Organizations offer a variety of performance assessments and job skills tests to ensure that their current and future employees are competent and prepared.

But companies aren’t just asking test-takers to complete traditional online test questions like multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank anymore. Test-takers are now completing realistic online performance assessments.

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What is a performance assessment? 

A performance assessment measures how well a person can apply their knowledge and skills to a real job task. During a performance-based assessment, the person demonstrates their ability to complete various tasks they would encounter in the workplace.

But how can companies prevent cheating during performance assessments in an online environment?  

The challenges of online performance assessment for companies

It’s easy for test-takers to use unauthorized resources during the assessment.

  • e.g., searching the internet for answers to test questions, using notes and books, or even having a friend complete it for them. 

True performance assessments can be time consuming to review, evaluate, and score.

  • It takes longer to score an employee demonstration compared to automated scoring for traditional test questions, such as multiple-choice or true/false.

Designing rubrics for performance assessments and job skills tests can be tricky.

  • Depending on the desired outcome of the assessment and the activities involved to test competencies and skills, rubrics can be pretty in-depth and require planning. 

Consider the performance assessment examples we’ll address in this article:

Example 1: Current employees go through ongoing company compliance training and simulated phishing attacks on a security awareness platform before taking short-answer test questions on your learning platform.

  • The wording of some test questions and mentions of specific technology can give away critical company security information – what if employees are sharing those questions on the internet? 
  • How would you know if employees are completing the security tests and simulations as a group instead of individually?

Example 2: A sales rep needs to complete a mock presentation and demonstration of the product as the final step of their company training before meeting with prospects.

  • If you don’t want the sales rep to use other resources, how can you make sure that they don’t have a talk track on their desktop or a cheat sheet taped on the wall behind their computer?
  • What if you want the sales rep to have access to some resources but not others? 
    • e.g., allowing access to a specific website and personal notes while prohibiting all other websites and printed resources.

Example 3: As part of a pre-employment test, a potential accounting employee has to prepare a balance sheet in Excel and explain the steps they’re taking to complete the task.

  • What if they copy and paste formulas into the Excel spreadsheet?

How can you protect the integrity of the
performance assessment examples above? 

The good news is that you can use online proctoring to cover all of these performance-based assessments, and we’ll show you how in this article.

This article assumes that your organization is using a proctoring solution that combines AI test monitoring software with live human proctors. This type of online proctored testing solution is preferred because of its flexible features and capabilities that cover basically any corporate testing needs and better user experience.

Example 1: Current employees go through ongoing corporate compliance training and simulated phishing attacks on a security awareness platform before taking short-answer test questions on your learning platform.

Imagine that your company’s security training test questions are leaked on the internet.

The wording and information in some questions could give away confidential information, which may get into the wrong hands.

Example question: When should employees use ABC Software to authenticate their credentials to access our cloud-based XYZ data warehouse?

Now, others know the authentication software used and how your data is stored. Not to mention, emails and phone numbers are pretty easy to find on the internet and are often associated with people’s passwords. Potentially disastrous, right?

Then, picture some employees taking the security training assessment as a group. Some of them may miss crucial information about phishing and malware, which could lead to future data breaches.

While company security training and testing usually isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, it’s incredibly important for every company, and you need to make sure your tests and content are protected.

Here’s how online proctoring can help protect your organization’s security training assessments in this situation:

Finding leaked test content on the internet
Use a proctoring service that provides advanced technology that searches the Internet to identify when test questions have been leaked. If it finds any leaked test questions, test administrators are given quick and simple steps to submit DMCA takedown requests in one click and change test questions.

Recording computer screens during the online assessment for review
The test takers’ screens can be recorded throughout the security training assessment and reviewed after. Test settings and proctor instructions can be given to monitor their screen during the training and the actual security test.

Preventing the use of other software and resources
You can prevent the person from accessing other software and browsers on their computer during the security training assessment.

Monitor employee behavior to prevent the use of other resources
Video monitoring allows your organization to review recordings of test-takers that are timestamped with any potentially problematic behaviors. This can include things such as talking on a cell phone or with other people in the room, searching the internet, leaving the webcam, asking Siri or Alexa questions, and more.

Example 2: A sales rep needs to complete a mock demonstration of the product as the final step of their corporate sales training before meeting with prospects.

At most companies, sales reps have to prove that they know the product inside and out before they’re allowed to demo it to potential customers. And if your sales reps are in different territories throughout the country, travel costs for in-person demonstrations can be expensive. 

But sales leaders need to know that the reps can complete a demo without looking at their notes or reading from a script. So, how can you be sure that they aren’t doing that in a remote environment? 

Here’s how online proctoring can help with this job performance assessment:

Scanning the room for other resources 

Before the demonstration for the performance assessment begins, you can require the rep to use their webcam to complete a room scan. The room scan helps make sure that their desk area is clear of any notes and other resources.

Providing a transcript of what the person said during the demonstration

Test administrators and sales leaders can use smart voice detection to provide a full transcript of what the rep said during the demonstration. This is especially useful for lengthy demonstrations because the sales leaders can just scan the transcript for key topics instead of watching the entire demonstration.

Allowing specific resources while preventing others

In some situations, you may want to allow the rep to use their notes. Whether their notes are on the computer screen or printed out, you can pick and choose what’s allowed or not.

For example, you can use browser lockdown software to allow the sales rep to use specific company website URLs but still prevent access to other sites and software. Locking a browser only covers a small portion of assessment integrity, but it can be useful in specific situations such as this. 

If you want to allow the rep to use their notes, you can give those instructions to the live test proctor. 

Recording the presentation and demonstration

The online proctoring software records the entire product demonstration for the test administrator and sales leader to watch. The recording also includes timestamps of any potentially problematic behavior to review, such as moving off-screen or another person in the room.

Example 3: A potential accounting employee takes a pre-employment test where they’re asked to prepare a balance sheet in Excel and explain the steps they’re taking.

Let’s face it, the hiring process is tough. It’s an investment of time and resources, so you need to know that job applicants can actually do the task before you hire them.

Here’s how to use online proctoring for pre-employment tests:

Screens can be recorded throughout the test activity and reviewed after

This is especially helpful when reviewing a test-taker’s approach to completing the balance sheet. You can watch how they prepare the balance sheet and make sure that they’re doing everything correctly.

In addition to recording screens during the pre-employment assessment, you can also use voice detection to record what the person is saying. This way, you can watch a recording of the person completing the balance sheet while listening to their explanation of what they’re doing and why.

As described in the first example, voice detection also provides a transcript of what the person said during the test. 

For this example, potential employees taking the pre-employment assessment can be blocked from accessing software other than Excel. This can also prevent them from copying and pasting formulas into the Excel document.

The webcam is used to verify the applicant’s identity in about a minute. This way, your organization can be certain that the person completing the job skills test is the person you’re potentially hiring.

Online proctoring for businesses

Whether you need to validate the critical competencies of employees or job candidates or protect the integrity of your certification exam, you can trust Honorlock with all your online proctoring needs. Click here to learn more about Honorlock’s corporate proctoring features.

Here’s how Honorlock online proctoring works

Validates company performance assessments

When you’re measuring employee competencies against job requirements, compliance training knowledge, or the skillsets of job applicants, you need to validate corporate assessment results. Honorlock’s online proctoring solution uses advanced features to deter, prevent, and detect cheating, which creates a level playing field.

Provides employees with testing flexibility and convenience

Your employees and potential future employees have busy schedules and they need the ability to take performance assessments and other corporate tests when and where they want. Whether it’s at work on their lunch break or at home on the weekend, Honorlock’s online proctoring solution and user support are available 24/7/365 – no scheduling needed.

Directly integrates with your corporate learning platform

Our proctoring software directly integrates with your corporate learning platform in about an hour. This direct integration also means that the test experience is basically the same. Test administrators will create tests in the learning platform just like they already do and then simply pick which proctoring features to use. And it’s just as easy for the test-taker because they’re taking the proctored exam on the same platform they’re already familiar with and can get support without leaving it.

Protects your company’s test content

Leaked test content can have serious consequences for your company’s reputation and security. But with Honorlock, you won’t have to worry about that. Our online proctoring software identifies leaked test content and gives you the ability to take action by quickly sending takedown requests and changing your questions.

Verifies the test-taker’s ID in about a minute

Honorlock makes ID verification quick and easy by capturing a picture of the test-taker along with their photo ID. In about a minute, test-takers can begin their proctored performance assessment.

Combines AI with human proctors

Honorlock combines the benefits of AI test monitoring with those of live remote proctors. Our AI software monitors each assessment and alerts a live, US-based proctor if any potential issues are detected.

This approach helps reduce test anxiety, provides support, and upholds the integrity of corporate performance tests and skills assessments.

Affordably scales online testing 

Expand your corporate training programs and certification programs by reaching online learners across the globe. With Honorlock’s online proctoring platform, you eliminate the need for a testing center, and learners can take your proctored assessment entirely online at their convenience.

Detects voices instead of sounds

Our online proctoring software listens for specific keywords or phrases, such as “Hey Siri” or “OK Google,” to identify test-takers who may be attempting to get answers to test questions. It then alerts a live proctor to review the situation and intervene if needed. Voice detection saves review time because it won’t trigger a false flag for things like a dog barking or a person coughing.

Whether your corporate training involves employee job competency assessments, pre-employment testing, or online certification exams, Honorlock’s online proctoring software and services have got you covered.

Want to see how Honorlock can benefit your organization? Click here to set up a conversation with Honorlock to see how we can help your institution make online proctoring simple, easy, and human.

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