Testing Industry Responds to Regulatory Concerns About Online Proctoring

Students taking tests online

Testing companies sign on to pledge protecting the privacy rights of test takers while ensuring exam integrity.

Leading Testing Companies Sign On To Industry Pledge Related to Online Proctoring Services

The Pledge establishes a self-regulatory mechanism to provide test takers with reasonable assurances about privacy, balanced against the needs of testing groups to ensure integrity of testing programs”
— ATP CEO William G. Harris, Ph.D.
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, July 20, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Today, the Association of Test Publishers (“ATP”) released a comprehensive “Testing Industry Pledge Related to Online Proctoring Services” (the Pledge), along with a list of initial testing organizations that have endorsed it.

The Pledge provides a set of guiding parameters for the responsible deployment of remote proctoring solutions to provide foundational guidance components that will enable the testing industry to address the regulatory concerns and perceived privacy problems with these proctoring services. The Pledge consists of nine sections, covering 11 principle topics, with 55 individual guidelines

“The Pledge is intended to establish a self-regulatory mechanism to address policies that provide test takers with reasonable assurances about the privacy of their data and the validity of their testing outcomes when online proctoring is used, balanced against the legitimate needs of testing organizations and test users to ensure the continued integrity of their testing programs and security of test content,” announced ATP CEO, William G. Harris, Ph.D.

Dr. Harris noted, “The COVID-19 pandemic created a significant urgency about the use of online testing – along with the companion need to use remote, online proctoring for many high-stakes assessments. As a result, a number of regulators have expressed concerns about the use of such proctoring services.”

The Pledge, noting that human involvement in teaching and learning will always exist, cites research indicating that younger generations who are coming of age in the post-secondary and continuing (professional) education phases of their lives “have an expectation and comfort level with online learning that prior generations did not share.” Consequently, there are significant advantages to online testing, such as being able to take a test from any location at any time (so-called “on-demand testing”). Along with online testing comes an increased need to supervise those test administrations. Thus, the Pledge states there is strong evidence that online testing and online proctoring will continue to be used even after the pandemic has been brought under control, making it important for the testing industry to respond to the regulatory concerns.

The Pledge introduction explains that “online proctoring helps provide assurance that no test taker has an unfair advantage over another and provides information a testing organization can use to detect and respond to improper test taker behavior -- it is imperative that test takers achieve test results based on their individual merit and are not disadvantaged by the improper actions of a few. Moreover, online proctoring is useful to confirm the test taker’s identity, thereby assuring that the individual taking a test is indeed the individual who registered or applied for the test.”

CEO of ProctorFree, Mike Murphy, one of the endorsing organizations, stated, in supporting the Pledge, “The ATP is well-positioned to facilitate a coordinated response to questions about the proliferation of online proctoring and the need to clarify the fundamental purposes of such services, as well as to promote their responsible deployment. The Pledge is an effort to stimulate self regulation, promote transparency and professionalism, and share important information with all stakeholders. Although the Pledge is not intended to be an operational standard, focusing on privacy and security policy considerations are equally useful to address those important concepts. I'm confident that the Pledge will serve as a valuable resource for service providers and users – we are proud to endorse it.” Murphy also serves as co-chair of a separate effort by the ATP, along with the National College Testing Association, to develop joint technical operational standards for online proctoring.

ATP Past-Chair John Weiner, Chief Science Officer of PSI Corporation, another endorsing organization, commented on the Pledge that, “Assuring integrity in measurement is a core principle in testing that is now at the forefront with the pandemic-driven shift to online test delivery. The ATP Pledge addresses key issues in the use of technology, personal test taker data, and fair processes to promote secure and equitable online proctoring in support of valid online assessments.”

Endorsing organizations include: ATA Testing Authority, Proctorio, ProctorFree, Inc., Prometric, PSI Services LLC., and Btl Surpass

A copy of the Pledge is available on the ATP website at www.testpublishers.org. The ATP invites any testing organization providing or interested in online proctoring to make the commitment to endorse the Pledge; if you want to join this effort, please contact Lauren Scheib at lauren@testpublishers.org.

About ATP: Established in 1992, The Association of Test Publishers (ATP) is an international, non-profit, trade organization representing providers of tests and assessment tools and/or services related to assessment for clinical, occupational, certification, licensing, educational or other similar uses. For more information on ATP visit www.testpublishers.org

Lauren Scheib
Association of Test Publishers
+1 717-755-9747
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