The online degrees the Universidad de Burgos offer are currently a benchmark in the Spanish higher education system. This institution was one of the first universities to offer remote and online programs while also providing in-person courses.
Located in the historic city of Burgos (Castilla y León), it offers various undergraduate and graduate programs in areas like engineering, science, humanities, and social science. Universidad de Burgos is a reputable research-oriented institution collaborating with several local and international institutions and companies.
The path to integration of online degrees
Universidad de Burgos is known for offering official online degrees with the same rigor and challenges as its in-person programs.
The institution has extensive experience transitioning from in-person to online degree programs, which has given them the necessary knowledge to deploy and implement technologies that guarantee the quality and validity of the offered degrees.
This expands the vision of internationalization many universities can have, showing that online degrees have the same quality as in-person programs.
Currently, more than 15% of the students at Universidad de Burgos are enrolled in online degree programs.
How did they achieve this? To a large extent, through the use of proctoring.
Using proctoring for official Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at UBU
“The teachers’ requests for a tool that would guarantee the honesty of tests” and “the requirement from quality agencies to have this type of technology to verify any degree that will not be taught in-person and whose exams will be taken remotely without a physical location” were the reasons why this institution decided to use proctoring, according to Víctor Abella García, Director of the Virtual Teaching Center at Universidad de Burgos.
“The SMOWL proctoring system has allowed us to launch online degree programs. Some of these programs had very low demand, and today, thanks to their transition to a dual modality, both online and in-person, they are among the degrees with the most students,” says García.
Request from teachers
Many teachers believe that taking online exams invites students to cheat, argues Abella.
This generates a need to provide professors with a tool that helps mitigate students’ beliefs and dishonest behaviors during evaluations. It was necessary to give the professors a response to their demands since the success or failure of the implementation of the degrees depended on them.
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A requirement from quality agencies
After Universidad de Burgos launched its online degree programs, several agencies have incorporated regulations.
For example, the Agencia para la Calidad del Sistema Universitario de Castilla y León (a Spanish public quality agency) presented a document in April 2018 entitled “Guidelines for the design and evaluation of undergraduate and master’s degree programs in non-presential and semi-presential modes.”
Following these guidelines, the institution will provide specific information about “the mechanisms used to guarantee the identity of students and prevent fraud.”
On the other hand, the Resolution of April 6, 2021, from the Spanish General Secretariat of Universities approves some recommendations related to the criteria and evaluation standards for the verification, modification, monitoring, and renewal of the accreditation of official Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees offered in virtual and hybrid teaching modes.
It says that “as a general principle, evaluation systems must ensure adequate control of the authorship of evaluation tests and the fact that the student has carried them out without unauthorized external help.
In any case, the evaluation tests for passing the different subjects will offer sufficient guarantees that students can demonstrate the achievement of the intended learning outcomes in a controlled context.”
This regulatory framework follows the need for institutions to have tools that allow remote testing, guaranteeing student identity and control of the environment in which such testing is carried out.
SMOWL, the chosen proctoring tool
To meet the demands mentioned in previous paragraphs, Universidad de Burgos has chosen Smowltech and its SMOWL proctoring tools.
The tool is used for exams, especially final exams of official Degree and Master subjects, helping authenticate student identity and ensuring a fair and safe assessment environment that allows them 100% online training from any location.
In this sense, Abella comments that most students prefer online tests as it avoids travel and gives them much more flexibility when taking a title.
SMOWL: Intuitiveness and inclusion for Online Degrees and Masters
SMOWL’s implementation is straightforward, counting at all times with support from the Smowltech team, which greatly facilitates the start-up.
For the institution, SMOW’s proctoring has allowed them to launch online titles, Abella says.
In fact, some of those titles had a very low demand, and today thanks to their move to a dual mode, both online and face-to-face, are degrees with more students.
Additionally, the use of SMOWL has allowed time and cost savings to the university, avoiding a considerable amount of paperwork to set up physical venues for the final tests and having to move or hire professionals to supervise these tests, as explained by Abella himself.
Finally, remote monitoring has been proposed as an element favoring educational inclusion since it is an essential benefit for those students with limited mobility.
This greatly expands the recruitment of students from other provinces and communities, also contributing to the internationalization of the University.
If you also want your institution to have the opportunity to offer 100% online training safely and securely and achieve goals like those of Universidad de Burgos, contact us now, and we will provide you access to a free demo.
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