What does integrity in online assessment mean?
Assessment integrity is about obtaining correct, reliable, and dependable results in an online assessment. Only if assessment integrity has been guaranteed, reliable decisions can be taken based on the test results. Otherwise, failure to guarantee integrity in online assessments leads to obtaining misleading results.
Integrity in online assessment can be explained with three main points:
- Test Quality: The test should accurately measure what it is supposed to measure. The test-taker should be able to demonstrate his/her knowledge, skills, competencies, and traits as they are. The questions should be clear, intelligible, and easy to understand. The question type of each question must align with what the question is aiming to measure.
- Seamless process: The test-taker must not confront any kind of technical errors or other kinds of disruptions during the assessment. Sources of distractions should be eliminated so that the test-taker can complete the assessment in a single sit.
- The system should ensure that the person who has been invited to the test is really the one who is actually taking the test.
- The system should ensure that the test-taker is not cheating.
What are the consequences in case of lack of integrity?
In case of a lack of integrity, the assessment process will not produce dependable results that we can take decisions on. Inability to maintain integrity leads to consequences with high financial costs:
- Incorrect decision making: When the assessment does not produce dependable results, accurate decisions cannot be made.
- Waste of time: When the integrity of the assessment is not maintained all the invested time is wasted.
- Waste of resources: Preparing a well-crafted test and a question bank for an online assessment is demanding work. In the absence of integrity, there is a high possibility that resources’ lifetime will be shortened because the content can easily be recorded and leaked out. Test items that have been leaked out cannot be used in future assessments and hence they need to be replaced with new items.
As a result, integrity which contains security measures, end-to-end privacy, high-tech methods, etc. must be used to avoid these drawback effects. The consequences of lack of integrity are one of the most negative situations regarding the assessment process. People who use online assessment services want to have the correct results through an end-to-end process. However, giving a reliable assessment result is possible with strong integrity features.
Maintaining the integrity in online assessment
An online assessment test must implement particular features that cover all integrity measures. Maintaining the integrity in online assessment should be handled in three phases: pre-examination, during the examination, and post-examination.
Create a valid test: The questions of the test must measure what they are supposed to measure. The questions must be understandable and implement an accurate method to measure information, aptitude, and competence.
Systematic randomization & shuffling of questions: For the assessment to be fair for all participants, the test items should be unpredictable. The test administrator must be aware of the fact that the test items could be compromised and so design the test considering these undesirable situations. Randomization and shuffling of questions can make cheating much more difficult. For each test-taker, the test items should be randomly selected from a well-crafted question bank. However, the selection of questions must follow a predefined set of rules so that each test-taker faces the same number of questions in each category and difficulty level.
Restrict navigation: Test takers should not be given complete freedom of navigation among sections, pages, and questions. Maximum navigation restrictions should be applied in accordance with the test design. Restricting the navigation options will help avoid multiple cheating scenarios.
Timer: The test must have timers on multiple levels so that the test-taker cannot attempt to cheat. Creating timers at the test level, section level and page level should be fine-tuned so that the test-taker is given enough but no more than the required time.
Inform the test-taker: The test-taker must be firmly informed about all features of the online assessment platform such as system login instructions, test duration, proctoring management, navigation restrictions, timers, etc. Thus, the test-taker should be able to take the test seamlessly without having technical issues due to lack of information.
Grouping test-takers: If there are hundreds of test-takers who are supposed to take the test, the test-takers must be divided into groups. Then, each group should be assigned to a test administrator. That is to ensure that the test administrators or proctors are not given a task that is beyond their capacity.
Error-free assessment process: The test-taker should not face any error during the assessment. If an error occurs, the system should provide ways to overcome the issues.
Highly scalable assessment infrastructure: The online assessment system must contain the latest technological features to offer a reliable assessment process even under very high and concurrent demand so that thousands of people can simultaneously proceed with their tests without being affected by latency or any other scalability issues.
Authentication of test-taker: Unproctored and unmonitored online exams without examinee authentication are those most at risk of suffering from fraud due to retake violations. When no authentication of a test taker’s identity exists, it is not possible to determine if a test taker has taken a test earlier.
Real-time support: If the test-taker faces an issue, there should be a real-time communication channel so that the issue can be resolved as soon as possible to cause the least disruption possible.
Real-time monitoring: The test administrator should have a total understanding of the assessment process. The test administrator should be provided a live panel to monitor all participants and their advancement. Who has started, what page each participant is and who has completed the test should be easily observable through the panel. Live monitoring panels allow the test administrator to figure out any unfavorable situation earliest possible and act instantly. For example, to access the testing system a test administrator must be monitored in real-time through webcams and required to provide a biometric to authenticate him or her.
Instant intervention: The test administrator should be able to intervene with the assessment process instantly to handle edge cases. (Finalizing a test, pausing, resuming and rewinding a test, etc.)
Live proctoring & invigilation: The remote invigilation system should be able to record both the screen and the video of the test-taker through the computer’s web camera. The captured videos and photos should be streamed to the test proctors in real-time for live invigilation. Artificial intelligence-backed algorithms can be used to detect suspicious activities with less effort and time.
Post-proctoring: The test administrator should be able to watch all webcam videos and screen recordings even after the assessment is completed. The ability to watch multiple streams at the same time with an increased playback speed will make the process much more efficient.
Detailed logging: The assessment system should record detailed logs about all test instances so that further analysis and investigation are possible in case of suspicion.
How can Testinvite help?
As a leading provider of online assessment solutions for businesses, organizations, and individuals, our primary objective is to provide a trustable assessment system that measures fairly, accurately, and with validity one’s competencies, skills, and knowledge. Therefore, Testinvite makes use of the latest technologies to implement all the available measures to ensure the best assessment integrity possible.
From test authoring to test administration to live proctoring to real-time support; Testinvite offers hundreds of features to make your assessment process more secure. The test administration user interfaces let you have total control over the examination.
Being cloud-native, Testinvite is fully auto-scalable, hence can handle tens of thousands of participants at the same time. No matter what the number of participants is, webcam video streams and screen recordings of all participants can be proctored in real-time and are meanwhile recorded in our data center for post-proctoring. Artificial intelligence algorithms can help proctors detect suspicious activities even after the tests are complete.
Testinvite provides the best medium for test administrators to deliver any kind of assessment online. It is not fair to have a well-crafted and secure online assessment system by Testinvite. You are welcome to contact us for a great demo.