The facts

The customer
Austrian Language Diploma in German Association (ÖSD), Vienna, Austria
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The solution
VoiceTracer audio recorder
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The Austrian Language Diploma in German Association (ÖSD) relies on Philips VoiceTracer Audio Recorders to record spoken German exams as a quality assurance and control measure.

Philips VoiceTracer Audio Recorders have proven useful in a wide variety of situations where it is necessary to record important audio and save it as MP3 files for later use, be that in a university setting for students to record lectures, or in an office setting for recording meetings. The following example of a provider of internationally recognized German language exams and certificates represents another exciting application for the device, which eases the workload for everyone involved.

The non-profit organization ÖSD was founded in 1994. It offers standardized tests for German as a foreign and second language at around 400 licensed testing centers in more than 50 countries across the globe. The ÖSD tests conform to international guidelines and are based on the level descriptors of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The levels awarded by the ÖSD range from A1 to C2, which are a recognized standard around the world. Each year more than 140,000 people sit ÖSD examinations, for example in order to apply for a job at a company that demands candidates have a certain level of competence in German. Prospective students whose first language is not German also often require standardized proof of their German language skills in the form of an ÖSD certificate before they can study at a university in a German-speaking country. 

Using the Philips devices gives the examiners the security of knowing that the examination results can be proven at any time, should they be disputed.

Dr. Manuela Glaboniat
Managing Director and Academic Director, ÖSD

Record of oral language exams

Each of the approximately 400 testing centers have been using two to three Philips VoiceTracer DVT4010 devices during ÖSD examinations for some time now. Examiners use the audio recorder to record the spoken section of each ÖSD examination. Once the recording has been completed and the exam finished, each candidate’s recording is transferred to a data storage device using a USB cable and archived in next to no time. Should one of the candidates who has sat an ÖSD examination later dispute their results, ÖSD staff can play back the recording at any time and review the original assessment. This means that the results of the examination can be checked and proven as part of quality assurance and control. The MP3 files that are created during oral ÖSD examinations using the Philips VoiceTracers can also be used as evidence during legal disputes. “Simply knowing that the recording exists helps candidates to be more confident in the results of the examination,” explains Dr. Manuela Glaboniat, managing director and academic director of the ÖSD. 

Return on investment

“The investment in approximately 1000 Philips DVT4010 audio recorders has already paid for itself several times over,” states the managing director. She explains that some examinations were already being recorded before the decision to use Philips devices was taken. The ÖSD examiners provided their own recording devices, but not all of them did so, and the audio quality was often completely insufficient due to a poor choice of recording device. An organization-wide decision to start using Philips VoiceTracers raised the bar for the quality of data security at the organization.

Quality, intuitive and reliable

The Philips VoiceTracers were quickly introduced in all 400 testing centers. “The intuitive nature of the Philips devices means our employees became accustomed to them very quickly. Using the Philips devices also gives the examiners the security of knowing that the examination results can be proven at any time, should they be disputed,” explains Dr. Glaboniat. “This means that our employees can focus fully on their core responsibilities and carrying out examinations, with our Philips audio recorders always on hand for support. The MP3 files are of excellent quality. We are very pleased with this reliable solution.” A solution that the ÖSD will continue to rely on in the future. The organization is constantly growing, adding new locations each year. No matter where in the world new testing centers are established, every one will be equipped with a set of Philips VoiceTracers.

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