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Secure Online Assessment Platform for High-Stakes Exams

Setting the Scene

The Chartered Banker Institute are the largest professional membership body of bankers in the UK with over 25,000 members. They are a member led organization, representing qualified bankers and those working towards their professional qualifications. Their aim is to encourage the highest standards of professionalism and conduct amongst their members. Chartered Banker Institute offer a flexible framework of professional qualifications which are approved regulatory qualifications that are recognised globally.

Chartered Banker Institute eAssessment on Laptop

The Challenge

The quality of its educational and professional development programs is paramount to the Chartered Banker Institute’s reputation for setting standards in the banking industry. The Institute’s qualifications include diplomas at the Professional, Associate and Chartered level. The Institute also award qualifications in respect of regulatory high stakes examinations and provide a wide and varied range of bespoke qualifications to clients.

In 2001, the Chartered Banker Institute approached eCom to modernise the examination process for their professional qualifications. Up to this point students were sitting paper based exams, all on the same day, at a number of assessment centers. There was a need for a reliable and secure bespoke online assessment platform. The system required the flexibility to handle a range of question type and provide real-time feedback to examiners, as well as comprehensive
reports for the Chartered Banker Institute staff.

The Solution

The project started with eCom capturing the needs of Chartered Banker Institute and their studying members to build the requirements for the system. A tailored online assessment platform was then designed and built using eCom’s eNetAssess assessment platform. The system supports a range of examination formats including essays, case studies and multiple-choice questions. Some are marked automatically by the system and the rest are marked by a team of markers.

Markers are alerted on completion of the exams and they mark directly in the system using the annotation tool. All marked exams go through a verification process, which is also managed within the system. The assessment platform delivers a sophisticated level of analysis and reporting to the Chartered Banker Institute. Staff can conduct statistical analysis to understand how candidates are performing across the examinations as well as understand the performance of the question bank, marking and verification process. Students are also able to take mock exams via mobile delivery. The system has booking management functionality for the Chartered Banker Institute to manage the scheduling of exams. From November 2015 an API has enabled automatic scheduling of exams.

Chartered Banker Institute eAssessment on Laptop
Chartered Banker Institute eAssessment on Laptop

The Benefits

By moving to an online assessment platform, the Chartered Banker Institute has gained more insight and control over the exam process and delivered more flexibility for students. This has been achieved while maintaining the dependability of the Institute’s qualifications and the confidence of their members. Structuring examination questions in a randomised question bank enabled Chartered Banker to move to on demand exams in 2007. This greatly increased flexibility for candidates allowing them to sit examinations when they are ready and to fit around work commitments.

The management reports give the Chartered Banker Institute a deeper level of information so they can analyze performance across their qualifications and understand how the examination process is working. It is much quicker to make changes to examination questions, with the Chartered Banker Institute authoring changes in the system which are then automatically updated in the examination. The online scheduling, and system enabled delivery, marking and verification of exams has resulted in significant reduction in management time and overheads and delivered substantial cost savings.

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