Unfortunately, administering a high volume of exams can become very costly if using a physical testing center with a hired proctor.
In the higher education arena, some college courses, especially 100-level courses, can have upwards of 1,000 students in a single class, and all those students must take exams. For online and hybrid course work, assessments are not just a means to confirm that your students have passed a class, they are a tool to monitor individual student progress over the duration of the course. Being able to assess student understanding more frequently allows teachers to do more than pass and fail, it allows them to intervene. In short, the ability to assess more frequently, particularly in online and hybrid environments, allows teachers to do what they do best – teach.
Additionally, professional certifications can get pricey to administer as more and more American workers are trying to become more valuable in an increasingly competitive job market. Certifications can rocket people up their career paths, so the need to provide expanded access to these opportunities is similarly in high demand.
As an institution or credentialing body, how do you ensure that you can expand your ability to test and assess while still controlling your cost?
Beyond the expense, renting a physical testing center has other limitations that run counter to the desired outcomes of more access, more frequency, and more integrity. You may only be able to book an exam hall on fixed days of the week and during certain hours of the day – usually 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This limits access, one of the primary drivers for online and hybrid students who live far away, or are trying to balance their educational advancements with a working life.
Further, what’s the point of an assessment if you cannot depend on the veracity of the information gathered? Imagine hundreds of test-takers being under the eye of one proctor. How much confidence can an instructor really place in that? Or, how much value can a certifying body genuinely attribute to their certification if such a high-stake exam is given in that manner?
A grade, degree, or certification is only as valuable as the trust others place in it.
So, what’s the solution? Online Proctoring.
For test-takers, teachers, and certifying bodies, online proctoring holds countless advantages over utilizing physical testing centers:
To the test-takers, the convenience is appealing. They can test from their homes in lieu of traveling to a testing center, so it’s accessible to virtually anyone with high speed Internet and a webcam. Access equals opportunity. Traveling to a brick-and-mortar testing center puts an additional hidden travel expense on the test-taker. This travel also comes with additional stress. Unlike a traditional, on-campus college student, the hybrid and online students have to rework their personal and professional schedules, account for traffic jams, and endure the stress others do not have to contend with. Testing online from the comfort of their own homes, at a time when the kids are out of the way, and their bosses are not challenging them can greatly reduce test stress, giving them a better way to show what they truly know.
For certification administrators and colleges/institutions that need to perform a high volume of exams, online proctoring may also be the most secure option. As mentioned, some physical testing centers appoint one proctor to hundreds of test-takers. Online proctoring will have a lower proctor-to-student ratio, and the proctors are highly trained individuals – they know exactly what to watch and listen for.
Many proctoring services offer several different tiers of service including automated proctoring, which is typically at a lower price point than fully live proctoring. ProctorU has many options that will not only keep you on budget but also remain more convenient and secure than physical testing centers. There is not a one size fits all solution, and ProctorU’s client teams can mix and match solutions to find the right fit.
ProctorU is available 24/7 and we can handle upwards of 10,000 exams in a single day.
As a final demonstration, consider this scenario. Imagine you have 1,000 students taking an exam. Chances are they won’t all be able to test on the same day at the same time. This means that the testing center won’t just be needed once per test, but may need to be rented multiple times. And what about high volume times, like mid-terms and finals? They happen at the same time every quarter or semester. Is the testing center even able to handle this capacity? Is that lack of capacity keeping you from enrolling more hybrid and online students? What is that costing your organization? While it may be hard to exactly quantify that cost, it is not hard to assume it is far greater than the cost of an improved, online proctoring solution that can offer:
- Better outcomes
- More access
- Higher volumes
- Lower total costs
All of this is available through a customized online proctoring program. Let’s collaborate and help you elevate and expand your online potential.