Online testing firm offers a mid-term testing tool to evaluate learning outcomes amid Covid lockdown

Covid-19 has disrupted every aspect of life in the last couple of months. Governments, companies, individuals and academic institutions have been forced to adopt new systems and radically different ways of working to negotiate the new normal.

A big worry for educational institutions was to keep learning systems moving — but colleges and schools rose to the challenge, adopting digital tools and adapting to online learning. However, another key issue emerging now is how to administer assessments and tests, and ascertain the learning outcomes. The challenge is to establish the integrity of the test-taker and also of the environment — in short, simulate a proctored exam.

HireMee, a company that provides a digital platform for employability enhancement for students and conducts assessments that employers can use, has been quick to respond to the needs of the educational institutions during this lockdown.

The key requirements for an exam and assessment are: scheduling a test; creating a question bank for selection and creation of exam instances, randomising selection of questions; setting time limits, and, above all, administering a proctored test. This should be easy to access for students anywhere in the country with a simple link and password on computers equipped with a webcam and internet connectivity.

The HireMee platform provides all these and also facilitates the proctoring environment through its AI-based tool.

The artificial intelligence, machine learning (AI/ML) system is trained to process and compare images of the examinee taken during the test with candidate information provided, and flag discrepancies to prevent impersonation. Face detection and recognition algorithms work in sync. The system captures any movement of the candidate eyes or ears and highlights such instances with corresponding images. Similarly, it can identify the presence of other individuals nearby and ascertain if any external help is being sought by a candidate.

The system also locks down the application on which the assessment is being taken, thus restricting the navigation of candidates away from the assessment. Tolerance for unintentional navigation out of the window can be defined and preset.

HireMee offers a cloud-based online platform, and is built specially for maintaining a high quality and quantity question bank. The system can handle multiple question types, such as multiple choice questions, subjective questions, paragraph type questions, video and audio input, typing and coding simulators. There is a three-level hierarchy in question management, along with three difficulty levels. Once the bank is created, multiple assessments can be generated simultaneously using randomisation and selection algorithms. Make your own test (MYOT) module gives the administrator complete control to create and publish as many assessments as required, with near zero effort.

The results are available real-time post the manual evaluation of subjective questions on the platform. Individuals can access results in excel, pdf and html formats. Even cluster or class-wise results can be accessed for comparative analysis.

The faculty time saved can be used for academically productive activities.

Several colleges have already tested these capabilities and are in the process of rolling out their mid-term assessments through the platform.

Till date, HireMee has completed nearly a quarter million AI-proctored attempts, with a rejection of around 5 per cent of the attempts in the last 18 months in over 3,000 colleges. These assessments were done as part of HireMee’s free student assessment project.

This solution actually improves the level of proctoring, as this is one-on-one, and even monitors eyeballs, vis-a-vis the conventional method of having one invigilator for 30-50 students.

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