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Remote Proctoring   | 10 Min Read

Remote Proctoring: The technology that gives Credibility to Online Assessments

Written By Divyeshwari Singh
@divyeshwari

Cheat the cheater with the feature of remote proctoring in online exams. Make your assessments credible in the remotest of locations by proctoring candidates from far. This is the solution that brings integrity to a person's learning.

What is Remote Proctoring?

Remote proctoring is a technology which aids in remote assessments. It is a feature that allows a test to be taken from any location, wherever the candidate has a computer and a high-speed internet connection. Invigilating via a combination of technologies such as monitoring software, video images prevent the candidates from indulging in any undesirable activities.

The virtual/ online proctor commonly known to us as remote proctoring, emerged as a response to the increasing online presence of candidates and learnings in remote areas.

The conventional test conducting method- booking a physical test centre, notifying candidates, invigilating the tests and then evaluating the answer sheets to ultimately declare results, is now a thing of the past. Ideas and technologies have transformed the entire process into a beautifully crafted, less cumbersome online process of proctoring.

Types of Remote Proctoring

Broadly remote proctoring has 3 categories which are as follows-

  • Live online proctoring- when the candidates taking the test on an online platform are monitored by a live proctor throughout the duration. These proctors have the right to disable the test is they find the taker indulging in some suspicious activity. The more the number of screens that a person has to monitor the less the number of exams he/she can proctor.
  • Recorded proctoring- as the name suggests, this form of proctoring saves the data [images & logs] for the proctor to review at later periods. This system can conduct many exams simultaneously unlike live proctoring which has a limit.
  • Automated advanced proctoring- the role of the proctor is limited, who does not need to invigilate the entire exam sitting in front of the screen rather the work is passed on to the soft wares, that keep a check on the activities. The automated system alerts in case of a fraud and the proctor can subsequently recheck the event and decide accordingly.

Features of Remote Proctoring

Advancement in technology have spurred secure assessment delivery, let’s look at the features which make them more sophisticated in their delivery.

  • Pre-authentication- This is even before the test begins, the person needs to authenticate that he is the one who was scheduled for the assessment by using –OTP, Aadhaar/ Biometric, IP. For registration to be successful the candidate needs to pass the ID authentication procedure which involves reading the finger prints that matches the biometrics with the scan submitted in the initial registration, a facial recognition by taking the candidate’s picture and an ID proof. This completes the procedure, assuring that the person who registered is the one taking the exam.
  • Browsing tolerance- Once enabled this feature detects and ends the test for the test takers who browse away from the test window and open some additional tabs.
  • Remotely authorise and control- Validate the proctor to pause and end the test.
  • Copy paste is disabled to prevent leakage of content. Behavioural alerts- If the candidate is seen indulging in some suspicious activity, then alerts in the form of red flags are raised.
  • Report generation- This has 2 parts; one for the candidate and the other for the proctor.
  • The candidate’s report contains an overall summary of his/her performance with the percentile & percentage as well as a sectional summary with the percentiles and incorrect/correct attempts.
  • The proctor’s report of the candidates is 2 fold: online & offline. The online version has some more sections added to those in the candidate's report which are- difficulty level analyses on the basis of assessment and skills. There is also a section of the detailed question-wise analysis. The recording of the live video is also present in this section. The offline version is just the downloaded version of the online report. Here instead of the video the images of the person are captured.

With cost comes quality, the more the person invests in a product the better are the features offered. Similarly, a recorded video of the entire process is a luxury item which comes at an expense, this feature provides the proctor with a recorded video of all the activities from the beginning till the test ends with red flags wherever the candidate seemed to deviate from the screen.

Now that we have a clear picture of the various feature and the jargons don’t pose much of a problem, let us understand how an online platform works in an examination.

How does it work?

Remote proctoring is a two-faced affair- on one side you have the candidate and on the other is the proctor. Seen as a one to many relationship, the proctor on average invigilates 5-10 candidates, distance is not an issue as long as there is a high-speed internet connection. Now once we are ready with the pre-requisites, nothing should stop us from beginning the test. So here is a quick summary of how you start your test and how it ends.

  • Initially, the candidate is encountered with the registration field which requires all the fields from a name, date of birth, age, gender to an institution.
  • Then comes the Authorization Page, where the test taker is expected to submit an ID proof and here is where the facial recognition feature gets activated. In the same place, the microphone and webcam are tested to avoid errors during the assessment.
  • Once the assessment begins, the webcam of the computer switches on and the candidate is ready to be proctored. The proctor can separately look at all the candidates in a grid view via webcam and can also keep a check on the tabs opened by them through another window. An image of the same has been shared below.
  • If any further information needs to be conveyed from or to the taker then the chat box at the bottom corner of the window suffices the needs.
  • Any suspicious movement on the candidate’s side notifies the proctor through the automatic behavioural alert, who then decides the call to action.
  • Once the exam time ends the assessment gets submitted automatically.
  • Lastly, the candidate is presented with his/her result which is a comprehensive report with a question by question analysis.

In a nutshell, once the assessment begins the online platform begins to log every activity of the candidate with the proctor.

Remote Proctoring Features - Mettl

 

The factors driving Remote Proctoring

From manual invigilation to the multiple platforms. From delayed to instantaneous results. Away from the traditional pen and paper, explore the idea of remote proctoring.

The growth in e-learning and the increase in online exams provide favourable grounds for the development of new and better remote proctoring system. Many factors play a role in fuelling this demand and interpreting these factors would help you understand better the need for remote proctoring.

Cheating

“Where there is a will to cheat, a dedicated student will surely find a way.”

According to a survey conducted by International Centre for Academic Integrity, 70% of college students confirmed cheating during examinations. (2005)[1]

The pressure of performing well under any condition makes cheating no big deal since the very meaning of cheating has become quite subjective. People shape things to suit their needs and preferences, for them achieving their respective goals is the only important task at hand, how? They don’t care about it so much.

The exam days, of having your friend just wink at you confirming the right answer or the chit passing to peep into for some hints, are now numbered and soon there will be none. Technology has now abled the teachers, recruiters and admins to keep a close eye on each action and reaction of the candidate. To curb these deceitful methods various institutions are partnering with companies like Mettl that provide monitoring platforms.

Remote proctoring has challenged the cheater and has played a significant role in reducing the unpleasant activity. Punishments are a strong way to curb cheating. When people know that someone is watching them, they are less likely to do something unwelcoming.

E-learning

MOOCS known as massive open online courses are e-learning programs which are at the disposal of anybody from anywhere. People can enrol in this online platform and equip themselves with new skills and subjects. In this age of digitalisation where distance learning is no longer about the correspondence courses, online education has spread like wildfire.

Various international universities have these open online courses which vary from short courses to masters programs. Expecting students to fly to the United States (for instance) each time they need to appear for an exam, is of course superfluous. It is not only expensive, time-consuming but also not a suitable solution for anyone. Online proctoring is the best solution which anyone could have thought about. Remote proctoring is not a substitution for campus exams but as a great solution which has changed education globally going beyond disruptive to secure assessments.

Saves time and money

“Remote proctoring can save up to 25% of examinations costs,” says the remote proctoring vendor. [2]

Step into any place during examination time, you’d just see the faculty racing from one end to another just to somehow fit in one more piece of furniture to accommodate as many test-takers as possible. This would be a time when all the rooms would become exam halls. The logistics are planned months in advance, the evaluation process starches its arms wide consuming the evaluator’s time and the geographical limit adds to the burden.

Remove the logistics hassles, cut down on the evaluation time and improve the reach of the candidates to take the test with remote proctoring.

An ocean of options

Remote proctoring provides a plethora of options to choose from. Ranging from 360 degree audio and video surveillance via the web cam, the live monitoring with human proctors keeping a tab at what is happening from a remote location to video recording of the entire examination. It is up to the people what options they want to enable or disable according to the specific assessment situations.

Factors Driving Remote Proctoring - Advantages

The possible Use Cases of Remote Proctoring

$42 billion is what estimates the global assessment market. Internationalization of education, MOOCs, the usage of certification for online learnings has been tapped by remote invigilation.

Use Cases of Remote Proctoring

Universities

The motive of remote proctoring is 2 fold here-one pertaining to the faculty and the other for students.

For teachers, this facility facilitates the credibility of knowledge. Once institutions invest time training the faculty in advanced fields, they want to know how much did the audience grasp. For certifying the teachers, universities prefer conducting assessments but now away from the pen-paper, online assessment is what they prefer. The feature of remote proctoring while conducting assessments helps to maintain a decorum of code and conduct.

For students, universities use the remote monitoring platform while assessing their performance through online exams. Universities use this platform for both entrances as well as semester/annual examinations. Two major concerns of institutions are cheating and student authentication. Trusted proctoring solutions have become important tools to keep a close eye on students and evaluate performance effectively.

Companies

Recruitment is a crucial process, whose by-product is the perfect hire, but with conditions applied that you invest in this process wholeheartedly. All business leaders and human resources managers want to attract the best candidate and what makes them choose the best one from the pool available? Online assessments are the answer, but wait, think, what good are these assessments if they are not proctored well. An essential ingredient of online assessments entails proctoring the takers to ensure validity. Remote proctoring comes as a defining feature for all online assessments that are provided by companies like Mettl which specialise in creating as well as conducting assessments on a proctored platform. For recruiters, it brings down the logistics requirement and hence the cost to hire and the time to hire.

Companies also use this feature for internal assessments of their employees for various purposes such as training need identification, learning and development, skill gap analysis etc. Whenever there is a need for online assessments, a remotely proctored platform comes in a combo offer, which should always be accepted for efficient results.

Certification Programs

“Remote proctoring-the technology which gives credibility to certification.”

With the advent of digitalization and the spread of online fever worldwide, people have hugely been attracted to online courses offered by various universities, institution- Coursera, EdX have grabbed the learners community. Distance is no longer a barrier, the internet has broken the shackles of land and travelled far and wide to all places possible offering education, knowledge, skills.

The validation of a skill learnt comes from validated certification. It is mandatory that the person required to give the test gives the test and it is also very important to see that these takers do not dive into dishonest behaviour. Fulfilling these conditions remote proctoring is the befitted solution which all the certification agencies use.

Government

The government runs with the social objective of welfare for its people, various schemes, and programs are put in place to achieve the objective. Let me explain this with an example where a company provided the proctoring solution.

Pmgdisha is an initiative by government where Mettl is the technological partner, this program aims at digital literacy (how to make an account, how to make transactions via net etc.) and once the learnings are completed, assessments are conducted at Mettl’s platform with proctoring and hence comes the result of pass or fail.

Remote proctoring is the test of integrity in an online assessment. This feature assures honesty of the candidates in any environment pertaining to the evaluation of skills and knowledge. Just when you think that you cannot control a remote environment, remote proctoring comes to service.

What should your Remote Proctoring tool look like?

There are some basic things you should keep in mind while choosing your remote proctoring tool-

Easy and quick amalgamation with any assessment engine. Choose a platform that integrates the proctoring service to any existing assessments and provides the candidate with a smooth experience. For instance, Mettl allows you to run the assessments on the online platform with a great proctoring service available for the perusal of the candidates.

Robustness is the ability to withstand any adverse situation. Online monitoring involves lots of tasks and actions to be performed and shared with the proctor and candidate such as video streamlining, desktop sharing etc.; some of these can hinder the candidate’s performance.

• The more the automation, the better the quality. A lot of premium features are available which make proctoring a seamless experience, all we need is money to spend. Look for the one which suits you the best, with the best you have in hand.

• An admirable report which entails a clear analysis of the candidate’s performance with a section-wise evaluation will help you be at the top of the test taker list of preferences.

Hack the requirements and you are all set to make a difference.

Closing

The future of remote proctoring looks bright and beautiful, spreading its wings in all directions and accommodating demands from all industries and sector. There might also come a time when it becomes reliant in technology which does not require internet access. There is a lot that will happen between now and then. But till then why not bask in the glory of the technology available in the vocational, corporate, educational and training market. Take advantage of the flexibility in term of time, location, a reduced cost and most importantly honoured certification with remote proctoring.

Topics: Remote Proctoring Editor Pick

Originally published May 15 2018,updated December 14 2018

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