the e-Assessment Association

Unrest in Oxford … or the impact of new technology in exams!

Unrest in Oxford … or the impact of new technology in exams!

By Association Secretary, Graham Hudson. First published on LinkedIn, May 25 2020

The article in today’s Times highlights the changing nature of examinations and its impact on individuals. Oxford University students express concern about the sense of ‘intrusion’ that remote proctoring has on their personal environment. Quite understandable – especially if they are not clear about the reason for the scrutiny.

The University is in a tricky place. It wants to run examinations in which students and users of their degrees can have confidence. Ensuring malpractice is one vital element to achieve this. Of course, this has been the case with examinations forever – but not perhaps in this form.

I remember working with examination bodies in Nigeria that had a numbered list of possible ‘malpractice types’. It ran to two pages of A4! Impersonation and bringing illicit materials into the examination room were common place. (Nigeria is not the only place, of course where this happens.) There’s nothing new here. Human nature is what it is. The only different with Oxford here, is the technology.

It may be that the University, under pressure with current circumstances, has not had the time to explain why things are done this way with online assessments. Again, a feature of rapid change. Perhaps, on reflection and after the stress of the examinations has passed, the students will appreciate the importance of the checks. They will want to be assured that their hard work and effort has not been undermined by others who may be less scrupulous.

The trend is, however, to run examinations more in this fashion. The uptake across Europe in the past few weeks has been considerable – as Daniel Haven at ProctorExam told me on the phone recently. As a feature of examinations delivery, it’s going to get bigger and not smaller for sure!

However, for any organisation considering going down that path, think about managing the change carefully. Choose the supplier that understands your particular wants well – that has taken the time to work with you to understand the real needs that you have. Most importantly, has the right cultural fit to develop a collaborative and long-term relationship.

Send me a message if you’d like to know more about how to make such change – and do it well! I’ll send you my ‘procurement map’ for free!

You can find the article here:

You can contact Graham via LinkedIn at:

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