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South African Educators develop mobile app for learning institutions

February 27, 2021

Covid-19 has disrupted higher education both locally and internationally. Institutions have largely had to close on-campus education, as the virulence of the pandemic halted all the normalcies of life, both socially and economically.

While there certainly are many challenges and negative impacts, innovation and embracing change have seen South African educators create The Invigilator - a solution that is as relevant now as it would be in the post-Covid-19 world.

The biggest shift in education has been from physical to remote or online learning and assessment. This move has thrown a massive spotlight on the inequalities amongst students, with lack of access to equipment and consistent internet connections being but a few of the challenges. Remote and online assessments have brought the integrity of academic outcomes and qualifications into question. While there are existing proctoring solutions that address some of the risks of academic dishonesty, they usually come at a high cost, high-end infrastructure requirements, yet again highlighting inequitable access to education.

The Invigilator was developed in South Africa by lecturers who recognised the challenges of infrastructural limitations and academic integrity with assessments faced in our new learning environments.

Compatible with entry-level smartphones and designed to be a low data solution, The Invigilator allows examiners to choose from a variety of photo authentication and speech recording tools, matched to the level of security required for each assessment. The Invigilator leverages Artificial Intelligence to assist examiners in verifying students’ identities and flagging suspicious activities during an assessment. The app does not require the infrastructure needs and costs of alternative solutions, nor does it need constant internet connectivity. Furthermore, it can act as an invigilator for both written and digital assessments. A student can therefore complete an assessment with access to an entry-level smartphone only. Rolled out in the second half of 2020, The Invigilator boasts a high volume of users with thousands of assessments completed.

In partnership with Eiffel Corp, a technology company specialising in digital education, training and communication, The Invigilator will be available to educational institutions as a cost-effective solution designed with educators and students in mind.

“It is always great to see innovation in challenging times. The Invigilator demonstrates how the creative nature of South Africans can see us develop solutions for the African market, and beyond. We are proud to partner with yet another solution that will see our clients realise the potential of technology in education,” said Robyn Abrahams, Eiffel Corp - General Manager: Sales.

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