The Latin American Professional Institute for Foreign Trade (IPLACEX) serves around twenty-one thousand students throughout Chile, who connect to a digital learning environment based on Open LMS, an open-source software focused on improving the online learning experience.
By promoting distance education, the follow-up of academic training programs is facilitated to reach the maximum professional potential.
One of the main characteristics of Iplacex is to offer a flexible education since approximately 85% of the students follow their courses online.
This modality also helped not to interrupt teaching during the health crisis.
IPLACEX has developed a solid digital learning ecosystem. It has implemented various technologies, such as the SMOWL tool, to facilitate any learning process and the monitoring and authentication of the identity of the students in the development of online activities.
How to do online assessments effectively?
IPLACEX had to comply with conducting the exams in person legally. In addition, he faced two situations:
- Recognition exams (RAPS), known as prior learning recognition exams, are applied to students who attend IPLACEX to standardize the subjects and thus advance in their studies according to previous knowledge. Before using proctoring tools, the student went to one of the offices and accessed the evaluation with a computer and password.
The situation changed after the pilot test that IPLACEX carried out with Smowltech in October 2018. A year later, it reaffirmed its importance when the institution had to close its physical headquarters due to the protests in Santiago de Chile.
So, the pandemic did not affect IPLACEX much, which, supported by its remote education team, guaranteed the continuity of the RAPS.
For the students, this modality notably improved their experience since the residents of the Chilean Antarctic, for example, were able to benefit from not having to go to a physical place to follow the courses.
“The students’ response to the SMOWL solution has been very positive since they understand that it is a solution that helps us comply with our regulations, replacing face-to-face exams”,said Cristian Jaramillo, director of the Distance Education Campus of IPLACEX.
- Final exams: this type of exam can be completed remotely, using tools such as Blackboard Collaborate to monitor, which integrates easily with Open LMS. However, to solve the student identity validation problem, thanks to Smowltech.
Why SMOWL for safe online assessments?
According to Hermán Vargas, administrator of the Iplacex platform, SMOWL was selected as a monitoring tool for reasons such as:
- Full support is available in Spanish.
- Artificial intelligence is capable of identifying and alerting something suspicious.
- Supervision of student navigation.
- Ability to recognize objects (such as mobile phones or tablets) and the presence of third parties.
- Issuance of reports specifying conflicts or critical cases.
- Command monitoring.
- Possibility of running pilot tests.
However, while it is a potent monitoring tool, it is essential to prevent students from feeling vulnerable or having their privacy compromised. For this purpose, communication is crucial.
It is necessary to indicate effectively and transparently to the students why the use of the tool is essential.
In the case of IPLACEX, the solution offered by Smowltech has been perfectly integrated, respecting all regulations, as well as the certification and educational integrity processes of the academic centre.
“Deciding to use SMOWL was the right one because it is a tool that can be integrated with our digital learning environment (Open LMS). It is very flexible, which has allowed us to grow together”,Jaramillo said.
Considering only the second two-month period of 2020, IPLACEX supervised more than five thousand exams remotely.
In the “new normal”, a hot topic for some time, education is one of the sectors reinventing itself the fastest to continue its mission.
Fortunately, today, digital learning environments are robust. They offer so many possibilities that the limit will depend on how much an institution wants to innovate its teaching and learning processes.
The time has come to conduct online quality assessments, thus preserving the integrity and quality of certifications and degrees issued.
If you also want to know more about SMOWL solutions, contact our team, and we will make sure that you can carry out online assessments effectively and safely.