consisted of several actions. First, as part of the FIED network, the Universities of Caen Normandy and Sorbonne University continued to compare their remote monitoring approaches. This has led to several publications (at Presses Universitaires du Québec, EADTU conference, TEA2018 conference) and two presentations at the the Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference, OOFHEC2018, in Aarhus 10-12 of october 2018. Secondly, a major safety certification work within the framework of the GDPR was carried out at Caen University and this work was shared with OP4RE partners during the transnational meeting in Paris. Finally, FIED is still in the process of discussing the establishment of a framework contract with the French company Managexam to provide simplified access to a remote test monitoring service for FIED members. The idea of making it easier for higher education institutions to experiment and access remote monitoring to improve the flexibility in their distance education.

The German Aviation Authorities approved using a type of online proctoring for assessments. This is interesting for the OP4RE project. It is a precedent in Germany for any government body using online proctoring (read more). In October the team of the Wilhelm Büchner University (IO 5 on privacy) conducted a second online proctoring experiment. The test simulated an exam with seven students. Two proctors monitored the exams online and in real time with the software of our project partner ProctorExam. The ProctorExam team provided technical support during the test. The online exams used were digital versions of real exams used at Wilhelm Büchner University.

The aim of the experiment was to test the use of the software in the live monitoring process under realistic conditions. In the long run, on site paper based exams and off site online exams should be made comparable, giving students the opportunity to choose between those two options.

Risbo, working on IO 1 about accreditation, is invited by the NVAO (the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Organisation) to provide a workshop on Online Proctoring at the Peer learning Event in Antwerp on Monday November 12th 2018. Present will be about 30 policy staff from the Netherlands and Flanders, the perfect audience to present our OP4RE project and ask for feedback. In the workshop the following issues are discussed with the audience:

  • Which EU and national privacy legislation applies to online exam makers and surveillance institutions?
  • Are more safety procedures required for an online exam compared to a regular exam?
  • Which accreditation frameworks are there for online learning and assessment?
  • What are the most practical procedures to promote the accreditation of online assessment?
  • For which target group does online surveillance offer a practical, valuable solution?
  • What do educational institutions need to do to increase the accessibility and ease of use of online proctoring?

Risbo has also started organizing various pilots. For example, they want to offer a mathematics test with online proctoring for international students, and they set up a pilot project regarding decentralized selection of students with the faculty of Medicine. In recent years, Erasmus MC organized the decentralized selection examinations for potential medical students from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Saba on the spot. Potential students from these islands came together at one place where the exam was taken on paper, under the supervision of employees of the Erasmus MC. In 2019, Erasmus MC and Risbo want to ensure that these examinations are taken with Online Proctoring.

Early in the 2017-18 academic year an initial discussion took place to determine the most likely scenarios for challenging the security of an online provider of proctoring between the OP4RE team member from the University of Hertfordshire Cybersecurity group and the ProctorExam Chief Technical Officer. They followed the approach known as the TAME methodology to assess cyber threats. As a result a set of scenarios was devised for the penetration testing of the ProctorExam systems which typified the kind of hacking which a student or their associate might make. The ProctorExam systems withheld the attack and none of the attempts were successful in hacking into the systems or delivering a Denial of Service.

The IO2 team have continued through to develop a set of the typical risks which online proctoring situations might be faced with during the taking of an assessment and in discussions with other teams we have proposed opportunities for mitigation. This area of our work is under wider discussion currently.


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