Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 18, 2020

Tech Vendor Backs California Law School Deans: Online Bar Exam Proctoring Is A Chimera

Following up on my previous posts:

Extegrity Statement (Sept. 14, 2020):

EE 2Re California law school deans letter (14 September 2020) advocating an unproctored remote exam in October.

Extegrity is relieved to see so many California law school deans reach the same conclusion we did back in July. While it is too late to spare applicants the dramatic uncertainty of the past six weeks, it is not too late to reconsider the undue risk of remote proctored exams.

Remote proctoring was not envisioned — nor has it been proven ready — for large-scale, high-stakes, simultaneous-start "event" exams like the bar exam. But we are not saying all remote exams carry undue risk. The obvious low risk example is what the deans are suggesting: “takehome” exams, exactly as we have helped law schools nationwide administer by the many-tens-of-thousands, semester after semester, for two decades.

If the issue is to determine a feasible remote bar exam, the rule is as we originally stated in July — the pedagogy will need to shift to match what can work technologically, whether it may include randomized multiple-choice questions (or no multiple choice questions), more-but-shorter essays, open-book components, or other innovations. The deans have made a sound analysis and reached similar conclusions.

Extegrity stands ready to assist bar examiners with unproctored remote exams, just as we do for law schools. Setup is a standardized operation that can be coordinated with any state in a day or two, leaving as much time as possible for unlimited practice exams, as well as full-scale stress tests to validate the system.

Examinees would download the same fully-vetted software version used on law school finals this past spring and bar exams this summer, and would be free to re-download for installation on other laptops as needed. Extegrity believes cooperation and collaboration with all stakeholders is necessary to ensure smooth, reliable delivery of the bar exam.

We wish all examiners and examinees the best through the upcoming exams.

Greg Sarab
CEO, Extegrity

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