Around Zimbabwe

The Invigilator App stops students from cheating during online exams

By Kundayi Mahembe

THE Invigilator App, a tool created by Nicholas Riemer and two other academics, is making waves in the South African technological education industry and will do well in Zimbabwe now that more and more institutions are going for online learning.

According to its developers, the Invigilator App is a tool that mitigates the risk of unethical behaviour such as collusion or cheating during online assessments and examinations. It uses non-invasive Artificial Intelligence (AI) to prohibit collusion and cheating.

So far, over 400 000 users have made use of the app for their remote examinations. South African institutions pay per student for unlimited use per year.

The app 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 mobile application is being utilised by some of SA’s largest academic institutions, including the University of South Africa (Unisa), University of Johannesburg (UJ), Rhodes University (RU), North West University (NWU), Boston City Campus (BCC), University of Cape Town (UCT), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) as well as Accounting Professional Training.

The mobile app that can be used on any entry-level smartphone requires minimal access to data, requires minimal battery and data, and can work offline. It was recently named the top downloaded education app in the country.

But there is a downside to the app. Users who reached out to HourlyHits complained that there is no feature to test the app sound before one can “start assessment”. The app also keeps the phone from locking. Any phone that has low RAM will struggle with the app and will occasionally kick the user out of the app.

“This app is terribly designed, you can’t manually focus the camera and it drains your phone’s battery by forcing full brightness,” said another user on the app’s user review section.

“On top of that, full brightness makes my phone overheat. This is atrocious design! There’s no reason why the app can’t still function with the screen turned off during the exam. It’s also extremely buggy, crashing many times when entering the code or scanning the code.”

Another said: “Not only is the app disruptive especially to students with learning barriers, but it doesn’t allow extra time for you to do all its rediculous requests now that it has disrupted your mental flow and thinking processes.

“From my perspective, there is still nothing stopping the students from cheating. As long as there is silence, there is no way to tell if someone else is completing the work as it warns you. People looking to cheat are smart enough to work past this system.

“The app keeps on saying update to new versions. Four days after I downloaded it, it was telling me to update to new version I did. Within a week again it says update to new version. Poor service while I was scanning my exam only 3 pages went through and the app says well done!”

Yet another said: “The Invigilator App is user friendly. However, the app had more time allocated than the actual exam itself. This confused everyone in my exam because of incorrect time allocated. The app should also be able to let you know when your time is almost up while in airplane mode.”

The app’s developer Reimer, who is only 32, was recently named the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA’s) Top 35 under 35 overall winner for 2021. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, Monash, as well as SAICA.

He began his entrepreneurial journey by attending the University of Johannesburg (UJ), where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

He then spent a year doing academic articles at UJ, and this is where his passion for education developed.

In 2017 he joined FirstRand, where he completed the remainder of his articles and transitioned to the investment world to head up the Investment Education team at First National Bank (FNB) wealth and investments.

Additional reporting by IOL.

Jobs & Scholarship Opportunities!

  1. If you want job opportunities in South Africa, CLICK HERE.
  2. If you want fully-funded scholarships, CLICK HERE.
  3. To join an HourlyHits telegram channel, CLICK HERE.
  4. If you want funding opportunities for your business or project, CLICK HERE.

Related Articles

Back to top button