Online Proctoring: Everything You Need to Know
Simply put, proctored test or proctoring refers to an examination mechanism that is used to verify the credibility of the test applicants and prevent them from cheating. For this purpose, the services of a proctor are acquired who remains present throughout the test.
A proctor is a professional who possesses the required qualifications and has undergone the relevant training to conduct student authentication and stop them from indulging in any kind of cheating. A proctored exam is an exam where you are being monitored by an authorized professional. Additionally, there’s one more reference for these types of proctoring.
What Is Online Proctoring?
Online proctoring is a type of digital evaluation through which you can give exams from anywhere. It is conducted via online software that enables course participants and students to sit for tests. However, it must be dependable and be devoid of any fraudulent activity. To address these concerns, monitoring software keeps a watch on you, making sure that the exam is completed without any fraud.
What Is Subsequent Proctoring?
In subsequent proctoring, your logs and images are stored in real-time on video. Afterward, a proctor is assigned to your case – they go through the footage and determine whether you committed any form of fraud or cheating. Your captured images can be used as evidence. This form of proctoring is suitable for those who don’t want to be bound by time. They can sit for an exam at any time, log in, and complete their test.
What is Live Proctoring?
Live proctoring is similar to traditional exam settings. An online proctor monitors you throughout the exam. In case they have any suspicions, they may intervene, similar to a real-world classroom setting. Unlike subsequent proctoring, you will be required to book the exam in advance to find whether a proctor can be assigned for your invigilation.
What is Automated Proctoring?
Automated proctoring involves the use of software to detect any form of fraudulent activity. It can identify if another person is present in the room or the test taker is using a tool or software in the background. If any suspicious behavior is found out, an alert is sent to the proctor, who will review it and make a decision. You can explain the online proctoring process via the following diagram.
In the last two decades, there has been a lot of development in the online test industry. Online tests are the most common type of testing in which candidates are evaluated based on their domain knowledge. Such tests are also conducted to assess a candidate’s behavioral profile or understand their learning ability.
Online Proctoring Technology: An Overview
The main objective of proctoring technologies is to tackle the security flaws of conventional proctoring processes. There are many technologies trying to resolve such tasks ranging from established technologies like video and camera to the more advanced methods, like voice, facial, and fingerprint recognition functionalities. There’s a succinct outline of these technologies, some of which are built into mainstream proctoring systems like Examus, Proctoru, and Examity.
Computer lockdowns – occur when test applications are stopped from using the Internet during the test. Usually, testing centers rely on lockdown technology when it comes to high-stakes tests. However, if needed, it can also be installed directly to a student’s computer. These technologies vary in terms of “lockdown” or “take over” .i.e. the extent to which they take control of a student’s system. Each vendor has their separate implementation of lockdown technology. Some remote exam proctoring vendors either outsource lockdown functionalities to third-party vendors, or develop their own technology.
Electronic signatures – Also, known as biosignatures, work similarly to hand-written signatures or e-signatures, except they undergo digital analysis for identity verification. Although electronic signatures are used in high-stakes testing environments, their utilization is uncommon in low-stakes environments.
Keystroke dynamic – distinguishes typing patterns on the basis of style, pressure, and rhythm. It is then compared with the original for verification. Some remote proctoring vendors have already employed keystroke dynamics for user authentication.
Recognition technologies – helps with student authentication according to a previous analysis of a physical feature. They confirm whether the student, who was registered for the exam, is also currently sitting the exam. Recognition is performed via voice, fingerprint, and face. All of these functionalities are used by the remote proctoring industry and exist in different phases of development.
Webcams – are among traditional technologies chosen as a substitute for live proctors. This is why they are already present in most remote exam proctoring packages. However, their results differ due to different types of cameras, which can be used to record still images and videos. Footage of one or more students is recorded by webcam when it is attached to a computer. Typically, they need a large amount of storage capacity so authorities have flexibility in terms of viewing records.
How Does Online Proctoring Work?
Online Proctoring Tools and Services
Proctoring services are divided into three types:
1. Live Online Proctoring
A live proctored test is one in which an authorized proctor is kept for supervision who observes the user's audio-video, and screen share feeds in real time.
This is a good model as it overcomes the location limitation that exists in proctoring. Both the proctor and the test taker can come online from any place. On the flipside, it has the following barriers.
- It has the same amount of human involvement as offline proctoring does.
- It needs to be ‘scheduled’.
- It’s more expensive than other models.
2. Recorded Proctoring
As the name suggests, there’s no real-time monitoring in this method. On the contrary, it records the candidate’s audio-video and screen share feeds of the whole test.
Authorized personnel go through these recordings and use annotations to mark any suspicious movement or activity.
This is a good model because it doesn’t only overcome location limitations, but also removes the scheduling part. But, humans are still needed to review the footage, and therefore it remains expensive to a considerable extent. Remote Proctor (from Software Secure Inc) uses this model.
3. Advanced Automated Proctoring
Automated proctoring is a sophisticated type of proctoring. It records the audio-video and screen share feeds like other forms of proctoring, but there’s a major difference: the system uses advanced audio and video analytics to monitor the feeds for any fraudulent activity. It guarantees that the test taker concentrates on the exam. If any suspicious background activity is detected, the software will issue a red flag. In addition, it performs student authentication through face recognition.
The good thing about this model is that it overcomes all the challenges that were prevalent in the previous forms of online proctoring. This means that there are no restrictions when it comes to location and scheduling and there’s no dependence on a human to review the feeds. This makes it more scalable and affordable.
How Much Does Online Proctoring Cost?
The cost of online proctoring varies. If you go for Proctortrack, it can cost you $5 per one exam hour. Similarly, Examus offers greater flexibility where one exam hour can cost you anywhere from $0.5 to $5, based on your chosen partnership model.
Online Proctoring Companies | Comparison
Common Functions Comparison
Management Tools Comparison
Violations Detection Comparison
Functional Block (LockDown) Comparison
Certification centers and educational institutions rely on various techniques to conduct online examination processes. For instance, some opt to have their own built-in assessment features via Learning Management Systems (LMS), whereas others proceed by creating their tailored proctoring centers. That is why Raccoon Gang created On-Campus proctoring system using Open edX LMS to help universities and other educational institutions to verify the students knowledge.
These centers are powerful enough to handle all aspects of studying procedures and undertake online exams without compromising on quality. There is a vast variety of proctoring solutions available in the industry. Depending on your educational strategy and budget, you will need to consider a lot of factors before choosing one.
Get in touch with us so we can help you in this regard and improve the quality of education in your institution to the highest level.