Controlled Environment Assessment Tool (CEAT™)

The Psittacus Systems CEAT™ System is a ‘Back to Basics’ approach of Assessment and improving the way people learn online.

The System itself is an Accredited System, meeting the strict guidelines set by Awarding Organisations regulated by OfQual. In order to meet these guidelines, CEAT™ System needs to ensure that the opportunity to manipulate learner’s results is eliminated. This approach, is the reason why the CEAT™ System is able to provide 100% Online Regulated Qualifications, without the need of an ‘Invigilator lead’ assessment or exam, as the CEAT™ System does this part itself!

Why does The Arista Group use this software?

Simple really…you can cheat every online learning management system which is already available, simply hand over the login details and someone else can do the test for you.

Online learning is used in virtually every organisation large and small today… but there is no way of proving who actually took the Online Test or Exam… until NOW!

With the CEAT™ System, when a learner starts an Assessment or Exam which has been assigned to them for completion they need to take the following steps:

  • Upload a copy of their ID
  • When they start the test the CEAT™ System will take control of the learners Webcam whilst they are taking the Assessment or Exam
  • They will submit their answers to their Assessment or Exam and receive a ‘Provisional Pass or Fail’ pending verification of their ID and review of the recorded webcam images to ensure there is no evidence of malpractice
  • During the Assessment or Exam, if the learner navigates away from the page the CEAT™ System will automatically stop the test, thus preventing the learner viewing other documents, web pages or files on their computer which may aid them whilst taking the Assessment or Exam

The Blended Learning Environment offers both CPD and Regulated Qualifications, both using the same CEAT™ System, this sets a new level within the world of online learning and education and this makes the CEAT™ System the most robust and only Online Learning Management System which CANNOT BE CHEATED OR MANIPULATED, therefore providing the ONLY Learning Management System in the UK which can host and then deliver Ofqual Regulated Qualifications, 100% Online.

What Makes This CEAT™ System Different From Other LMS’s?

When developing the CEAT™ Software, developers looked at how learning, assessments, exams, courses, qualifications, tests etc are currently delivered in the classroom and simply applied the same techniques to an online platform.

We looked at the technology available coupled with a little bit of smart coding to minimise manipulation and to ensure that a true measure of a learners knowledge is achieved, online…we have achieved this and more!

We Use A Grading System, Why?

As with any training, it is about learning and putting that learning into practice. When a learner attends a traditional classroom-training course, at the end, they receive a Certificate of Attendance. What does this prove?

With a controlled environment test, we can measure how much a person has actually absorbed when they have completed any type of training or learning, going back to basics as you would at school.

The CEAT™ System uses an A-E grading system which is easily recognised by all, not all learners are ‘Grade A Students’ but that does not make them incapable of doing their job to a high standard, as long as they have the knowledge which is relevant to their job role in any given subject. By using the grading system, this is easily measured by the Learner or Employer. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staffs have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their jobs effectively and safely. The Grading System is an easy to understand tool, which employers can adapt in many ways for lots of different job roles and the different members of staff carrying out those jobs.

For example a member of staff working with food all of the time would be expected and required to have a higher level of knowledge of food safety than a member of staff who occasionally handles food. The Grading System also allows an organisation to determine the knowledge levels of all of their staff which can be incorporated into their recruitment and selection process, this is something which has been recommended in recent high profile reports.

Set Pass Marks and Grades With the CEAT™, pass rates can be set in accordance with the individual organisation’s minimum standards, individual learners ability or recommended guidelines and standards. These can be set verbally for individual staff or can be set globally to all staff through the settings within the CEAT™.

Essentially, the CEAT™ will produce a certificate for any subject when a learner scores 55% or above, unless the minimum pass mark is set by the learners Manager. It is up to the Manager to monitor this and determine, based on risk assessments, knowing their staff, job roles etc if the Grade Attained is accepted.

The Number of Knowledge Test Attempts can be set to a maximum number so as learners are discouraged from potentially trying to guess the answers. If a manager feels that it is acceptable for a learner to have, for example, ‘3’ attempts at any particular subject, they can set this within the CEAT. The default setting is unlimited attempts.

This highlights two main outcomes if a learner has lots of attempts;

  • It will highlight to the Manager that a learner is struggling, which they can then offer extra coaching and support or it may highlight further learning needs which may have previously gone un-noticed.
  • If a learner is guessing or not paying attention to any of the learning, again, the Manager can use this to work with that member of staff in various different ways in order to encourage the learner to take the ‘training’ seriously.

Ways To Reduce The Opportunity To Manipulate Results

Psittacus has been designed to reduce the opportunity to manipulate grades by adopting various techniques and system settings:

  • Exams/ Questions are changed regularly and two learners sitting the same test at the same time can be presented with a different set of questions, whilst meeting the same learning outcomes of the course. This prevents learners passing on the answers to the questions to their colleagues. This is done randomly and questions can be updated, changed or removed at anytime.
  • Learners are set up on the BLE using their email address, which is unique to them. They are then sent a secure password making it less likely that another individual can access that learner’s account. Learners who don’t have an email address can still access the system as they will be provided with an access code, again unique to them, although less secure than using the email address, learners have the option to update their details and enter their email address at any time.
  • When a Knowledge test is completed and the learner does not get the desired grade, they cannot access the test again for a minimum of 2 hours. The reason for this is simple; CEAT has adopted the UK DVLA Driver Theory Test Model for its Knowledge tests. A learner is not allowed to retake the test immediately if they fail but is asked to revisit the learning materials and resources available again before retaking the test after a certain period of time. This reduces the temptation for learners to ‘guess’ answers and will encourage them to take the test more ‘seriously’ as they will more likely view the test as credible.
  • The final and most essential tool available to CEAT users is designed to eliminate the common online issue regarding identity fraud. Without hosting a Supervised Invigilated Assessment session, there is no way to guarantee a learner is who they claim to be, as with all alternative Learning Management Systems, until now! A learners Manager is now able to engage ‘Webcam Recording’ when a learner completes a knowledge test within the CEAT. This offers 100% assurances that the person who’s learning account it is, is actually the person carrying out the assessment and not someone else.
  • The system does not reveal which answers the learners got incorrect for two main reasons. Firstly, again using the DVLA Driver Theory Test model, learners assigned to a course are expected to answer the questions to the best of their ability and knowledge after reviewing any prior learning or resources about the given subject. Once a learner answers the questions and is given a grade, this is a proof of their actual knowledge. If they do not get the desired grade, fail or want to improve their grade they can retake the test again as previously explained. The system is designed to test an individual’s knowledge and advising learners where they have gone wrong is not a true measure of their knowledge, which is why the DVLA Driver theory test is designed to assess an individuals knowledge accurately before moving on to the practical test. Secondly if the system guided learners where they went wrong, if they were to come across a similar question again in the knowledge test they would effectively have been given the answer. Again this is not a true measure of the learners knowledge. The system is designed to give a true reflection of an individuals knowledge, complete the learning, take the test and get a grade, if the result is not good enough, retake the test. This is the method of assessment advised for any Regulated Knowledge Based Qualification which Psittacus has adopted throughout all of its courses, ensuring a degree of accuracy and a true reflection of Knowledge for all courses, not just Qualifications. Plus as questions are chosen at random, so therefore it is impossible to know which questions were answered incorrectly and advise accordingly as the system works using a bespoke Algorithm to enhance security and accuracy with results.
  • The system records the learner’s activity so as Managers can view what a learner has been doing. Making it easy for a Manager to question a learner’s activity if they feel they are not utilising all materials available to them to obtain the desired grade.

Knowledge Test Questions And Answers

All knowledge tests are written and developed by Subject Matter Experts and reviewed in accordance with the Following Policies which can be found in the Management Portal:

  • Online Assessment Procedure
  • Course Review Process
  • Assessment and Quality Assurance Policy
  • Malpractice Policy

In accordance with the above Policies, learners are asked to complete an Online Evaluation and Reflective Practice, for their own records and their Managers records, at the same time, meeting the Professional CPD Requirements of the relevant industry for an individual’s portfolio. We also use this information to help improve the Assessment Process and using data collected when learners answer questions, we can determine if certain questions are causing difficulty or are consistently answered incorrectly, at which point this will be passed on to the Quality Assurance Team to be reviewed and changed if deemed necessary.

Hints and Tips – If an organisation has previously used e-Learning, it is advised that they review any courses and the various settings within Psittacus as the system is designed and will work differently to all other systems available, which is why it is has been Accredited to deliver Regulated Qualifications 100% Online.

A few pointers to get you started:

  • Review each course to determine the knowledge levels you will accept from each course, as some courses are more difficult than others.
  • Decide if you want to set a global or individual minimum pass mark for any courses and why?
  • Decide if you want to set a maximum number of knowledge test attempts and why?
  • Take into account the ability of your staff when assigning them courses, remember not everyone is a ‘Grade A Student’ but that does not mean they cannot do their job effectively.
  • Use the training and grading system for reward and recognition and also staff Personal Performance Reviews.
  • The System can also determine if an individual is ‘right’ for the job they are doing. If you use the system correctly, you can ensure your staffs, taking all the above guidance into consideration, have the right knowledge for the job they are doing, if they don’t, should they be in the job?
  • You can also measure the Knowledge Levels of all staff using the reporting functions. Prove and be proud of how much your staff knows.
  • Encourage your staff to use the internet, it is a fantastic learning tool, the system sometimes throws in ‘curve ball’ questions which may not be covered in the learning materials and resources and will require the learner to find out the answer using their own initiative. Remember, this is a Blended Learning Environment and draws upon all learning styles as people learn in different ways.

We work with Universities, Training Providers, Higher Education, Awarding Organisations and Industry Bodies who use the Psittacus CEAT™ System to ensure that any Assessments and Exams are completed by the person who is taking the course or qualification. This enables organisations to look at new opportunities and reach a wider audience by ensuring the same level of invigilation is online as in the classroom.

Speak to us today to see how we can develop your Assessment or Exams 100% Online!

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