Pedantis: A comprehensive online and offline candidate testing system with ecommerce
Handling both remote tests of candidates at home, and testing at supervised centres, required a split approach
Pedantis provides online testing of proficiency of staff recruited for hospitality positions on cruise lines around the world. The company is based in Dubai, UAE, but recruits from a number of countries.
The client recruits large volumes of staff, it is vital to check their knowledge and capabilities. We needed to allow testing both of individuals, remotely (oriented towards mobile devices, as many may not possess computers) as well as groups taking tests in supervised locations in Dubai, and overseas.
We implemented two completely separate software systems - Windows software, based on the .NET Framework, to handle the supervised testing centre scenario, and a web-based system built with ASP.NET, to handle the remote testing. Visual design was similar for both, although the underlying code was quite different.Above: Drag and drop test question viewed from a desktop
The interface is lively and dynamic, and supports drag and drop, so complex questions where the answer requires four answers to be placed in the correct order are possible.
Results are provided by means of an online certificate.
For the online testing system, candidates would often be taking a test at their own location, without the possibility of supervision as in a test centre. So we built in a feature where the candidate's camera is activated in the browser (with their permission) to allow observation at various points that they are not being assisted or using other devices to cheat. More than anything, the active camera acts as a disincentive to cheat.Above: Pedantis testing, using a mobile device
Each test would be purchased. This is relatively simple to do with the online version where a single central database controls access to the tests. But was much harder to achieve with offline software.Above: Buying credit for offline tests
We developed a process whereby each offline machine can use its installed Pedantis testing software to generate a license request file, which contains an order for a certain number of licenses. These can be saved from each machine to a USB key, and then a single purchas for license credits can be made by uploading these to an ecommerce web site. An encrypted license file is issued by the web site, and this can then be copied to a USB key and applied to each machine, to grant each the number of requested license credits to enable the test software to run.
The integrated system, comprising offline Windows test software, online test platform, and ecommerce web site for purchasing licenses and credits covers all required testing scenarios and is largely automated. It supports locations with poor or no internet provision, as well as mobile friendly online versions which can let candidates have initial tests remotely, while supervised on camera.