PH adapts to tech-based education, as COVID-19 disrupts traditional classroom type learning

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Just as corporate businesses are transforming the way they operate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so are higher educational institutions. As colleges and universities pivoted rapidly to classes online and teaching via video conferencing, this new way of learning may have a profound and lasting impact that reshapes the field of higher education.

Based on OECD estimates, 90% of the world’s learners – more than 1.5 billion students – have been affected by school closures. According to Mercer’s Higher Education Spot Survey for COVID-19, 91% of respondents said that increased use of virtual learning for students and faculty will be a long-term impact on educational institutions and their workforce. But while campuses across Asia and the world have moved online, many are still grappling with the challenge of student assessment and examinations which traditionally have been held in person to prevent cheating and to protect the integrity of high-stake examinations.

Jose Vincent M Tayag, Career Consultant, Mercer Philippines said, “With schools and universities compelled to transition to online learning starting this school year, only institutions that are able to quickly adopt key digital solutions, such as learning management systems, online examination and digital proctoring, will be able to
effectively withstand the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and thrive in the new normal.”

Educational Institutions: Remote Proctoring and Online Examination

                                                                                             Online schooling, home-based learning becomes the new normal     

Mercer | Mettl offers a range of online solutions for learning and education continuity. The assessment technology provides a platform to conduct high-stakes examinations for universities, particularly entrance and mid-term and end-term semester examinations, in-course assessments and digital course certifications. Mercer | Mettl’s examination platform is currently leveraged by over 150 institutions globally such as Universitas Padjadjaran in Indonesia, Ghent University in Belgium, Cambridge University in the UK and EBZ Business School in Germany, among others.  The COVID-19 crisis has seen a 70% to 80% rise in the demand for such platforms.

Instead of postponing entrance and term-end examinations, universities can opt for AI-enabled remotely proctored online examinations. Students can sit for these examinations anywhere anytime in the safety of their own homes with remote proctoring ensuring that results are accurate and fair.

Online Examination Platform: Mercer | Mettl’s online examination platform comes pre-configured with online proctoring and ensures end-to-end exam management, from test creation to scheduling to grading. The platform can support over 26 different question formats, including specific requirements like equations, symbols, flowcharts and diagrams for STEM and other such courses.

Remote Proctoring: Mercer | Mettl’s suite of anti-cheating technologies enables a secure and fair test-taking experience for high-stakes exams. The suite includes remote invigilation of the candidate via webcams that can be AI-based or manual remote proctoring with three-point candidate authentication to prevent impersonation and a fully customizable safe browser to ensure the candidates are not able to access any information from their computers or internet during the exam. The proctoring service can be easily integrated into existing examination platforms or learning management systems to make it more secure.

Teng Alday, CEO, Philippines at Mercer said, “The pandemic has accelerated tech-driven education and presents an opportunity to leapfrog the adoption of virtual learning and assessments in the sector to make education more accessible than before. Technology can be a game-changer and differentiator for forward-thinking educators brave enough to reimagine what education could be.”

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