Maintaining Access to a Large-Scale Test of Academic Language Proficiency During the Pandemic

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Maintaining Access to a Large-Scale Test of Academic Language Proficiency During the Pandemic: Perspectives on Remote Proctoring

Conference 21.5

Presented by

Heidi Reid

Times Education Group

Dr Aleksandr Voninski

ETS TOEFL

In this session, we will present our perspectives and experiences relating to administering high stakes English language testing for both Schools and University admissions. Due to the prolonged closure of many test centres around the world during the current health crises, English language testing has had to quickly evolve and find viable testing solutions. The overall improvement in internet bandwidth on and offshore has opened opportunities for secure and reliable remote proctoring options to test candidates’ English language ability from the safety of their own home. This has enabled admissions teams across Schools, TAFEs and Universities to continue to assess prospective applicants, objectively determine their language and communication skills, as well as safeguard their entry standards by viewing or listening to test taker speaking and listening test components.

In this session, we will present ETS research conducted across 2020 and released in early 2021 on remote proctoring for higher education entry, as well as iDAT perspectives on remote proctored English tests for Schools applicants. We will discuss mode comparability for test-centre and at-home versions of English language tests, security considerations for test providers, implications for test validation, addressing fairness and equity, as well addressing privacy concerns of test takers. We will raise the question of how technology can positively impact both the test taker and the admissions process. We will invite participants to consider how we can continue to innovate the English test experience whilst maintaining test quality, access, equity, and secure and reliable outcomes. We will also invite participants to consider how remote proctor technology may be applied in English language teaching and continual assessment.

Presenter Bios

Educated in Canada and Australia, Heidi has worked in international education for more than 20 years in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. She has worked as an Academic Manager, PEO and Academic Director for private ELICOS for the past 12 years. She currently sits on the Advisory Council for NEAS (Quality Assurance for English Language Schools) and was previously on their Board of Directors. Ms Reid is active in the International Education Association of Australia and is an advocate and spokesperson for English, Pathways and international education. Heidi Reid has a Masters of TESOL, Grad Dip Ed (Primary), MBA (Human Resource Management).

Alek has provided leadership, engaging strategy, sound management skills and expert consulting to the international education sector over the last 20 years. He has held senior positions within International, External Relations, Strategy and Marketing functions of a large research-intensive university for more than a decade as well as experience in the private education sector, both on and offshore.

CPD points: 1