Leading Irish university runs remote exams using Qpercom Observe’s video technology

by | Oct 8, 2020

Over 200 students from the School of Medicine at University College Dublin (UCD) undertook their clinical skills exams online for the first time ever using the Qpercom Observe software platform which now offers video technology.

Traditionally, students at the university have taken face-to-face examinations using the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) model which is used to test clinical skills in educations institutions across the world. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland this year, UCD were forced to think of an alternative way of staging the exams.

The university had previously been early adopters of Qpercom’s Observe platform to support assessment of its clinical skills examinations and Professor Allys Guérandel, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research SVUH and UCD, asked Qpercom if the exams could take place remotely with Observe.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a video integration feature has been added to the Observe software and Dr Thomas Kropmans, founder and CEO of Qpercom, was delighted that the feature was ready to be harnessed by UCD to ensure that the exams went ahead.

Dr Kropmans said:

Zoom, MS Teams and Google Meet have changed the world of communications lately, however this particular exam requires a flow of students going through a series of consecutive stations (video rooms) with simulated patients or actors and their examiner. This functionality is missing in these established platforms but Qpercom’s platform for OSCEs and MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews), Observe, can manage the process with ease.”


Observe on all devices

Qpercom’s Observe Platform was used by University College Dublin to facilitate exams with video technology



Enda Griffin
, a learning technologist and technical sales executive at Qpercom, designed last week’s exam in Dublin. He admits that there were challenges but ultimately, the exams proved a success:

“It was not easy. Technically and logistically it was a major challenge but thankfully we managed the examination and 90% of students were examined remotely without being in close contact with actors or examiners. This opens doors for other oral examinations and communication skills examinations in many other industries”.

Moving students from one video station to the next, while all parties participate remotely, be they actor/patients or examiner/interviewer and the retrieval of assessment data, all represent major logistical and technical challenges. However, they are challenges which we believe we have solved using Qpercom Observe. We are delighted that UCD were able to harness our platform to text the clinical skills of students this year, despite the fact that the pandemic meant staging face-to-face exams was not an option.” continued David Cunningham, CTO & Co-Founder of Qpercom.

Qpercom Observe is an advanced digital assessment solution used in medicine, nursing, veterinary, dentistry and health sciences by universities across the globe. Video technology embedded in Qpercom allows universities to maintain their exam schedules during the pandemic. The technology is now available to the wider educational community.

For more information on Qpercom Observe’s new video integration feature that allows clinical exams to be staged online, see bit.ly/RemoteOSCEs

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