The 4th industrial revolution of connectedness that we see today, has led to tremendous opportunities and changes in very diverse fields from manufacturing, medicine, transportation to banking and education. What we have seen in the last couple of years is a great shift from conventional methods of doing virtually everything: self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, mobile supercomputing, digital crypto currencies all point to a transformation in the way our lives are organized at every level.
However, as connectedness increases, so does the need for privacy, confidentiality and security. The vulnerability of systems to connectedness has given rise to whole new fields of cyber and digital security. How do we ensure a secure and credible future? This is the key question in the face of the current digital revolution. This piece will explore what the digital revolution is doing to online education and what this means for the future of education generally.
In 2015, the online education market was estimated to be worth 105 Billion dollars. Year on year, there has been a surge in online education. Coursera, Udacity and EdX, the largest online learning platforms, now count over 24 million students. Even traditional universities have caught the bug of online education with 64% of universities in the USA considering online education an important aspect of their long-term strategy in a survey conducted by Babson College. In the same survey, 44% of companies surveyed have intentions of using online learning tools for corporate training. The pointers show the digitization of knowledge transfer is happening very fast. As learning happens online, we have to come up with better tools for assessment and to guarantee the credibility of tests taken online. This is the challenge for online educational programs.
At ProctorEdu.com, an EduGild accelerated company, we pride ourselves in developing adaptable solutions for universities and online education providers to make exams taken online credible and trustworthy. How do we do this? We deploy the understanding of the real world to develop automated solutions for identity verification, authentication and behavior analysis. Our system monitors the test taker through his/her webcam, watching and analyzing for suspicious behavior. Behavior such as background noise, looking away from the webcam, other people in the background are automatically detected and recorded by the system. For high-stake exams, an external camera, for example, a smartphone, can be connected to the exam session to bolster the robustness of the system. All video feeds are saved on the cloud and available for further scrutiny, should the need arise. This is the future of online assessment: with minimal human interaction, exams will be vetted with a high degree of accuracy and credibility. What does this mean for the future of education? It means we can scale quality education across the board, removing constraints imposed by traditional methods. It means the young smart kid in the village can have access to quality education and be able to prove he is worth his onions. It means recruiters now have tools to make informed decisions not tied to the prestige of candidates' universities but rather their true performances. It is a bold future where education will be as distributed as communication, transportation, and hospitality have become in the face of the digital revolution.
As British novelist, Roald Dahl puts it, having power is not nearly as important as what you do with it. ProctorEdu empowers universities, online learning platforms to deliver credible online exams, anytime, anywhere, on any device.