The physical challenge of computer based exams

The physical challenge of computer based exams

High volume, high stakes exams put pressure on the school real estate even without computer based exams. With lesson locations changed, sports halls commandeered and disruption all round. Then throw in ‘Exam conditions’. If you designed an exam taking space the choices that schools offer can be challenging. While exam centres and others including private Candidates, home educated, excluded or adult learners will all have slightly adjusted challenges.

The current typical choices for exams such as sports hall do not lend themselves particularly well for computer based exams.

The challenges of the physical space used for computer based exams include by not exclusively:

Power Temperature Cables Layout challenges Covid compliant The bigger the room the more exam invigilators are needed Pressure to hire outside space where there is less control Perhaps temptation to use distance and remote invigilation

Vastly higher logistical and security challenges if they are to be used GCSEs and A Levels. - High Stake seasonal exams

Unspecified Cyber threats that come from using new pop up exam rooms like sports hall with a range of provision of devices including exam compromise. With the new exam networks for critical season exams. So does the targets for criminals to hack into these new networks. While a paper system has its own vulnerability. The massive exam computer network has threats from hackers that with speed and velocity will be able to bring down the whole system. The scale of possibility of disruption posed by hackers is great.

Innovative ways of fraud, cheating that are beyond the institutional understanding may emerge with the new computer based exams. With level playing field not just in the location and network .But also malpractice in parts of the massive network. Needless to say, small discrete separate networks are key to minimising contagion from hacking.

Better and consistently up to date training for invigilators, network deployers and exam officers to keep and develop best practices. While maintaining separate networks where possible to prevent contagion on hacking attacks.