In a previous blog entitled “Check Out Kryterion Online Secure Testing” (11/11/2010) I opined that this company’s self-professed secure online testing capabilities might represent the wave of the future for certification testing. In the ensuing comment storm that resulted, several people expressed the belief that online testing lacked the rigor or “cheating prevention” capabilities of proctored exams and/or offerings from testing centers such as Prometric and Vue.
A recent news item about some new Google Apps certification exams has clued me into Kryterion’s answer to such criticisms. They’re reselling a USB based Flexible Neck Webcam (it’s called the Kryterion Flexible Neck Webcam, in fact) for $45, and an increasing number of vendors using Kryterion for exam delivery are requiring test-takers to buy and use this webcam while taking their certification exams.
Here’s Google’s text about exam proctoring from their “About the Certification Exam” Web page for the aforementioned exam item:
Yes, you will be virtually proctored from the external webcam (no laptop webcams are allowed). You will not be allowed to leave your computer, visit Internet sites, take phone calls or text messages, or write during the duration of your exam. The proctor may stop the exam at any time if there is a concern. Please take the exam in a quiet, well-lit room where you will not be interrupted during the exam.
A bit of searching around reveals that Emulex is also offering Kryterion-delivered exams that require the same Webcam. Aside from laughing out loud at the notion of “virtual proctoring” I’m intrigued by yet another clever use of technology to make the Web work both ways and add another dimension to our increasingly virtual world. I’m gonna call Kryterion and see if I can find out who else is pondering use of this technology. Stay tuned!