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e-Invigilator (Teaching Fellowship)

Lead investigator: Prof. Nathan L Clarke
Other researchers: Dr Paul Haskell-Dowland
Project duration: 2012 - 2013
Funding source: PU
Project description: The University is committed to growing its distance e-learning courses, not only for FT learners but to develop new business opportunities in the CPD market-place. Whilst the focus has been on the technology to produce and deliver e-learning materials, little work has been done on enabling remote exam-based assessments. Such assessments would save student and tutor time and money as there would be no need for a physical invigilated session. Remote assessments would widen the range of assessments offered to students, increase uptake of distance-based learning courses and enhance the reputation of PU as a leader in e-assessments.

A preliminary study has shown that there are no suitable technology solutions available to deliver a biometric identification system for remote exam-based assessments. Because of our expertise in the area, this project aims to implement and evaluate a biometric system to assure the identity of the assessment candidate and remove the need for invigilators. The benefits of this project include: greater flexibility in assessment choice for students, financial savings to students and the University and enhancement of the University’s reputation.

The aims of the project are to:

1. To critically evaluate the technology options available for a continuous biometric-based identification system.
2. To design and implement a continuous biometric-based identification system for use within e-learning. The prototype will be independent but built around the University’s current Perception system in the first instance.
3. To evaluate the operational characteristics of the system and the human-factors of acceptance, usability and privacy, and disseminate the system across the University.
4. To investigate the pedagogical factors underpinning this new area of e-assessment.