Remote test administration can be difficult for various reasons. Technical problems, limited access to devices, Internet outages, and academic dishonesty are just a few of the problems that schools have to deal with when assessing students remotely. It is imperative to know what tools and resources are available to assist with remote test administration to address these issues.
The purpose of any assessment is to drive intervention plans, gather relevant information, provide meaningful feedback, enable student self-reflection, and capitalize on students’ strengths. Typically, a school year allows teachers to use assessments following a universal screener followed by units of study, diagnostic assessments, formative assessments, and a summative assessment. That process has to look a bit different now.
Test pollution is one problem that cannot be overlooked. In brief, test preparation becomes more complex. Now schools have to plan for multiple tests, so the answers are not the same. Since students are completing the tests in a hybrid environment that may be at home, they need to have unique test questions. Meanwhile, some situation factors can influence the test; will students have a quiet workspace? Will there be various distractions around them when they are trying to test? Furthermore, external factors, including Opportunity for Learning based on socioeconomic status and available resources can adversely impact test scores. Having a way for school counselors to work with students via a remote setting may help identify some of these pollution variables, thereby allowing for modifications.
In addition to test pollution, remote learning requires connectivity. When there are critical technology issues, the tests cannot be administered. The test must be delivered to students in a password-protected environment to maintain test security. For all students to be able to access the test electronically, bandwidth must be available. Students also must have network reliability. Without network connectivity, students may access the test and then be unable to complete it. This can lead to test pollution since they may share test questions. Furthermore, student access to devices, as well as the management and support of those devices is needed. What will happen if students are at home and have a technical issue? A plan to deal with these critical technology issues is vital for remote test administration.
As previously noted, the issue of academic honesty is also key with remote test administration. Cheating is easier than ever before. Students will not be able to complete as many performance-based tasks, which means the types of assessment questions they are answering are easier to share answers on. Students will also likely need more time to complete assessments. If students are able to access the tests, the concerns are ongoing.
To maintain the integrity of remotely administered tests, there are several key steps that should be taken:
- Restrict screen switching.
- Share answers privately.
- Randomize question order.
- Restrict the test to being completed in a specified time.
- Maintain strict scoring guidelines.
- Utilize video conferencing monitoring while administering the test.
- Remind students about academic honesty.
For schools needing a reliable way to administer tests remotely, there are several tools and resources available. These include:
- ProPros Quiz Maker. This tool is a simple way to create online quizzes. The customizable quiz creator allows students to be assessed anytime/anywhere. There are various reports available and over 100 unique settings and configurations.
- ExamMonitor. The AI-drive remote proctoring solution allows exam takers to observe with video and audio feeds through an entire exam. It eliminates the need for in-person proctoring and increases test reliability.
- Lumos Learning: This program provides standardized assessments with a variety of formative and summative features. There is a meticulous format that simulates state assessment practice. There is a way to personalize assessments making the exam match unique curriculum needs. With password protected access and built in features to reduce test pollution, the program works well in a remote testing environment.
- Respondus: This company has a unique LockDown Browser that reduces cheating. With a unique online testing application, exams can be created with the exam authoring tool. There is also access to third-party learning and assessment platforms.
- NWEA: This company has an ongoing commitment to gathering accurate and reliable data, even with remote test administration. With a curated collection of resources, districts are able to utilize best practices to successfully administer exams.
- Disamina: This safe and secure platform provides protection for test administration. With live image capturing, live video recording, block copy-paste, block navigation, and remote proctoring, some of the test pollution associated with remote test administration is depleted.
- Examus: This online proctoring tool uses powerful AI technology to analyze user behaviors. Face and emotion recognition is used which eliminates the need for video monitoring.
- ProctorU: This company offers four unique ways to administer tests remotely. Depending on the stakes involved in the assessment, educators can choose the version that best correlates. Record is a software-only solution to a proctored exam session. Record+ is a software-only identity verification and exam session recording solution paired together. Review+ is a live-proctored launch with an end-to-end recording that utilizes AI and professional review/incident reporting. Live+ blends AI with human supervision which provides continuous monitoring for those high stakes testing situations.
Each of the previously discussed tools provides computer-based assessments. These assessments provide for quick assessment, pre-made assessments, safety and privacy, and accessibility. These features are necessary for remote test administration.