Technology in Education: University scales applications through online exams
The University of Petroleum & Energy Studies is a private research university in Uttarakhand, India, known for its education and research in the fields of energy & power. It offers a wide spectrum of globally competitive undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate programs, in business, power, oil and gas, aviation, aerospace and other economic growth sectors.
The Challenges: Finding a way to minimize logistical efforts in order to scale applications
Every year, UPES invites applications for its academic courses on offer. Each of these programs is preceded by a lengthy and rigorous entrance process and includes a written test. For UPES administration, this meant extensive logistical design, piloted months in advance for conducting the pen-and-paper structured exams.
This conventional process warranted a strong opportunity for UPES to simplify the entrance and expand access to candidates restricted by geographical, time or other limitations.
When UPES and METTL discovered the opportunity to partner together and conduct the exams online, the challenges that seemed apparent were:
-- Robust technological support to manage the high-level of concurrency
-- Candidates adapting to the new online process
-- Enforcing the highest standard of security to ensure all attempts to cheat were detected and prevented
Solutions:Remote online proctoring
Mettl's proposal to UPES was mainly built upon the idea that if applications to the university could be processed without the logistical challenges of setting up physical test locations, it would expedite the overall admissions procedure, and allow for additional applications to be administered and processed with minimum resources.
For a test run, Mettl set up the online exam for UPES doctorate application, Research Aptitude Test (RAT). Candidates could register, schedule the test, and appear for the exam, all without visiting a physical test facility. Between December and April, candidates from all over India, and even in the US, some of who would have otherwise found it difficult to register earlier, took the RAT online.
Encouraged by the success, UPES extended the application of the platform to its more widely conducted graduate entrance test UPESMET for admission to 10 MBA programs in the specialized sectors of Oil & Gas, Power, Energy, Infrastructure, Aviation, Port & Shipping, International Business etc.
How it would work:
Candidates interested in applying to the MBA programs at UPES were directed to register for UPESMET online or at given various UPES locations.
Each candidate was given a choice of nine slots over 3 days to choose from to schedule the test.
Students were given a demo test which auto-checked their system requirements (internet speed, browser version, webcam etc) and gave them a feeler of the actual test.
On the day of the test, the candidate simply had to log in via any regular desktop or laptop, from a location of their convenience.
Candidates were monitored during the test via a live webcam feed and static images were captured as part of a test audit log.
The Results: Minimizing processing time, scaling applications
Around 300 candidates, who had appeared for the first round of the entrance test, were registered to take the online assessment. With Mettl's technology and on-call support, UPES was able to conduct the entrance with far greater ease than before.
|Before Mettl||After Mettl|
|High costs and logistics to set-up physical test locations||Minimum costs and logistics to conduct the test online|
|Candidates in remote locations couldn't reach test centers||Wider reach to candidates can take the test from any remote location|
|Candidates had to register in advance in order to understand test center capacity and allotment||Candidates could register even a few weeks before the test since everything was online|
|Time taken to check scores, analyze reports far greater||Real-time reports with detailed analysis on scores, and percentiles|
|Expand large number of proctors at test centers to prevent cheating||Advanced proctoring captured every attempt to cheat|
Advanced Image Proctoring
Monitor every movement of candidate during the test. Provide warnings or terminate the test if any attempt to cheat detected.
Real time reports
Individual and group level reports generated in real-time with overall scores, sectional scores, percentile, time spent on each section, etc.
Reduce time to process applications
Expedite overall admissions procedure by reducing time taken between conducting the written test and subsequent rounds
Reach more candidates
Platform allows for high-level of concurrency, thus making feasible to scale applications, reach candidates in remote locations
With the success of the remote online entrance test, UPES has imprinted its name as India's first university to conduct an MBA entrance online. Mettl's robust technology and on-call support team ensured a smooth delivery of the assessment, and demonstrated to UPES the willingness and adaptability of candidates to a new technology.
UPES now plans to extend the platform usage to over 3000 assessments for the semester examinations of their distance learning courses. They are also discussing the feasibility of gradually conducting the entrance exam entirely online.
Products Used By UPES