Sumadi – Helping to shape the future of online education

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Education has experienced a significant digital transformation — and although this was gaining momentum prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was significantly accelerated because of it. In particular, the need for online assessments grew in relevance and importance, and that trend is set to continue.

Sumadi is helping organisations around the world — from universities, to government agencies, certification providers and corporations — adapt to this digital transformation by providing flexible, cost-effective and secure automated proctoring solutions for online assessments. Sumadi’s solutions played a pivotal role in enabling assessments to continue virtually — so that students could be assessed and graduate, employees could be accredited, and people could continue their professional and self-development — regardless of the pandemic. 

Points of difference 

Sumadi uses the latest AI-powered facial and typing pattern recognition, authentication, and browser tracking solutions to ensure the integrity of online assessments. It offers the only automated proctoring solutions that can be delivered: 

• in multiple languages, 

• simultaneously, 

• at scale, 

• with real-time client reporting (capable of processing millions of images per hour).

Using Amazon Web Services’ Global Cloud infrastructure (the most secure, extensive, and reliable cloud platform) Sumadi is able to segregate deployments in multiple regions around the world, delivering in excess of 50 000 assessments at any one time.

Proven secure, large-scale assessments 

Just one example of how Sumadi’s solutions have been used for large-scale yet highly secure online assessments is its work with the Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education (ICFES — part of Colombia’s Ministry of National Education). Sumadi’s solutions enabled the delivery of 326 000 online state exams (which lasted up to five hours) to students located across the country, as well as abroad — at a time when social distancing and health restrictions banned in-person testing. 

“We supervised these online exams as they were happening by creating electronic academic files and identifying those students that were not abiding by the exam rules,” said Raúl Rivera, Sumadi’s Executive Director. “Our supervision involved identifying students that may be attempting to open a restricted web page, looking at their mobile phone or speaking to another person.”

Throughout the exams, continuous facial authentications were captured of students, producing records automatically, and generating alerts in real time for exam evaluators. In the case of ICFES, Sumadi captured more than 181-million photographic records. 

As a result of the success of the project, Colombia became the first country in the world to carry out exams on such a large scale, online and simultaneously. 

“Using the latest advancements in AI and facial recognition technology, we ensured the integrity of these exams, allowing for a fair and impartial evaluation of all students, no matter where they were located,” Rivera said. “Importantly, the project helped contain the spread of Covid-19 and kept students safe as they undertook their exams from home — enabling them to fulfil their assessment requirements and avoid significant impacts to their learning outcomes.” 

Data security 

Sumadi is committed to the highest standards of data security and privacy, and complies with the most stringent global standards. 

These standards include the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) Top 10 Proactive Controls and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Customer support with tailored solutions 

Sumadi’s industry-leading service and support model ensures the successful delivery of its solutions, and distinguishes it from other providers. 

The Sumadi team understands exams can require different monitoring, so solutions, services and support are customised to best meet clients’ needs. 

Once implementations are in place, the Customer Care team trains clients in the use of Sumadi’s solutions, with follow up sessions scheduled regularly or on demand. Self-service resources are available at all times and a Live Chat service is available in English and Spanish. Live Chat will soon be available 24/7. 

Partnering with OneConnect in Africa 

Sumadi is working alongside its preferred partner in Africa, OneConnect, to offer its automated proctoring solutions across South Africa and the continent. 

The organisation — listed as one of the Top 10 EdTech startups in Europe in 2020 and one of the Top 10 Biometric Solution Providers in Europe in 2021 (by Enterprise Security Magazine) — intends to modernise and simplify online supervision and information validation for education and certification providers here.

“We’re proud to partner with OneConnect to support online learning in Africa. Like Sumadi, OneConnect is an innovative provider of solutions, and together, we’ll help safeguard learning outcomes and ensure the integrity of online assessments,” Rivera said. “Our plan is to lead the new way in virtual supervision of online assessments. It’s an exciting time for both our organisations.”

Features of Sumadi solutions

Advanced computer vision and webcam monitoring 

Using the latest advancements in machine learning, Sumadi allows the secure and continuous monitoring of users, analysing and processing images in real time. 

Increased security with Sumadi Secure Browser 

A streamlined experience and security of a user’s device and operating system if provided through the Sumadi Secure Browser (S2B). Combining multiple controls, Sumadi captures key information of the exam context, such as if a user leaves, and reports in real time for evaluators to review.

Multi-factor authentication and verification

Sumadi provides alternative identity verification and authentication through advanced, accurate and secure digital biometrics. Note: Sumadi will support other multi-factor authentication mechanisms and digital biometrics (e.g. voice recognition).

Evaluator experience

An instructor/evaluator can review all webcam snapshots, facial authentications, and Browser Focus Tracking reports in an overall view, or detailed per individual user. Reports and analysis are made available in real time, and ready for review during or after an exam. 

User experience 

After landing on the Sumadi platform, the user is asked to create their unique facial profile (which will be used for every exam), and undergo facial authentication. The Sumadi Exam Wizard guides a user through the process of authenticating and entering their exam. 

Born in the cloud and easy to integrate 

Sumadi was developed from the outset as a cloud-based platform, without legacy systems, which allows for greater efficiency of cloud computing and enables the latest software architecture.

Quickly and easily detects unwanted behaviour

Sumadi analyses data in real time and flags suspicious behaviour, making it easy for evaluators to identify a specific user’s exam that requires review.

Data privacy and security

Sumadi builds trust and confidence by collecting only necessary data, and has detailed data retention policies. Data protection impact assessments are regularly conducted.

For more information on Sumadi’s automated proctoring solutions contact OneConnect at: [email protected]

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