Getting started with online assessments for your hybrid learning model

Why to make the transition to hybrid exam taking?

Many educational institutions have been successfully incorporating distance learning and new technologies into their curricula for more than a decade. In 2018, more than one-third of college and university students took at least one online course, citing a gradual shift away from the traditional classroom.

During times of crisis or uncertainty, such as the recent global pandemic, hybrid and blended learning models become necessary for educational institutions and course providers to maintain enrolment and allow participants to continue learning safely.

That is when many testing organizations turned to online proctoring to assist their exam taking procedures. Although the abrupt shift in the way exams was conducted brought about a number of concerns to both test admins and test takers, there are considerable benefits proving the efficiency of this method, as well as the equity it brings in the educational opportunities globally.

Hybrid exams

Traditional exams

• Reduction of operating expenses

• Flexible testing solution that strengthens your market position


• Hybrid gives freedom of choice, making time and place more irrelevant

• Secure testing


•  Flexible capacity and a faster scale-up


•  Greater geographical reach


•  Streamlined test admin process

•  Program differentiation for test takers with different learning styles


•  Frequent feedback with many small assessments

•  More responsibility for learning
• Brick and mortar expenses

• Conventional testing option that doesn’t correlate with generation Z needs

• Less equity in terms of where and who the exam is available to

• Each candidate is not monitored separately, which can increase chances of cheating

• A limited number of test takers gets accepted depending on exam hall capacity

• Only people from specific geographical and/or cultural backgrounds can take the test, reducing market reach capabilities and authenticity 

• Non-automated admin work that takes time

• A standard exam form which might discriminate against a number of test takers

• Less feedback is available due to exam scarcity and lack of communication

• Candidates are more dependent on the instructors/test admins

What are the common concerns with the move to online proctoring?

Integrity and data privacy

For the majority of test vendors, protecting the integrity of their exams has been working as a limiting factor to transition to online proctoring. People believe that exams conducted onsite are a more reliable solution. Candidate dishonesty can be avoided more easily.

According to a survey conducted by Willey in 2020, 95% of students believe that cheating happens both online and in person. In fact, the opportunity to review a session as many times as possible to detect possible misconduct has helped test admins to ensure security in their exams, without doubting the candidates’ performance. In case of online proctoring, having an experienced proctor invigilate a test taker online adds to exam validity, let alone streamlines communication between them.

Data privacy is an important topic concerning test organizers when considering online proctoring. It is commonly asked whether video data is safely stored, where it is stored and if online proctors can access the candidates’ personal information. It is essential that transparency and clearly communicated policies are being provided to candidates for reassurance.

At ProctorExam, we use a PbD (Privacy by Design) approach. Any data captured relevant to the test is taken with consent and is lawful. We always establish a Data Processor Agreement (DPA) with our clients. They have the right to delete the data whenever they want. Being awarded a Security Verified certificate, similar to ISO 27001, we are even more confident that we are able to respond swiftly to any threat or incident, now and in the future.

AI

To AI or not to AI? A recent debate in the online proctoring industry has been whether to use AI as a stand-alone option in the assessment procedure. Removing the human factor from online assessment proves ineffective, as it increases false positives for cheating and jeopardizes exam validity.

At ProctorExam we offer AI as an additional tool in the reviewing process. It helps organizers to save time, resources and money. Nevertheless, the ultimate decision of assessing a test taker is always to be made by humans.

What is the process behind starting your first online exams 

As soon as you come to an agreement with ProctorExam, the implementation process will begin straight away, which, depending on the integration mode of your preference, can take from one day to one month.

With ProctorExam, you will be able to begin your demo or real exams as soon as possible. Apart from the implementation process, our team will continue to be present and consult you on how to effectively communicate test instructions to the candidates. Proper communication between a test organizer and test takers proves to be halfway through a successful implementation.

At this stage, you are asked to establish the rules, guidelines  and accommodations for specific candidates of your exam. You are also free to choose among other proctoring features that, depending on your needs, can boost time- and cost-efficiency, accuracy and security. At ProctorExam, you have the option to choose among the following features:

• Webcam and Mobile Camera dual vision
• Record & Review (either by your institution or by ProctorExam)
• Live proctored exams (either by your institution or by ProctorExam)
• Multilanguage exam settings
• Full Integration with testing platforms
• Session reporting and analytics
• 24/7 chat support for all test takers  (either by your institution or by ProctorExam)

Preserving integrity and reputation with hybrid exam taking

Hybrid learning is a manner of combining traditional classroom experiences, experiential learning objectives and digital course delivery that emphasizes using the best option for each learning objective.

New technologies such as online proctoring or AI are making it easier and more efficient than ever for organizations to provide multimodal and convenient learning opportunities from afar. For employees, hybrid learning is a chance to stay up-to-date on professional developments without having to devote large amounts of personal time and money to travel or find a suitable course nearby.

With security measures and best practice in place, hybrid learning and hybrid exam taking are about to win over the majority of the testing organization who wishes to stay current and relevant in the education and training industry. It is not a matter of reputation anymore, but a matter of craftsmanship.