PROWIDE is an Erasmus+ project, which seeks to develop, test and establish a qualification profile and corresponding training program Online Proctoring Manager with the aim to support the implementation of remote exams at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). PROWIDE partnership is composed of four HEIs from Germany, Italy, Latvia,Turkey, and company Proctorio that is specialized in developing Online Proctoring solutions and services.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has reopened a debate over the equal opportunities, accessibility to and flexibility when obtaining (online) academic education. Whilst HEIs seem to have managed a shift to digital learning and teaching, online assessment, in particular, Online Proctoring is still in its infancy across the EU. Though, this service might greatly support conducting professional testing without leaving home and significantly contribute to increasing opportunities for all towards receiving an academic degree.
In simple words, Online Proctoring means remote surveillance of exams. More specifically, „Online proctoring is a form of digital assessment that allows an exam to be taken from any location. Online proctoring software promises to allow students and course participants to sit their exams anywhere (e.g. at home) in a secure and reliable way.” (Sietses, Lex (2016): White Paper Online Proctoring. Questions and answers about remote proctoring).
The reasons for a modest penetration of Online Proctoring at Europe’s HEIs are manifold: data protection issues, compatibility with educational law, inadequately qualified online proctors, lack of awareness among internal HEI stakeholders including managerial, teaching and administrative staff, and – last but not least – students. Even if a HEI takes a decision to introduce online proctored exams, they usually rely on support of proctoring companies who, indeed, have at their disposal a technical expertise but are not in charge of implementing a holistic approach to Online Proctoring at HEIs. As a result, end-users of Online Proctoring services, students and teachers, are mostly discouraged and confused with their remote exam experience.
In our understanding, HEIs need professionals capable of developing, implementing and managing Online Proctoring strategy within their institutions. The implementation of Online Proctoring services requires consolidated efforts of HEI stakeholders at different levels, such as managers, teachers, educational and exam offices, IT departments that need to be coordinated by a specialist with an interdisciplinary qualification profile embracing data protection issues, educational law, technical aspects, communication with internal and external stakeholders, management skills. We associate this type of professionals with the job profile Online Proctoring Manager and believe, qualifying and recruiting such type of specialists at HEIs is crucial when making transition to a high-quality online education based on integrity, flexibility, and accessibility.
Neither such type of professionals no corresponding training solutions for their qualification were present yet. Thus, PROWIDE project created, tested and made available for free an innovative further education training program Online Proctoring Manager!