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Assessment Blog

31st January 2023 | Exam malpractice

Using technology against exam malpractice to protect the integrity of your assessments

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The widespread challenge of exam malpractice has stalked the assessment space for some time. With more exams moving online, this challenge takes on a new form as some traditional security measures are no longer as effective. At RM, we are devoted to satisfying candidate expectations while ensuring the highest level of exam security and so have developed a solution to identify one of the most recognised and fast-growing form of malpractice – collusion. Working alongside clients helps us to accurately identify cases of collusion, develop the solution at scale and at pace, and evolve in line with organisational and market needs.

Behind the scenes

Working closely with clients enabled us to understand the root of the challenges being faced, so that we could collaborate on a potential solution and improve their overall assessment offering. This iterative, partnership enabled us to conclude that an out-of-the-box solution would only decipher part of the problem with exam malpractice. Although remote proctoring helps to protect against forms of malpractice like collusion, there are still many ways candidates can avoid detection in this environment. Working alongside our customers provides us with a deeper understanding of how candidates might find ways to collude and ultimately led to the development of a solution that can detect collusion – both those more obvious cases as well as concealed. 

As it stands

We are continually evolving our solution and look to support more organisations against collusion and develop the model and its success further. As it stands today, we have checked over 200,000 exam responses for cases of collusion and have identified over 2,700 suspicious responses – 62% of which were confirmed as suspicious upon further investigation. As more organisations sign up for our free health check on previous exam sessions, the extent of the solution’s power in the fight against malpractice is just getting started.  

How does it work?

Understanding each organisation in depth and the challenges they face helps us to ascertain whether our service is the right fit. That’s why we start with a discovery meeting to familiarise ourselves with your exam programme and where our service could work. If a successful match, we will help you to collate and send some exam responses to us securely. From the moment we have access, we can check the responses for collusion and deliver the results securely back to you in just two weeks. 

Due to the sensitivity of the subject malpractice, the inner workings of the service and who we partner with is confidential. The process itself however is quite simple: we examine every response against others in a completed session and once suspiciously similar pairs of responses are identified, we highlight those and send them back to you for investigation. We can also provide this service on live exam sessions for a fee, so that you can take action against cases of collusion in a timely manner before any results are released.   

If collusion is happening in your exams, we can help you to identify the cases and make informed decisions on your exams and results. Not only that, but our service can also flag other forms of malpractice to you at the same time, providing you with the accurate data to have confidence in your exam security as a whole and protect it. Collectively, these insights can be used to shape your exam delivery going forwards. 

What now?

Exam malpractice continues to be a challenge; one we are determined to act decisively on. User feedback will continue to advance the evolution of our collusion service and after experiencing great success in identifying cases, we now look to new ways the solution can be used in exam sessions.  

We all recognise the importance of exam integrity, so if you are interested to find out more about our exam collusion service and how you can safeguard your assessments, get in touch! 

Gwyneth-Toolan-RM-1   Gwyneth Toolan, Product Manager
   Email: gtoolan@rm.com 



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