Yesterday, I attended a convention on fraud in higher education (digitally, of course, thanks to COVID-19), and it was a fascinating experience. Two of the four speakers approach fraud from a legal perspective, discussing jurisprudence, recent developments and, of course, fraud in online digital assessment. They were very well-versed in the topics, and fielded a lot of questions with skill and ease. It’s always a joy to see somebody who knows what they’re talking about do their job well.
On top of that, we got so much information on multiple types of challenges that we’re facing at work. Particularly the past year of online assessment has proven to complicate matters quite rapidly. Digital assessment was never applied this widely, let alone digital assessment at a distance. As a result, we quite suddenly faced a host of new challenges, such as faulty internet connections invalidating an assessment (what do you do about that? What measures can you take?) or strong suspicions of fraud without evidence (Is that sound in the background somebody else reading a book, or the student checking a textbook during an assessment?).
I do think that the digital format allowed me to get out of my shell a little easier than normal. In the conventions I’ve been to so far, you’d of course have to speak up in a room of strangers to ask a question, whereas here it was just as simple as typing a comment in a chatbox. I could have even adopted some semi-anonymity, as I could fill in my own username to ask questions (though I just used my own name in any case). Certainly an encouraging experience that should remind me to participate more actively in future face-to-face conventions.