The spread of COVID-19 is affecting all of us and we know with campuses closing across North America, the impact is especially acute for faculty and students. Educators are finding innovative ways to adapt to this new environment and begin delivering their courses remotely. One of the most pressing concerns institutions are navigating is maintaining the value of a university degree by ensuring the integrity and rigor of tests and final exams administered to students in a remote setting.

The Top Hat team has been working to address this issue and is now offering free, secure proctored tests and exams students can take on their own computers, at a pre-set time — and from any location. This is in addition to our announcement last week that we are making the Top Hat platform available free of charge for the rest of the semester to active classes transitioning to Top Hat.

How does the Top Hat remote proctoring solution work?

Top Hat’s remote proctoring solution uses state-of-the-art facial detection technology and software automation to ensure the security and integrity of remote testing and examinations. This new feature enhances Top Hat’s current testing capabilities, allowing you to schedule your exams and deploy remote proctoring capabilities at the click of a button.

Our remote proctoring capabilities include advanced ID verification to ensure the right students are taking your test, and secure browser settings and computer lockdown to reduce instances of cheating. The integrity of your content is also protected by a set of features that prevent screen capturing, printing and the sharing of assessment materials online. To monitor student activity during tests, the platform uses advanced facial detection enabled via webcam and artificial intelligence to flag and report on irregular behaviors that may be indicative of cheating.

In designing tests and exams, educators have access to a variety of different question types, including multiple-choice, word answer, fill in the blank, matching, and long-form answer. With the exception of long-form question types, all questions can be automatically graded using our auto-grade feature, providing instructors with immediate insights into student performance. Assessments can be built quickly and easily and then deployed at the click of a button for actual exam proctoring.

How are we supporting your transition to remote proctoring?

We recognize that many educators were in the process of preparing paper-based exams as the crisis unfolded. To assist in digitizing assessments, our Top Hat instructional design and support teams are providing dedicated, hands-on assistance to speed this process to ensure you are able to deliver assessments according to your planned syllabus. We have also assembled a number of support resources, including video demos and webinars to provide an in-depth understanding of how to take advantage of our remote proctoring capabilities along with other remote teaching features you can use to preserve course continuity.

To get started, and for additional information, including FAQs, click the link. Once your form is submitted, one of our instructional designers will be in touch to guide you through the process of transitioning your assessments and enabling remote proctoring.

How is this different from what Top Hat has offered in the past?

Top Hat previously offered the ability to securely administer tests and quizzes using student devices for in-class digital assessments. Remote proctoring extends these capabilities by allowing you to securely administer tests outside the classroom, while leveraging features that reduce the time and effort to create student assessments. This includes flexible, pre-built question formats and the option to import free, discipline-specific questions from the Top Hat Marketplace. You can also use our autograding functionality to immediately notify students of their results and upload these into the Top Hat gradebook or export them directly to your learning management system.

We are making this offer free of charge for the rest of the semester for all professors who require an end-to-end remote teaching and proctoring solution to ensure the successful completion of their courses.

These have been incredibly difficult days for all of us. At the same time, we have been greatly inspired to see how our communities and our world have come together to fight this pandemic and support one another in adapting to these unprecedented circumstances. As always our top priority is the health and welfare of our people and supporting you—not only in finishing the semester but maintaining vital connections and a sense of continuity for your students.

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