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Abstract

Advanced and affordable video conferencing technology has led to an increase in remote interpreting services via video, which has become a significant alternative to telephone and face-to-face interpreting. In keeping with this development, training providers are now incorporating video conference interpreting in their training. Video and audio resources are also increasingly being used as e-learning resources in online learning tools such as Blackboard and other university student learning portals. This has implications for the testing of interpreting skills, and the RMIT University Translating and Interpreting Program in Melbourne, Australia has started phasing in video assessment in examination and accreditation tests. In Australia, three test modes are commonly used: audio, video, and live-simulated tests. This article reports on a small-scale study that compared the three testing modes in terms of their potential impact on student examination results and also in terms of testing efficiency for training providers. Due to a lack of relevant research on the topic in the interpreting discipline, the discussion draws on relevant studies in diverse fields such as applied psychology, behavioral science, and musical performance. This study has implications for interpreter training strategies, for designing and administering interpreter assessment tests, and for resourcing in training programs.

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