Sumadi case study | AWS Databases

Partnering with Amazon Web Services has enabled SUMADI™ to provide our clients with cost-effective, scalable proctoring solutions with real-time reporting capability.

Today, we use Amazon Rekognition models for face and object detection, AWS Lambda functions to process messages, Amazon DynamoDB for storing image metadata, and Amazon API Gateway to assist our chat application.

Since migrating to AWS in 2020, we’ve been able to cost-effectively scale our proctoring services to support 50,000 concurrent users, each generating one record every 30 seconds – an increase of 25 times compared to before.

In this case study, our Director of Product Development, Francisco Perez and Enterprise Architect, Julio Elgueta discuss how our partnership with AWS helps our clients deliver education remotely, flexibly, and on demand.

Visit here to read our complete case study:  Sumadi Case Study | AWS Databases (amazon.com)

To find out more reasons why you should choose SUMADI™, contact us at: sales@sumadi.net


Why choose SUMADI?

With a wide range of proctoring solutions on the market today, you may well have wondered why choose one over the other. We’ve prepared this snapshot of five key reasons why you would choose SUMADI™. We believe we’ve got a strong differentiation and a solution you’re going to love.

We’re different

We use the latest AI-powered facial and typing pattern recognition, authentication and browser tracking solutions to ensure the integrity of online assessments. We offer the only automated proctoring solutions that can be delivered:

  • in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Arabic),
  • simultaneously,
  • at scale,
  • with real-time client reporting (capable of processing millions of images per hour).

Proven secure, large-scale assessments

Using Amazon Web Services’ Global Cloud infrastructure (the most secure, extensive and reliable cloud platform) SUMADI™ is able to segregate deployments in multiple regions around the world, delivering in excess of 50,000 assessments at any one time.

Just one example of how our solutions have been used for large-scale, yet highly secure online assessments is our work with the Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education (ICFES – part of Colombia’s Ministry of National Education). Working with CognosOnline and Open LMS, our solutions enabled the delivery of 326,000 online state exams to students located across the country, as well as abroad. As a result of the success of the project, Colombia became the first country in the world to carry out exams on such a large scale, online and simultaneously. 

Born in the cloud and easy to integrate

SUMADI™ was developed from the outset as a cloud-based platform, without legacy systems, which allows for greater efficiency of cloud computing and enables the latest software architecture.

Data security

SUMADI™ is committed to the highest standards of data security and privacy, and we comply with the most stringent global standards. These standards include the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) Top 10 Proactive Controls and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Customer support with tailored solutions

We understand exams can require different monitoring, so solutions, services and support are customised to best meet our clients’ needs. Once implementations are in place, our Global Customer Care team trains our customers in the use of Sumadi’s solutions, with follow up sessions scheduled regularly or on demand. Self-service resources through help.sumadi.net, email and live chat are available 24/7 in English and Spanish.

To find out more reasons why you’d choose SUMADI™, contact us at: sales@sumadi.net


Here’s why using an online proctoring solution is beneficial for your institution

As students return to their classrooms for face-to-face learning, are there still benefits for institutions in the online proctoring of assessments? Here we discuss the advantages, which demonstrate why many believe the momentum of online assessments is set to continue.

 

Academic integrity

Academic integrity means acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in learning, teaching and research. Proctoring of online exams, utilizing the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, has been proven to reduce cheating and make assessments more accurate.

Assurance

A comprehensive, well-designed proctored online exam offers students and faculty the assurance that all test-takers are participating on ‘a level playing field’. Online proctoring equalizes the testing environment to make sure exams are fair for all. Exam design and techniques (such as SUMADI’s browser lockdown and reporting to evaluators in real time) deter prohibited behaviors and significantly reduce the potential for cheating.

Convenience

Instructors and test-takers don’t need to travel to online exams. As with online learning, this type of convenience enables an institution to reach even more students and potential students (i.e. those who live in rural and remote areas).

Flexibility

Rather than committing test-takers to a precise in-person exam schedule, the benefit of online exams is that institutions can offer flexibility – so that test-takers can undertake an exam at a time convenient to them.

Institutional reputation

With quality online proctoring solutions like SUMADI™, students and faculty know that it is extremely difficult to cheat. This means the results on an online exam and qualification have more value. Online proctoring strengthens the validity of academic programs and the institution that is offering them, which not only enhances the institution’s reputation, but is also important for the accreditation process.

Affordability

Manual test processes and in-person exams taken in physical test centers can add significantly to an institution’s expenses. Quality online proctoring utilizing artificial intelligence can be delivered cost effectively and offers more measurable consistency.  At SUMADI™, we offer a range of cost-effective and tailored solutions to meet all budget requirements.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of online proctoring for your institution, and learn about SUMADI’s solutions, reach out to us at: sales@sumadi.net

We’d love to chat!


Tips for online exam instructors

With online exams becoming more common, we’ve compiled this list of tips for proctoring instructors – from writing clear exam instructions and ensuring test-takers are familiar with the proctoring solution, to understanding proctoring results and seeking support.

Effective exam instructions

Just as you establish protocols for an in-class assessment, so too is the case for proctored exams – most importantly, the exam conditions and rules (e.g. what materials a test-taker can have with them during an exam, what behaviours are prohibited). Ensure your exam instructions are clear and well understood by your proctoring solutions provider, and can be easily interpreted and followed by your test-takers.

One of Sumadi's distinctive attributes is that we use minimum system requirements to ensure correct use and avoid inconveniences during an exam. We recommend test-takers verify that their computer meets the minimum requirements according to the platforms outlined in our help center.

We also recommend you remind your test-takers to confirm they are using the correct institution ID when the undertake an exam – as the ID is unique for each institution.

Customize the proctoring settings

You can customize your proctoring settings when setting up an exam, enabling you to tailor it to meet your unique needs. It may be worthwhile consulting with colleagues who’ve had experience with proctored exams (to discuss exam protocols and settings), and reach out to your proctoring solutions provider for their recommendations. They may be able to identify areas of potential confusion or misunderstanding, and can help fine tune the settings to best meet your requirements.

Ensure test-takers know how to use the proctoring solution

Asking your test-takers to review the proctoring instructions and exam rules prior to their exam will help prepare them for success. Also, having test-takers test the proctoring solution in advance of their exam will allow time to seek support should they encounter a problem.

Resources are readily available for test-takers as well as instructors to help ensure all parties are best prepared. Sumadi has a self-service portal that provides step-by-step guides for troubleshooting, support, and information on release updates.

Review of proctoring results

Proctoring solutions provide student reports that identity verifications, provide screenshots and audio recordings of potential misconduct – to ensure the report results you receive are provided in context.

Sumadi actively captures screenshots of the test-taker and marks the images with valuable metadata for ease of filtering and decision making. We analyze data in real time and flag suspicious behavior, making it easy for instructors to identify a specific user’s exam that requires review. Our intuitive analytic dashboards and reports are generated in real time, allowing instructors to detect unwanted and suspicious behavior, which can be reviewed during or after an exam.

Understand the reporting you will receive

Proctoring reports are presented with flags that identify different types of activity that have arisen during an exam. For ease of evaluation, particularly when reports are shared in real time, it’s worthwhile having an understanding in advance of what each flag represents.

Access support  

Be sure to know who to contact when support is needed during or after an exam.

When undertaking an exam through Sumadi, the first level of support or contact for instructors is via our help center and live chat. Following that, the best way to reach our global customer support is by email: support@sumadi.net

If you’re interested in learning more about tips for instructors when establishing an online exam, or our range of proctoring solutions, reach out to us at: sales@sumadi.net

We’d love to chat with you!


Five tips to take the stress out of online exams

As many students prepare for a busy exam period ahead of the spring break, this list of five tips will help minimize their stress and ensure they’re prepared.

 

  1. Know the exam guidelines

Prior to undertaking an exam, test-takers should review and understand the exam rules, so they know what is and isn’t allowed. It’s important to be aware that talking to others, using headphones, switching between browsers on a computer, and using a phone is not permitted.

It’s also worth noting that guidelines can differ from one type of exam to the next, so always check the guidelines for the specific exam being taken.

 

  1. Check the computer

Checking the computer is set and ready well in advance of an online exam is key. Test-takers should check what systems are necessary and whether their computer is compatible. Is particular hardware required? Does the software need to be downloaded ahead of time? SUMADI™ has an easy-to-refer-to list of requirements so test-takers can ensure their computer and systems are appropriate. In addition, make sure the computer is close to a power outlet, so there is no chance of the battery running low.

 

  1. Have a good internet connection

Ensuring the test-taker is located in an area with good internet access will avoid last-minute issues (and the possible need to move location). Hard-wiring a computer to the internet is also worth considering, as it will provide a better connection during an exam.

 

  1. Choose the best place for the exam

To minimize distractions, test-takers should choose an area that is quiet and removed from the potential noise of others. They should also turn off (or set to silent) all notifications, like instant messaging and emails. It’s worthwhile letting others (family members, housemates) know where and when the test is being taken, to avoid interruptions.

In addition to the location, test-takers can be best prepared by having all the materials they need (such as notes, books, or writing implements) ready in advance.

 

  1. Know how to get support during the exam

Make note of what to do and how to get support should issues arise during an online exam. For test-takers undertaking an assessment using the SUMADI™ solution, support can be reached from their institution’s help desk.

Remain assured your local help desk will promptly solve the inconvenience or request additional support to our SUMADI Global Customer Care Team if need be.

 

 

Stress can be alleviated, and productivity can be improved by following these five simple tips ahead of an online exam. 

We encourage you to share these tips with test-takers to help empower them to succeed.


The image is about a girl who is receiving online classes.

Online learning and assessments – the status quo

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was high growth and adoption of education technology. Globally, EdTech investments reached US$18.66 billion in 2019, while looking forward, the market for online education is projected to reach $350 billion by 2025.

Major world events often give rise to innovation. The pandemic has not forced the rise of education technology, only accelerated it, and pushed it towards greater innovation. As we approach the second anniversary of the pandemic (the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020), many believe online learning and the need for education technology are here to stay.

Online learning effectiveness

There are many benefits to online learning, with evidence suggesting it can be more effective (for those with access to the right technology). Studies by the Research Institute of America show that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom.

Many students are able to learn faster online. It’s been suggested corporate e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than compared to traditional learning. This is because online learning students learn at their own pace; they can revise, review, bypass, or accelerate through their learning as they choose.

In addition, online learning provides greater flexibility, enabling students to incorporate learning into their daily lives and schedules, with the added benefit of being able to participate in live classes or opt to view recorded lessons.

There is also an economic benefit for online learners through cost savingswith less money spent on things like transportation. There is also the potential for online learning to lead to lower costs of education, for example, institutions (like universities) will require less infrastructure (e.g. physical campuses).

Benefits of proctoring solutions

While the demand for online learning has grown as a result of the pandemic, so too has the need for online evaluations, a trend we here at Sumadi believe will continue. The wide range of benefits to today’s test-takers include:

  • Exam integrity with effective monitoring – exam conditions can be maintained through secure and continuous monitoring (to deter cheating), including analyzing and processing images recorded during exams (while not interrupting the test taker).
  • Authentication – ability to verify a person’s identity before an exam to authenticate the test taker
  • Larger range of exam questions – with access to huge memory banks, a wider range of questions can be incorporated into online exams.
  • Preference for answering questions – most test takers prefer to type in their exams rather than handwrite, which can be the case in face-to-face exams (this is also more efficient for exam evaluators to review).
  • Reduction in carbon footprint – eliminating the use of paper and traveling to face-to-face exams reduces carbon emissions.
  • Time-saving – rather than spending time commuting to an exam (or the logistics of seating arrangements that happen immediately prior to face-to-face exams) test takers have more time for study and exam preparation.
  • Data collection and security ­assurance – proctoring solutions like Sumadi’s secure data in transit and at rest, and don’t share data with any third party. Sumadi solutions are security assured through Blackboard PBSC and the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) Top 10 Proactive Controls.

With great innovation taking place across the sector, the advantages of proctoring solutions will only be enhanced.

As we progress beyond the second anniversary of the pandemic, the importance of imparting knowledge across institutions, cities, countries, and regions, and all parts of society, remains. Online learning and online assessments will be integral to this, and proctoring solutions will need to continue to innovate.

At Sumadi, our vision is to modernize and simplify supervision and information validation for test-takers around the world in the most secure way, through a universal technology ecosystem. It’s our mission to help provide the best online assessment experience.


Sumadi recognized in Europe’s Top 10 EdTech startups

Sumadi is proud to have been listed as one of the Top 10 EdTech startups in Europe. Enterprise Security magazine included us in the annual listing of 10 companies that are at the forefront of providing EdTech Startup solutions and impacting the industry.

Our Executive Director, Raul Rivera spoke to Enterprise Security about our startup journey and the plans to strengthen our presence as a leading online education solutions provider.

Here’s what they had to say about us: “As online learning reaches a broader market, education technologies like Sumadi will play a significant role. With such unparalleled capabilities and affordability, Sumadi is bound to reach greater heights.”

Read more about this story in Education Technology Insights.


Colombia Makes History with World-Leading Global Innovation

While much of the world looks to settle into a new normal following the onset of COVID-19, many of the changes that resulted from the pandemic are set to remain.

Education has experienced a significant digital transformation – and although this was gaining momentum prior to the pandemic, it was significantly accelerated because of it. In particular, the need for online evaluations grew in relevance and importance, and we believe that trend will continue. 

As people endured months of COVID-19 quarantine and health restrictions banned in-person testing, the potential to impact the learning outcomes for millions around the world was threatened. However, applications such as ours played a pivotal role in enabling testing to continue – so that students could be assessed and graduate, employees could be accredited, and people could continue their professional and self-development – regardless of the pandemic.

ICFES (the Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education – part of Colombia’s Ministry of National Education) utilized the digital transformation in order to execute 326,000 online state exams.

In Colombia, high school seniors are required to take an exam (the Pruebas Saber 11) to graduate and be admitted to higher education. Students in technical and technological careers, and undergraduate students must also undertake specific exams (the Saber TyT and Saber Pro).

Sumadi partnered with CognosOnline and Open LMS to deliver these exams online, on behalf of ICFES to Colombian students – those located within the country, as well as abroad. 

As a result of the partnership and the successful delivery of the exams (which lasted up to five hours), Colombia became the first country in the world to carry out exams on such a large scale, online and simultaneously. 

The project involved the implementation of technology that enabled thousands of students to be assessed virtually through:

  • a learning management solution, with high scalability that allowed for the creation of exams in an intuitive and accessible way and that could be easily adopted by those responsible for uploading exam questionnaires. The eLearning platform, Open LMS enabled this.
  • a technology that would integrate with Open LMS and could deliver academic integrity and exam security through online monitoring. This role was pivotal to the project’s success and was executed by Sumadi.

We supervised the exams while they were being undertaken by creating electronic academic files and identifying students who were not complying with the exam rules, such as a student attempting to open a restricted page, checking their cell phone, or speaking to a third party. 

During the exams, continuous facial authentications of the students were captured, producing records in an automated way, and generating alerts for evaluators in real time. This included capturing more than 181 million photographic records, simultaneously.

“We’re proud to have been part of this history-making project, working with ICFES, CognosOnline and Open LMS,” said Raúl Rivera, Sumadi’s Executive Director.

“Through our AI and facial recognition technology we ensured the integrity of the exams, allowing for a fair and impartial evaluation of all students, no matter where they were located.”

“Importantly, the project helped contain the spread of COVID-19 and kept students safe as they undertook their exams from home – enabling them to fulfil their assessment requirements and avoid significant impacts to their learning outcomes,” Raúl added.

Colombia’s example highlights what can be achieved when technology, human capital and effective partnerships are optimized. It also demonstrates the current digital transformation – using technology for simultaneous online assessments of large numbers of students located anywhere in the world – is succeeding.


Experience the future of learning

We’re excited to be participating as a Premium Sponsor at Blackboard's virtual conference, BbWorld21 on July 13-15 and 20-22.

Join us and thousands of educators, administrators, and thought leaders from the global education community for this interactive digital event. There’ll be keynote addresses, breakouts sessions, and workshops designed to provide industry insights, best practices, and a clearer vision of the future.

This year’s key topics include teaching and learning experiences, the latest EdTech trends, data and analytics, student success, institutional change, accessibility, product integrations, and community engagement.​

On Wednesday 14 July (11.05am–11.20am ET) and Thursday 22 July (1.50pm–2.05pm ET ) you’ll hear from our leaders as they discuss ‘How Remote Proctoring is Shaping the Future of Global Online Education’.

You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with the Sumadi team throughout the six days of the conference, and experience our automated proctoring solutions with live demonstrations.

BbWorld is a free event. You can tune in live or watch on demand. Register here.