A North East apprentice has become one of the first to use new proctoring software to sit an exam during government restrictions and social distancing thanks to Sunderland College.
Healthcare apprentice Iona Henderson, who works on the emergency assessment unit at South Tyneside District Hospital, sat an endpoint exam using a laptop without having to come into college or an invigilator being present.
Programme leader for apprenticeships Jonathan Kosyl worked closely with Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust to support Iona, who prepared for the exam by downloading the ProctorExam app to her phone.
Not having access to device at home Iona was loaned a laptop by the college’s apprenticeships team who ensured she had all the necessary software for the assessment, which was held at the hospital’s Learning and Development Centre.
Jonathan said: “Previously a member of college staff would have had to go to the workplace to invigilate but due to the current crisis all endpoint assessments have been suspended. The online proctoring system has now enabled the exams to continue to be delivered.
“We’re now preparing for more of our apprentices to take their exams remotely at a time and date suitable to them.”
Adding to the success, Iona passed her exam, receiving a merit.
“At first when I was told the new changes I was feeling a little nervous as I had never come across anything like this before,” she said. “However, I was giving full guidance and information by Sunderland College on how to set up the software prior to my exam.
“As soon as the exam started, I felt at ease as the Learning and Development Centre had a very relaxing atmosphere and environment. I didn’t feel nervous or under pressure during this exam at all, this really helped as I felt I was doing well during the exam as I had no distractions.
“I was very pleased with my result; I received a merit which has made me feel very happy and proud of myself. All of the exam preparation from Sunderland College helped me towards result that I was hoping for.”
This bold new delivery of exams has been brought in place nationally during the movement restrictions and is a first for many apprentices, employers and colleges across the country.
As well as studying and revising for her exam, Iona is one of thousands of students on the NHS front line who are working hard to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was feeling very scared and stressed at the beginning of all this,” she adds. “I was scared to go into work.
“The emergency assessment unit has been extremely busy day in and day out and I’ve been working extra hours to help fight coronavirus. We have been working well as a team to make sure we provide the best care and meeting the needs of our patients during this sad time.
“Our management have always made sure we have the correct personal protection equipment at all times and also making sure we are comfortable and not over worked.”
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