Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning has become the best option for many students and universities worldwide.
The Catholic University of Salta, or UCASAL, has offered distance education for years in Argentina. However, given this situation, UCASAL needed help to improve the supervision of their online exams.
Online exam monitoring allows a teacher based anywhere in the world to actively supervise students (who can also be anywhere) during an exam. That opens the possibility that students and professors can be anywhere in the world, and distance won’t threaten the integrity of the results of the tests.
The physical attendance of students and proctors at exam sites has become a logistical challenge for many educational institutions. So, institutions needed an alternative.
What was the challenge in this case?
The problem was how to guarantee the integrity of the students’ performance which could not be supervised on the spot by professors and supervisors while taking an exam.
The pandemic made it even more complex to supervise students during exams, which is why online proctoring has been confirmed as the best option. Not many universities in Argentina have this distance evaluation system, significantly increasing UCASAL’s prestige.
How did students take their exams before SMOWL?
UCASAL has been offering face-to-face and distance learning for more than 50 years. A professor in person was supervising students.
Prolonged and sometimes expensive commutes have been a constant over time for the traditional development of exams, without forgetting the high costs of maintaining the physical infrastructure necessary for teaching.
But today, technological progress can provide adequate responses to all these incidents.
UCASAL found in SMOWL a solution to its problems
UCASAL chose one of the services offered by Smowltech to monitor students and their online activity with the help of a webcam during their tests. The goal was to maintain academic integrity and provide a fair and safe testing environment while furnishing consistent supervision for students who could not attend in person.
SMOWL made it easier for professors. With it, the professors do all their assessment work from home, and students can now count on a non-intrusive and straightforward platform. That opened up a whole host of possibilities for the university. UCASAL ratify its presence in the territory, allowing it to maintain the integrity of its evaluations without the limiting restrictions of a traditional evaluation system.
UCASAL and online supervision: the results
Thanks to the proctoring services developed by Smowltech, UCASAL has improved its distance education program and increased its prestige as one of the best universities in Argentina. These services provide a safer and fair environment for all those involved in the evaluation process, awarding the students’ efforts and making testing easier for the professors.
The SMOWL tool allows:
- Verify the identity of users during exams.
- Minimize fraud in online tests.
- Allow student assessment from anywhere and at any time without restrictions.
- Support evaluators in their decision-making process.
- Be able to make more than one examination session per month.
UCASAL has assessed thousands of students thanks to online supervision, including final exam tests.
Why choose SMOWL over any other monitoring service?
The Catholic University of Salta knows that SMOWL has a recognized reputation for offering reliable and innovative technology in the proctoring market.
Thanks to SMOWL, assessors from anywhere can get reports on how students use their devices during an online assessment. That is also combined with photo-based monitoring and reporting on the use of apps and programs. The idea is to ensure the highest academic integrity and test validity.
UCASAL and online supervision: evaluations of SMOWL
“…SMOWL enhances UCASAL’s online exam proctoring system by making it efficient and easy to use. This proctoring tool can make the evaluation process technically feasible for teachers. Which in turn protects the professional prestige of the university in the face of all the challenges that the current pandemic presents to educational institutions…” comments Carlos Gerardo Said, Professor in Engineering and Director of Technology of the Distance Education System of the Catholic University of Salta.comments Carlos Gerardo Said, Professor in Engineering and Director of Technology of the Distance Education System of the Catholic University of Salta.
UCASAL recommendations for a better experience with SMOWL
All users of SMOWL, especially teachers, should become familiar with its use. Although it is an intuitive and easy-to-use tool, it is essential to make teachers aware that the student’s final grade results from two variables: the formal/academic grade and the information provided by SMOWL.
“Challenge the status quo and the ‘buts’ that you will find in the process of change”Carlos Gerardo Said, Professor of Engineering and Director at the Catholic University of Salta (UCASAL)
Something more about UCASAL and online supervision
The Catholic University of Salta is a pioneer in distance education in Argentina. It has offered different degrees in this type of education for more than 30 years.
Initially, they required the services of Smowltech to get started and familiarize themselves with the online proctoring process. The idea was to streamline the online assessment process for teachers and students.
The positive experience with SMOWL confirmed that online supervision is an essential part of the future of remote assessment.
UCASAL sees in e-proctoring the future of evaluation
UCASAL has counted many undergraduate and postgraduate students in Argentina for over 50 years. This university provides students with a varied academic offer of 80 careers and postgraduate programs such as master’s degrees.
It is the first university in the Province of Salta and a pioneer in offering distance education in Argentina. Through their Distance Education System, they reach both young people and adults from the country’s most remote areas, allowing them to complete their university studies. It’s a great help for those who need to avoid commuting, improve family reconciliation or continue studying after work.
UCASAL currently has approximately 25,000 students, of which 60% are in distance education. It also has 108 branches distributed throughout the country. That has made it the second university in Argentina regarding the number of distance students.
Given the current circumstances, e-learning and online testing have become the preferred or only available options for many students and universities worldwide. Wanting to be at the forefront of education, UCASAL has implemented, with the help of Smowltech, an online exam supervision system that meets real needs, improving the evaluation process in its distance education programs and thus making it simpler and surer for students and teachers.
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