Testing before and after tutoring is essential for an academic learning plan to be targeted to the student’s areas of weakness and to show the student’s gains in those areas when tutoring is complete. Being able to measure and illustrate gains is useful in many ways other than proving to you that the tutor was effective in the allotted time. Data collated for all students’ gains may be used in marketing campaigns and when talking to prospective clients, therefore it is essential that the test results truly reflect the ability of the student being tested.
There are a number of options open to online tutoring companies to proctor these tests.[divider top=”no”]
1. Self Proctor Online
Be sure to have the online test and video conferencing software open at the same time and on the same monitor if the student has more than one. If the student is taking a pre-test for the first time and is not known to the tutor, ID can be held up to the camera.
If the student is too young to have an ID then we can safely assume they are not alone and an adult can verify identity. Furthermore, if the intended tutor acts as proctor then it will become apparent in later sessions if someone else took the test not to mention the obvious clues of calling the child by name and looking for the correct response and the general age and gender of the student.[divider top=”no”]
2. Online Proctoring Services
Companies such as Examity, Kryterion and ProctorU offer the above services in a formal setting. Using the above tips and adding the use of mirrors that the student holds up prior to starting so the remote proctor can see the layout of the room and see if there are other computers, devices or people near the child.
Online literature states they are experts at spotting body or eye movements that indicate cheating and are alerted by software to audio being changed by the student as they work through a test.
Lack of pricing on these sites indicate this is an expensive service maybe best kept for unique situations.[divider]
3. Local Proctor
Can the student’s school help out with administering a test or a local library?
Shop around and ensure that the price you charge for the testing session will cover the price you pay for the use of the test, your time to find a proctor and the proctor themselves.[divider top=”no”]
4. Sub-Contract a Local Tutor
If you are offering grant funded tutoring then it is harder to steal a client but a private pay student is probably fair game.
If you go this route be sure to find a math tutor to proctor language arts etc., to minimize the risks.[divider top=”no”]
5. Parent Proctoring
It needs to be made clear to the parent and the student that absolutely nothing will be gained from tutoring if the parent helps their child with the test.
Point out that to get the best bang for their buck it is essential that the child fails in the areas where they need most help in order to receive that help.
Suggest that the parent assists in opening the online test and ensures that everything is working and then, if age appropriate leave the child in peace to work through the test, taking cell phones and calculators with them when they go.[divider top=”no”]
Parental confidence in your tutoring program will be higher if you are seen to be paying attention to accuracy and honesty with online testing performed remotely.
Tutoring scheduling & data management software such as Oases Online or TutorFirst offer online testing in Math and Language Arts (using Achieve) and Oases will even produce a targeted learning plan with Common Core goals automatically, based on the student’s incorrect responses. The online testing does not need to be remote it can be set in a traditional tutoring environment but the test link may be sent to a proctor if the student is studying remotely.
Oases Online will also collate your pre and post test data into a student gains report detailing actual and percentage gains for your students allowing you to use improvement data in your marketing campaign.[divider]