Newsletter 2

Last October 25 and 26, the OP4RE Project Management Group, additional staff from the participating institutions and a number of invited speakers gathered at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for their first transnational meeting. The agenda for the meeting can be found on the project’s website under PROJECT PAGES -> TRANSNATIONAL MEETINGS

The meeting was lively and a number of issues were discussed relating to the set-up, the intended outcomes, and anticipated difficulties of the project.

We learned a lot from the presentation of Lex Sietses of SURFnet of the Netherlands. Lex his presentation can be found here: and Lex has written a White Paper on Online Remote Examination in the context of higher education with an emphasis on privacy issues. Lex made very clear that privacy is of utmost importance as remote video capture and storage of individuals and installing software deals with high sensitive personal data. Deploying online remote proctoring is definitely possible from a privacy point of view, but a number of conditions must be taken into account which may limit initial deployment. His presentation and work provides the project with a head-start for our Intellectual Output regarding privacy regulations.

From discussions concerning security issues in remote examination, we learned that we need to pursue several lines of inquiry. First, the project needs to dive into describing how institutional privacy, security, information safety policies, risk assessment and risk acceptance procedures of an institution’s top-level board of directors is organized. Then can be described how online remote examination fits into these procedures and guidelines. Second, security issues can be identified at a number of levels, actors and configurations in the technical proctoring systems. Which issues are those and what is the best way to test and describe security risks in view of institutional security policies. Third, security issues and fraud can also be identified in the test-development and test-taking, proctoring and test-analysis process. Fourth, given the results of such impact assessments, a comparison needs to be made with the current paper-and-pencil examination procedures to establish a baseline with which to compare online remote proctoring. These lines of inquiry all form output of the OP4RE project.

A discussion led by Marinke Sussenbach of Delft University of Technology showed that it is difficult to assign and use Massive Open Online Courses’ (MOOC) acquired credits in accredited education systems. She presented the case of Delft University of Technology that tries to set-up a ‘trust’-system with a limited number of top-tier Universities for credit recognition. Her presentation can be found here: (unfortunately, the sound recording was bad). Her presentation gave food for thought for Intellectual Output 1 in which experiments will be set up to recognize MOOC credit in a higher education context.

The project members agreed that an initial report will be developed in which the current state-of-affairs regarding online remote examination in higher education will be described as a base for the further activity plan within the project.

The discussions and information gathered during the first transnational meeting will be used to further detail the working plan for the project. We already want to inform you that we will select a number of the associate partners to be involved in the quality assurance process of the experiments and outputs that the project will deliver.

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