Online Examination Platform, Proctoring
CHRIST rolled out its yearly admissions process for the batch of 2020 at the beginning of last year. The deemed-tobe-University’s five massive campuses were preparing to host a new batch of students from over 60 countries, based on the traditional, center-based entrance exam results. However, a growing number of students also posed unique challenges, including high infrastructural and operational costs in conducting the examination. CHRIST administration realized it was accruing exorbitant sums in conducting center-based entrance exams. Hence, it explored online solutions on the market to rationalize its expenditure without compromising its global applications. Its requirements further included meeting its existing benchmarks of integrity, quality, security and accuracy to offer a superlative examination experience for all stakeholders.
However, CHRIST was not pleased with the proposed solutions, given the uniqueness of its exam requirements. Its administration was doubtful of employing online solutions for its exam as they did not offer the desired flexibility. Amid the contemplation, COVID-19 caused massive disruption, threatening to derail its academic calendar. The government-extended lockdown halted its entrance examination plans. The issue snowballed as CHRIST understood the inevitability of online migration, despite its unpleasant experience and reservations. It needed urgent intervention, considering the uncertainty of the situation amid the dreaded COVID-19. When CHRIST was exploring online solutions, it intended to automate every aspect of the examination process – exam creation, uploading the question papers for various exam types and a reliable and speedy evaluation. Additionally, it sought vendors’ assistance in operations and delivery to simplify and improve its admission process’s efficiency.
However, every online vendor with which it engaged was unable to eliminate logistical challenges and administrative hurdles. CHRIST intended to leverage an online solution to expand its capacity to host exam-takers and offer the exam from any location. However, its erstwhile online vendor’s inability to scale up during the examination process had stranded multiple students. Thus, the administration doubted whether it could find a reliable and scalable platform robust enough to match its scale, of hosting more than 43000 applicants, simultaneously offering credible, secure and swift assessments, with no errors or drawbacks.
Before we delve into how CHRIST overcame the headwinds with an optimal solution, here is a list of its unique and difficult-to-address requirements for various online vendors.
Let’s explore them in detail-
When CHRIST was exploring online solutions, it intended to automate every aspect of the examination process – exam creation, uploading the question papers for various exam types and a reliable and speedy evaluation. Additionally, it sought vendors’ assistance in operations and delivery to simplify and improve its admission process’s efficiency. However, every online vendor with which it engaged was unable to eliminate logistical challenges and administrative hurdles.
CHRIST intended to leverage an online solution to expand its capacity to host exam-takers and offer the exam from any location. However, its erstwhile online vendor’s inability to scale up during the examination process had stranded multiple students. Thus, the administration doubted whether it could find a reliable and scalable platform robust enough to match its scale, of hosting more than 43000 applicants, simultaneously offering credible, secure and swift assessments, with no errors or drawbacks.
Data, academic integrity, security and confidentiality were significantly rigid and high-security prerequisites to administering the entrance exam online. Hence, its desired platform had to offer the same quality and rigor as an exam conducted at a physical examination center. However, a suitable solution offering a secure and reliable environment, with robust monitoring and anti-cheating mechanisms, was missing.
CHRIST mandated a seamless internet environment and a glitch-free exam for applicants the world over. But it couldn’t find a vendor that could iron out connectivity issues, considering the unpredictability and intermittence of internet coverage. Thus, its requirement for a platform, accessible with minimal bandwidth but maximum technical prowess, remained unaddressed.
CHRIST, like any other preeminent center for learning, had a strict focus on its entrance exams. Therefore, stringent invigilation to preserve transparency and fairness and ensuring only deserving applicants were admitted was critical. However, it did not desire external professionals for proctoring. It sought to deploy its staff and faculty members to live proctor applicants and supervise tests in real-time in a secure environment. Thus, the deemed-to-be-University administration was scouting a solution partner that could accommodate its special request and train over 600 faculty, staff and admin members on using the proctoring software to ensure a smooth remote proctored drive.
The administration did not want to restrict applicants’ flexibility in taking the examination online. It did not want to be rigid with the examination’s time and date, as at a center-based exam. Hence, it entreated an extended examination window and scouted for a preferential resource that could consider and offer such an arrangement.
Despite a disappointing experience, the CHRIST administration explored possible partnerships with vendors that could draw a clear roadmap and provide the desired solutions. Additionally, it sought a vendor committed to its people, integrity and core values, being an academic fraternity dedicated to the motto of ‘EXCELLENCE AND SERVICE.’ Amid the anxiety, hard-pressed for time, CHRIST connected with Mercer | Mettl, thanks to positive feedback from the latter’s existing client. However, the feedback was not enough.
A successful history of delivering uninterrupted exams at scale could not adequately assure CHRIST of Mercer | Mettl’s prowess in seamlessly hosting such large-scale exams. It wanted multiple verifications of the claim.
Mercer | Mettl’s team knew it had to communicate about delivering its solutions unambiguously. Therefore, it began corroborating the platform’s abilities by sharing an internal and confidential load testing report, assuring the deemed-to-be-University administration of its scale and volume proficiency of delivering four times the number for which it had tested its system. This assuaged the administration’s concerns. Mercer | Mettl’s team also created pilot tests for faculty and students to reinforce its assertions on assessment integrity and software reliability. It received positive feedback from everyone. Concurrently, continual consultations on foreseeable problems proffered enhanced assurance, giving the administration the confidence to seamlessly host its entrance exam. The collaboration was set in motion.
Mercer | Mettl was significantly well-versed with the administration’s concerns. Its team was equally aware of its unique requirements and various adjustments needed to ensure a smooth transition from a human and centerbased admission process to an automated online process. However, Mercer | Mettl’s team had negligible time to make the desired transition. It had to expand its course, create, train and deliver a robust solution with all the desired benefits in just four days.
Therefore, Mercer | Mettl advocated its most viable value proposition- the futuristic online proctoring and examination solution – to solve the deemed-to-be-University’s multiple challenges in conducting the online exam.
Mercer | Mettl’s EXAMIN, a proficient and end-to-end online exam management system, offered a systematic alternative to CHRIST’s center-based exams.
This comprehensive end-to-end exam management platform automated faculty’s humanly-undertaken tasks and offered a secure and seamless user experience to the test-takers attending their exams remotely. The minimal internet bandwidth requirement supported a large number of exam-takers simultaneously. A combination of auto and live proctoring further negated all instances of online cheating.
Here’s how Mercer| Mettl’s online exam management system met CHRIST’s unique and diverse requirements.
Mercer | Mettl’s team substituted as the administrator and coordinator, helping faculty automate its pre-exam planning process within four days. Here is how:
Mercer | Mettl’s team effortlessly managed the deemed-to-be-University’s need for a platform that could scale as per the load generated. Here’s how:
Mercer | Mettl’s team worked tirelessly for three days to meet the administration’s mandate of employing its faculty and staff to proctor the entrance exam. It helped train over 700 CHRIST personnel to proctor efficiently. Here’s how the transition occurred:
The examination platform’s preconfigured AI proctoring technology ensured a stricter focus on monitoring, analysis and scrutiny to maintain CHRIST’s exam integrity. It provided a wholesome remote view of applicants’ actions, activities and environment in the following ways:
The exam’s prerequisites for students included internet connection, a web-based browser and a functional laptop/ desktop with webcam and microphone. These enabled Mercer | Mettl to:
Real-time examination evaluation was crucial for the deemed-to-be-University administration to understand incoming students’ performance holistically. Hence:
Mercer | Mettl’s technical backend and customer support teams ensured 24*7 client and candidate support. The teams hand-held, trained and actively assuaged every online examination-related concern while working round the clock to keep the software up-to-date, compatible and error-free. They also mitigated candidates’ concerns throughout the assessment drive.
Successful and seamless execution of the end-to-end online entrance examination helped preserve academic continuity without disruptions, also building CHRIST’s trust in online solutions’ efficacy. It enabled the esteemed center for learning to roll out online examinations for its semester examinations, too, ensuring academic continuity for its existing batches.
Mercer | Mettl’s platform and proctoring solutions were an easy fit for CHRIST’s online entrance exam’s ecosystem, why the deemed-to-be-University leveraged it to eliminate bottlenecks in its semester exams.
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