Ensuring fair, efficient, and reliable supervision of various online exams and tests. This is the main task of the new technology developed by the Czech companies Scio and Born Digital.
The solution uses artificial intelligence to guarantee the correctness of exams and facilitates the work in the online environment for both examiners and examiners. The developed product called ScioLink is unique not only in the Czech but also in the global market.
During the last and current school year, the Scio educational company had to provide the Czech National Comparative Examinations (NSZ), which replace or supplement the entrance examinations for dozens of universities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in an online version. The unplanned solution had to be developed in a short time because of the unfavorable development of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Scio has successfully organized more than 78,000 online tests. Now the company plans to maintain the online appearance of the exams, newly using its own modern testing environment.
Detecting objects, people and voices in a real-time
To develop the solution, Scio joined forces with the Czech technology startup Born Digital. And together, they created ScioLink. “Although we were able to conduct thousands of online trials at once before, we were still dependent on an environment that was not our own. With Born Digital, we are developing an online solution in a form that will suit us perfectly and will be of worldwide quality,” said NSZ project manager Martin Drnek.
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Online testing will continue to include proctoring — remote surveillance using artificial intelligence. However, it will now be able to alert participants in real-time to potential breaches of the rules. The basis of the unique solution is the technology of detection of objects, people, and voices. Through the equipment of computers, ScioLink scans all the examinees, alerting them when it records any object or activity, which it evaluates as forbidden according to the assignment.
“For example, when the camera captures an object resembling a mobile phone, it alerts the student and at the same time records the time when the object appeared in the shot. The human controller then only goes through all the similar controversial moments in the record and assesses whether the violation of the test rules has really occurred,” explains Drnek. According to him, the new technology will mean that, for example, participants who leave unauthorized objects in their vicinity by mistake will not have to be excluded from the exam. After the warning, they will be able to take them elsewhere.
The unique solution
The great advantage of ScioLink technology is that it is a direct part of the online test. Proctoring is integrated into the test interface, which means lower demands on the technological equipment of the candidates. Another novelty is that the organizers can send a mass message to the participants directly during the exam, if necessary. “The technology can reliably monitor even the tests with thousands of participants at once. In such a case, it will save the examiners a large amount of time and work,” added Born Digital director Tomáš Malovec.
The unique skills and experiences of the two Czech companies meet in a solution that can take the quality of online testing to the next level. The technology combines Scio’s many years of experience with the organization and conducting of tests and the detailed knowledge of artificial intelligence development offered by the Born Digital startup. The specific last year had shown what the biggest problems with online testing are. And it is in their solution that the new product excels. ScioLink will hit the market in the upcoming school year, being available to Czech and abroad universities, private companies, and government institutions.
The Scio company, founded by a pedagogue and visionary Ondřej Šteffl, has been bringing innovations to Czech education for 25 years. In addition to the well-known General Study Prerequisites test, Scio also creates other various professional tests used by dozens of Czech and Slovak universities in the admission procedure. Scio also works on various educational projects for schools, parents, and children. Among other things, Scio is a partner of the platform for the prevention of bullying. Through the svetgramotnosti.cz portal, Scio has been helping schools develop reading and mathematical literacy for 10 years. The company also operates its network of so-called ScioSchools.
About Born Digital
The Czech startup Born Digital was founded in 2019. It focuses on the use of the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to digitize contact centers and automate human conversation on all available channels. The mission of Born Digital is to save its customers time and costs and increase their sales potential. In Central Europe, Born Digital solutions are used by major mobile operators, banks, insurance companies, or energy distributors. Thousands of people call Born Digital’s voice assistants every day, and so far they have handled more than 2.5 million calls with real customers.