Versant Pilots “Remote Proctoring” for Web Delivery of Advanced Placement Tests
Presently, the coronavirus has forced widespread school closures in both the United States, and nations around the world. School closures refer not just to the shutdown of physical buildings – including colleges and universities – but also traditional, in-person instruction, as well as taking college admission tests and advanced placement tests.
The Covid-19 outbreak has resulted in the unprecedented disruption of K-12 schooling and the delay in test results for APs, ACTs and SATs. For now, the U.S. College Board has recommended taking online Advanced Placement courses and review sessions in light of the virus pandemic and school shutdown.
Even with this setback, academic institutions can ensure their students have the right English language skills to communicate effectively. Throughout the years, the Versant English Placement Tests have become a useful tool not just in scholastic course placement and progress monitoring, but also in businesses training programs and corporate overseas project team placement.
Versant English advanced placement tests can:
- Evaluate communication skills for course placement or exit exam,
- Monitor test taker or employee progress,
- Measure instructional outcomes, and
- Benchmark student (or staff) language levels.
On average, test takers for Versant English advanced placement tests just need to finish or complete the test online in less than an hour.
The Advantage of Versant’s Advanced Placement Tests
Overall, the Versant testing system uses speech processing technology to measure speaking and listening skills, generating scores from words in a spoken response.
Through its automated features, Versant can measure pace, fluency, and pronunciation of these words in phrases and sentences, thereby handling various rhythms and pronunciations from both native and non-native English speakers.
Taking the Versant English Placement Test will be an advantage at this time of stay-at-home conditions. Versant’s advanced placement tests aim to limit student exposure to the coronavirus. The College Board has already proposed that AP tests could become take-home exams.
The College Board has also canceled the SAT schedule for May 2nd, but maintained its schedule on June 6th.
Meanwhile, ACT Inc. has postponed its April 4th exam to June 13th. Testing students on prescribed college-level curriculum across subjects (including calculus, history and English), the AP exams remain for now (depending on the progress of the virus in May) on schedule for May 4-8 and 11-15, with late testing scheduled for May 20-22.
College admissions officers have long regarded AP courses as important markers of a student’s academic ambition and readiness for college life. Therefore, students who pass the AP exam may receive college credit, depending on the campus and test score. As it cancelled in-person exams and proposed online tests, the College Board also announced that the tests will be shorter, focusing on material taught earlier in the school year.
As for colleges and academic institutions, they’ve already announced their support to this kind of solution. Colleges have in fact long accepted a shortened AP exam for college credit in case their students experience such emergencies. In fact, other language learning courses have started to offer its services free to all K-12 and college students through mid-June because of the current pandemic.
Graduate Employability and Skills Gap
In order to meet the demands of the future labor market, the workforce of tomorrow needs additional skill sets and attributes, called employability skills.
Educational institutions have a significant role to play in the employability of their graduates as future workers. Communication skills are on top, together with critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills.
Job candidates with good communication skills naturally get their desired positions easier, compared to the candidate with poorer skills. In order to be able to communicate effectively, a graduate or job-seeker needs mastery in all domains of communication skills. The ability to communicate is one of the employability attributes necessary for a graduate’s success when entering the workforce.
Communication occurs in the workplace everyday as managers give direction to workers, so it’s critical to both career success and contributing significantly to organization’s success. Of course, good communication skills contribute to productive relations (and profitable results) between a business and its customers.
Versant has announced that it is piloting Remote Proctoring, starting with English Placement Test web delivery. With the disruption in testing, screening and giving credentials at the moment, the pilot program of remote proctoring will be a very useful solution for institutions and corporations.
Remote proctoring means that test takers will be monitored during the test using facial recognition technology. After takers complete the test, institutions will be able to check the admin tool to see not only the scores, but also the evidence of who took the test (including audio/video/photo snapshots).
The process also flags any suspicious behavior the software picked up (e.g. multiple faces, faces different from the registered face, movement between test and other browsers/tabs, etc.)
Free Remote Proctoring Tests Are Now Available
During the pilot, there will be NO COST for remote proctoring up to mid-April 2020.
However, the VEPT itself must be purchased separately.
To learn more about the English Placement Test Remote Proctoring features, contact us today to take advantage of this limited-time offer.