The effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are wide-reaching. Not only is the virus taking a toll on global health and the economy, but education has been impacted, too. In China, schools have been closed and millions of students have been quarantined at home, with many unable to return to their campuses due to travel restrictions.
Nine TVO ILC students were directly affected by these travel restrictions. The students, who attend TVO ILC partner school New Oriental, had gone home to be with their families for the Chinese New Year and were unable to return to their Beijing and Zhengzhou campuses. This put their course credits in jeopardy as they were now unable to write the final Grade 12 exams required to earn the course credit, and apply for fall 2020 admission at North American post-secondary institutions.
TVO ILC was committed to finding a technology solution for these students—a solution that would allow us to deliver the final test directly to students in their homes. After a great deal of research, the technology selected was Microsoft Teams.
The Teams group chat and collaboration software provided TVO ILC with the means to implement rigorous, remote supervision to ensure academic integrity of the exam and the credit. TVO ILC made it a seamless experience for each student; with one click, they were connected to four separate real-time video and audio streams (student laptop, parent’s smartphone, New Oriental exam invigilator, TVO ILC team) allowing for real time visual supervision. The software also supported web-based chat, document sharing, and video and audio recording—all in one single interface. The TVO ILC team also took steps to protect the intellectual property of the exams, password-protecting and watermarking all documents with Adobe Acrobat Pro.
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This was the first time Microsoft Teams was used for TVO ILC exam invigilation and delivery—and it was a big success. Over two nights (mornings, in China), the TVO ILC and New Oriental team was able to deliver and monitor 18 final exams, generating sincere gratitude from students and parents for the efforts made to assist them in meeting their academic goals.
This was an excellent example of TVO’s commitment to innovation in digital education, our goal of making it accessible to as many people as possible, and how the power of learning can change lives.