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Online Remote Proctoring Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Proctoring

Examination and Proctoring | 10 min Read

Online Remote Proctoring Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Proctoring

Introduction

Online remote proctoring solutions have empowered countless universities and institutes across the globe to ensure educational continuity amid the ongoing health emergency that led to global lockdowns. They safeguarded the academia’s integrity, provided flexibility, convenience and support when learning took a backseat and health and safety considerations became foremost concerns. No one had the prescience of such a global disruption. However, educational institutions have exhibited a remarkable willingness to embrace online solutions not acquiescently but with certitude and optimism, resulting in remote online proctored exams emerging as a clear favorite among the broader education community for gauging students’ learning. Our recent report, ‘State of online examinations in 2020,’ underlines the broad-based consensus among education stakeholders across 17 countries on moving to the digital platform. Here are some of its findings. 

Despite the heady optimism, there are aberrations where several education centers have been unable to address the gaps and implement remote proctoring. They continue to remain uncertain about the efficacy of remote proctoring solutions due to many factors. This has resulted in an intermittent deployment of online remote proctoring solutions, impacting learning and education continuity for countless. 

It is time to put an end to this neophobia with this guide book! 

As online remote proctoring experts, we are here to detail all the tools and advice you need to explore the intricacies of remote proctoring. Whether you’re new to the gamut of proctoring or are still contemplating the integrity of the service, this go-to guide book is an excellent source of information about administering remotely proctored exams. Various practical tips, examples from some highly-informative case studies and discussions on best practices for approaching online remote proctoring with your goals will help you overcome real and perceived challenges in administering remote online proctored exams. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover: 

Chapter 1: 10 unique ways students cheat in online exams

Chapter 2: What is Remote Proctoring, And Why it is needed

Chapter 3: Virtual Proctoring using Live, Recorded or AI Proctoring

Chapter 4: How Remote Proctoring Software work

Chapter 5: How to Activate Remote Proctored Exams

Chapter 6: Top Online Proctoring Service and Software Providers

Chapter 7: Various Applications of Online Remote Proctoring

Chapter 8: Case Studies of renowned universities that implemented online remote proctoring successfully

Chapter 9: FAQs

From assuaging concerns about the fundamentals of online remote proctoring to discovering facts beyond the commonly known wisdom, this go-to guide book on online remote proctoring will introduce you to a plethora of remote online proctoring possibilities.  

Let’s dive-in.

 


Chapter 1 - 10 Unique Ways Students Cheat in Online Exams

Academic dishonesty is a breach of ethics. And as deplorable as it sounds, it is quite prevalent.

A popular 2012 Josephson Institute’s Center for Youth Ethics Report, which had more than 23,000 high school students participating in the survey across the US, revealed that more than half of those surveyed admitted to cheating on a test.

Hence, it reaffirms that ethical lapses, such as exam cheating, happen more often than we would like to believe. 

But along with the inclination to cheat, the ways students cheat on exams are equally alarming. The privilege of accessing information technology (IT) has undeniably empowered students to devise smarter ways to outwit proctors while taking examinations. As digital disruption gives remote proctoring cheating new forms, knowing the creative ways in which students cheat can help you identify the right solution that mitigates genuine cheating concerns. 

Therefore, this chapter’s main objective is to comprehend and elucidate ten unique ways in which students attempt to cheat in remote online proctored exams.

 

How Students Cheat Online

1. Screen sharing/mirroring:

When taking exams from remote locations, candidates use multiple monitors with friends/families simultaneously accessing the exam questions and providing answers on a different screen. This type of online exam cheating involves using screen sharing and mirroring to cheat in tests.

2. Using hi-tech devices:

Ever heard of remote proctoring cheating using cameras? Organizations conducting high-stakes online exams such as CAT, MAT and other competitive examinations were recently quoted saying that test-takers had been using tiny-sized, practically undetectable devices for cheating. Some are smart enough to employ calculators that store formulas and other data, enabling them to score high on the exams.

3. Mobile phones:

Despite explicit anti-cheating rules in online exams, cheating using smartphones is extremely common. Students use mobile phones to store answers, text friends to find answers or take photos of question papers through their connected devices.

4. Enabling auto coding software:

In online programming tests conducted either during school/university examinations or recruitment exams, candidates have been known to use auto coding software to ace the exam. Such software creates elaborate programs without the candidate having to write a single line of code.

5. Misusing navigation privileges:

Students often misuse easy access to the internet and social media tools for cheating during remotely proctored online exams. They tend to browse the internet, log onto unauthorized websites during the test, paste the questions onto the URL and find the best solution from which they plagiarize.

6. Impersonating:

Making someone else take the test seems far-fetched or an idea borrowed from the plot of the hit TV series ‘Suits.’ But when exams are given remotely online, the chances of a candidate using an impersonator to take the exam on his/her behalf is exceptionally high. There is no need to use any cheating devices or methods; instead, ask a brainiac to appear for the test.

The US Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Report of 2013 indicates that an estimated US$187 million in federal student aid was likely acquired fraudulently by rings of criminals between 2009–2012, using fake identities of test-takers.

7. Use of external devices:

In online exams, cheating masterminds often use hard drives, USBs, Micro SDs and other external smart devices that are easy to conceal and challenging to detect. Before or during the test, test-takers plug them for easy use, making them standard accessories to online cheating.

8. Presence of family and friends in the exam room:

One of the most common ways of cheating in online exams is having a family member or friend help the test-takers from proximity. These helpers are stationed in the same room but away from the webcam or behind the screen. They either write the answers on a placard or whisper it softly to help the test-taker key in the right answers.

9. Copying-pasting and using other keyboard shortcuts:

One of the most conventional forms of cheating in a remotely proctored online exam is copying-pasting the responses. Students often copy-paste the right answers from documents or notepads, kept ready on a separate window before the test’s commencement. These are easy ways of deceiving the remote proctor who has no information about the screen’s activities.

10. Purposely logging out of the test window:

Students tempted to cheat on online tests often try to outdo the system by purposely logging themselves out of the exam. They cite excuses such as intermittent internet connectivity or power cuts to cheat for the answers.

One will often find a few miscreants who will leave no stone unturned to cheat in exams. And unfortunately, if the exam’s fairness is compromised, the result and the evaluation reports would be inaccurate, wrongly reflecting the students’ actual abilities and institutions’ integrity. Hence, it is not only prudent but also vital to dissuade students from cheating in online exams. 

How, do you wonder? 

The advent of technology has also brought to light various effective strategies that prevent cheating opportunities and undesirable behavior clearly, fairly and consistently. 

Read on to know more.

 


Chapter 2- What Is Remote Proctoring, and Why It Is Needed

The most convenient, secure, scalable and common solution to all your online test-taking woes is online remote proctoring.

Online remote proctoring, also known as remote proctoring, is the act of invigilating an online exam remotely to check for any unfair activity. It is administered by experienced human proctors or using an AI Algorithm, or both, to maintain the examination process’s integrity.

Candidates need the following to take an online proctored test from a remote location:

  • A suitable device (Desktop PC/Laptop) with a functional webcam and a microphone
  • Internet connection with at least 512kbps speed
  • The latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or other such browsers

 

 Online Remote Proctoring

 

Why Do We Need Online Remote Proctoring?


Remote proctoring
offers unparalleled ease to academia, besides allowing students the flexibility and convenience to take remotely proctored assessments from anywhere.  

Here are some other advantages that lend more weight to the idea of adopting online remote proctoring.

1. Elimination of unfavorable instances:

As we mentioned earlier, there are always a handful of students who resort to cheating while taking the online exam. But with remote proctoring technologies at play, teachers, recruiters and administrators are empowered to closely monitor test-takers’ actions and conduct. Proctoring companies, such as Mercer | Mettl, provide state-of-the-art invigilation technologies to eliminate remotely online proctored exam cheating. When test-takers know innovative technologies are constantly monitoring and analyzing their behaviors and activities, they are more mindful of their actions and try not to trick the system.

2. Seamless educational continuity:

The COVID-19-induced disruption has had a pernicious impact on educational continuity, forcing universities and institutions globally to consider either suspending high-stakes national entrance, semester and recruitment tests or postponing their academic calendars. This would have had dire repercussions on students who were on the threshold of completing their education and about to commence their professional journeys. But the option of remote proctoring of online exams brought much clarity to the uncertain landscape as it addresses all educational continuity-related concerns. Without compromising safety and well-being, remote proctoring with its location-agnostic, robust anti-cheating features enabled universities and institutes to safeguard countless futures by conducting extremely secure online examinations with high integrity.

3. Boosting eLearning:

MOOCs, also known as massive open online courses, are easily accessible eLearning programs. There was genuine skepticism about enrollments as it was too much to expect students to fly long distances each time to appear for an exam. It is expensive, time-consuming and unsuitable for most, especially amid nebulous aviation rules. However, online remote proctoring solutions paved the way for eLearning, which is perceived as the future of learning. Candidates could enroll from anywhere and learn new skills and subjects – which was no longer correspondence education. Students gained access to world-class education and evaluation benchmarked against the best in the world with remotely proctored exams.

4. Saving time and financial resources:

The conventional examination method comprised the following steps:

  • Booking an ideal exam hall/test center
  • Informing candidates
  • Supervising the exam
  • Evaluating multiple test copies within a limited time frame
  • Declaring the results

This process stretched for months and was excruciatingly time-consuming. Not to mention the geographical limitations that came into play. But employing smart technology in a remotely proctored examination significantly reduces logistics hassles, evaluation issues and scalability problems for many. With the easy and convenient availability of a proctor (manual or AI), test-takers in far-flung areas can take their exams from their homes with ease. This cost-effective solution also validates the test-takers’ identity and monitors them online, without a glitch, from start to finish. Simultaneously, while deterring cheating, remote proctoring enhances productivity and improves operations by eliminating repetitive and manual work. The examiners do not have to spend hours evaluating answer-sheets, as the instantaneous result generation feature auto-evaluates reports with granular insights that yield actionable results.

 


Chapter 3: Types and Features of a Virtual Proctoring Software

If you still believe that virtually proctored exams do not beat the traditional exam-taking process, let us help you clear the air. In this chapter, we’ll decipher how this approach replicates the physical invigilation process and enables the right decision-making. 

We’ve divided remote proctoring features into two parts for easy understanding- before the exam and during the exam proctoring. And with each component, we’ll compare with face-to-face invigilation to elucidate how virtual proctoring ensures the same accountability levels.

 

1. Before the exam proctoring:


What happens when an applicant goes to a test center to take the test?

He/she has to attest to his/her candidature with a valid ID card, such as a school ID, voter registration, social security number or Aadhaar card. Further, to complete the registration process, the applicant must be authenticated against the previously submitted registration record to verify to the examiner that the registered person is the genuine applicant and not an impersonator. 

Now, the identification process is the same in a virtual proctored exam. A 3-point candidate authentication system is initiated as soon as the test-taker clicks on the test link to ensure only a genuine test-taker takes the exam.

The prerequisite being, test-takers have to allow for sharing their screen, video and audio, following which:

  • First, the webcam asks the test-taker to click his/her photo
  • Second, he/she has to show his/her valid ID proof to the camera
  • Third, manual proctors available round-the-clock verify every applicant's photo ID against the previously shared registration detail to attest to their legitimacy

 

Mercer | Mettl's 3-point candidate authentication system

 

(In certain cases wherein it may be difficult to identify the test-taker’s details, the proctoring team promptly shares the details with the university’s admission team to instantly resolve the discrepancy.)

 

2. During the exam proctoring:


In a center-based exam, test-takers take their designated seats, and the exam commences. The physical invigilators monitor each assessee’s behavior closely. They are incredibly vigilant and scout for even the minutest of discrepancies. From start to finish, the invigilators pay attention to every detail, ensuring the exam session’s validity while eliminating any cheating instance or the possibility of error to enable a smooth exam-taking experience.   

Now, how are online exams/tests proctored if this is the scenario in offline invigilation?

During online exam proctoring, proctors using AI-proctoring software monitor:

  • Test-Taker’s Behavior
  • Test-Taker’s Screen
  • Test-Taker’s Environment

Let’s elaborate:


i) The Test-Taker’s Behavior Monitoring: 


An online examiner sitting far away can still monitor every action and activity of the test-taker in either of the following ways:

 

Types of online remote proctoring solutions

 

a) Live proctoring:

Live proctoring is much like an actual classroom setting or real-life-like exam setting where an online proctor invigilates the examinees live. Proctors can choose to monitor multiple candidates either through a one-to-many view or a one-to-one view. In case they find anything suspicious during the live online proctoring session, they can intervene in real-time. For instance, Mercer | Mettl provides a two-way live chat option, enabling the invigilators and the test-takers to chat with one another to allay suspicions or queries during the live proctored exams.


How Does Live Online Proctoring Work?


The requisite for enabling a
live proctoring exam is finding a professional proctor to monitor applicants from start to finish. Experienced proctors can supervise up to 16-32 test-takers simultaneously. They are vigilant during the live proctored exam to create a cheating-free environment. Additionally, their familiarity with the exam’s rules and regulations ensures test-takers follow the guidelines diligently. 

In case the exam administrators feel the need to supervise proctors, companies such as Mercer | Mettl can enable the Super Proctor feature during the proctoring drive. 

SuperProctoring provides end-client visibility in a live proctored drive. One or multiple Super Proctors can supervise the proctoring exam drive and ensure efficient proctoring. This assures the examination heads that the examination process was not compromised by the proctors supervising the examination process.

b) Recorded proctoring:

There is no need to monitor the test-takers in real-time in recorded proctoring. The screen-share and audio-video feeds of the examinees are recorded throughout the test. A proctor or an official scans the recordings in the fast-forward mode and reads for red flags or any suspicious activities via annotations. The system is free from schedules and vocational limitations, but human intervention is still needed for a review, making it comparatively expensive and unscalable. It is also known as a webcam proctored test.

c) Automated proctoring:

Automated proctoring, also known as auto proctoring, is an advanced form of virtual proctoring that is AI-enabled to ensure minimal chances of error and over 95 percent accuracy in predicting distractions or other suspicious activities.

A proficient online auto proctoring system considers human proctors’ observations using an algorithm. It can replicate the way humans process information and make the right decisions. For instance, an auto-proctored online test works in both live and recorded settings. Hence, in live proctoring, it shows live feed and flags to live proctors and generates recorded feed and flags for later viewing in the case of recorded proctoring. 

AI-proctoring eliminates the most glaring vulnerabilities with a dynamic set of anti-cheating features.


ii)
The Test-Taker’s Screen and System Monitoring:


That was all about candidate behavior that is visible on the video. Now, what about the on-screen activity? If you remember,
Chapter 1 of the guide book detailed the unique ways students cheat in online exams, which included exploiting navigation privileges or using online resources for cheating on-screen.

The best way of preventing candidates from gaining an unfair advantage online is by activating a navigation control feature called the Secure Exam Browser. This next-generation anti-cheating lockdown browser helps to host a test in a highly secure and safe environment by preventing on-screen cheating. Once students begin their online proctored exam, their screen is put in a kiosk mode that prevents: 

  • Opening of new browser tabs/incognito tabs/ windows on the browser. 
  • It even restricts keyboard functions, such as Alt+Tab/ Cmd+Tab/ 3-finger swipe
  • Blocks copying/pasting content 
  • Automatically closes all running browser tabs

This makes it impossible for the candidate to cheat on-screen. Subsequently, during virtual proctoring, everything is recorded for future references, accessible only to authorized personnel at any time. 


iii) The Test-Taker’s Environment Monitoring:


Now that we’ve monitored candidates’ behaviors and their activities on screen, we’ve not yet granularly verified their test-taking environment. What if the test-taker has hidden some chits nearby, or a family member is sitting behind the computer screen ready with a list of answers. How will the proctor come to know if he/she doesn’t check the environment? Here’s how:

a) 360-degree live-feed capturing:

Virtual proctoring uses a technology that involves employing a camera that can capture a 360-degree view of the room or venue where the test-taker is attempting the exam to prevent remote proctoring cheating. The test-taker is provided with either a 360-degree video capturing webcam that he/she attaches to his/her computer screen. Or, the test-taker has a headgear with a camera attached to capture his/her gaze and observe things that he/she is looking at during remote proctoring assessment. Both these cameras allow the live proctor or the AI-proctoring software to view areas beyond the laptop/webcam feed coverage, providing an extra layer of security during virtual exams.

b) Audio proctoring:

Another interesting feature that ensures the test-takers’ environment is exam-friendly and offers the same high-levels of exam integrity as a center-based exam is audio proctoring. Audio proctoring ensures that every test-taker gets the same advantage, without being hauled up due to background noise. Some outdated proctoring technologies cannot differentiate between human speech and various background sounds or noises. They cannot pinpoint which sound is to be flagged and end up raising concerns about random sounds and noises. This leads to considerable false flags and reflects poorly on the test-taker’s score and integrity. Hence, an AI-based audio proctoring software is used to scan the test-taker’s physical environment for additional sounds or noises using the microphone. Before the test, the test-taker is asked to undergo an audio quality check in the diagnostic. Afterward, throughout the test session, the software inspects the test-taker's audio feed for human speech and identifies ‘Who spoke When.’ It ascertains the differences between sounds that can and must not be in a testing environment. If a candidate mutes the microphone at any time during the test, a warning message is shown, and the same is reported in the test log. The candidate will not be able to continue with the test until the mic is unmuted.

For example, Mercer | Mettl’s SpeechSense is robust enough to alienate sounds for students taking an exam in a cyber cafe. This proctoring software accurately identifies details such as low sound levels, whispers, mumbling and other such discrepancies to ensure a safe examination environment.

 


Chapter 4: How Remote Proctoring Software Work

We believe the previous chapter assuaged your concerns and established the uncanny similarities between face-to-face vs. online proctoring. 

Moving forward, we realized that many of you have often asked, “what is the online proctoring system,” and what does it entail? What are its components? How does it function, etc.? Hence, we have outlined the technical working of the remote proctoring software in this chapter. 

Even though proctoring is just like any other invigilation process with similar levels of accountability as in-person proctoring, the mechanism is rather distinct. 

Here’s how a remote proctoring system operates: 

After mining and analyzing hoards of data on patterns and trends in test-takers’ behaviors, an AI algorithm is trained by experts to assist in proctoring. The AI empowers the system with predefined parameters to gauge test-takers’ behaviors and movements. The AI’s advanced algorithms enable it to predict, flag and register even the minutest of discrepancies and suspicion. 

This AI algorithm is then created into logic or reasoning and embedded into the system. Hence, when auto proctoring is initiated, the AI imbibes the information it sees to process and assess, just like a human proctor. This logic is customizable. Blueprints are created with logic for the algorithm to ascertain and highlight various discrepancies after understanding the learning and measurable outcomes from respective exams.

The system must receive the following to ensure a seamless auto proctoring experience:

  • A glitch-free video feed: A computer with an operational webcam that must be switched on throughout the test’s duration.
  • An excellent audio feed: A functional microphone that must be switched on during the test.
  • Continual recording: Every proctoring session is recorded for future reference and can be viewed later using the proctoring software.

For instance, Mercer | Mettl has a proprietary algorithm – the ‘Credibility Index‘ – which is an excellent predictor, providing administrators with the most relevant results. Credibility Index auto-generates a report that highlights the test-takers’ integrity scores for a proctored session. Valuations are showcased as high, medium and low, allowing examiners to swiftly identify and filter out those who may have resorted to cheating. 

How Is The Credibility Index Calculated?

The Credibility Index takes inputs from proctoring flags and the ‘test-finish’ status.

These flags and conditions are and not restricted to:

  • Visual proctoring flags

    • Face not visible or partially visible
    • Presence of another person
    • Distracted movements
    • Noisy environment
    • Presence of an unauthorized device
    • Away from the test window
    • Audio proctoring flags

Online browsing tolerance (It indicates the number of times test-takers attempt cheating using on-screen aids such as opening unauthorized websites, accessing blacklisted software/third-party applications, enabling browsers and cheating tools.) 

When enabled, online browsing tolerance locks test-takers’ test screens once they begin their remotely online proctored exam. This lockdown mode prevents them from opening new browser tabs/incognito tabs/windows. It blocks functions such as copying/pasting and restricts keys such as Alt+Tab/ Cmd+Tab/ 3-finger swipe. It also prevents access to secondary devices, such as cables, hard drives or external devices such as the USB or internet dongle, during the exam. If test-takers have already synced any such device before the test or attempt to sync them during the test, the AI will either not commence the test or immediately terminate it and log out the test-taker. The disabled external ports also prevent bypassing or illegal booting.

 


Chapter 5: How to Activate Remote Proctoring in Online Exams

Thus far, we have conclusively established and detailed the background of online remote proctoring. Let us now activate the software as per your needs. 

Remote proctoring software can be initiated in either of the two ways:

1. Using a Robust, User-friendly Online Platform:

A scalable and easy-to-use examination platform enables you to proctor exams, assessments, quizzes and remotely proctored certification exams effortlessly. It comes with a complete suite of pre-configured proctoring technologies, including a robust security mechanism that offers you an end-to-end secure examination solution. For instance, Mercer | Mettl’s Examine offers the following plethora of robust services via its platform:  

  • Its end-to-end exam management platform encompasses test creation to real-time reporting, complete with a dedicated admin dashboard for detailed analytics and log and video recording. 
  • The platform offers a rich repository of 26 different formats for exam papers, considering distinct exam patterns and the academia’s user requirements. (It includes knowledge and application-based questions, even complex formulae writing.) 
  • The platform’s robustness supports multiple test-takers at various locations, across the globe, with bandwidth as low as 512kbps. 
  • A user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interface ensures hands-on expertise for even the most senior-most faculty, without any prior technical knowledge. 
  • The platform has conducted more than 20 million online remote proctoring tests, and the numbers continue to grow. Most recently, Mercer | Mettl, the company offering this cutting-edge tool, accomplished a noteworthy feat of conducting over one lakh remote proctoring assessments in a day, along with hosting multiple universities and students simultaneously. 
  • The platform’s impressive load testing data further showcases its volume proficiency. In a 60-minute time slot, it successfully hosted a pool of 1000 candidates joining in simultaneously, every minute of the hour.

2. Proctoring as a Service:

The academia may not want a platform but need only a seamless layer of proctoring technology that can be added to its existing LMS. In that case, this is how the remote proctoring service is integrated: 

  • Using LTI (Learning Tool Interoperability) extensions: For instance, Mercer | Mettl integrates its exam monitoring services online with over 250 LTI compliant systems instantaneously. With a single protocol, any legacy platform can have a sophisticated remote proctoring software within minutes. 
  • Alternatively, some leading LMSs such as Canvas, Blackboard and Moodle are already compatible with Mercer | Mettl’s remote proctoring software. It is available via a Google Chrome extension, and examiners or invigilators can employ it on the spot for any exam.
  • The other way is via deep integration: For instance, Mercer | Mettl will expose its REST APIs to integrate with any system and enable the exam monitoring services online. It takes up to a week to set up. Clients who require a custom invigilation workflow, legacy platform, a non-LTI LMS, or a web platform can opt for deep integration.

We genuinely believe that your curiosity must have piqued about remote proctoring. You ought to know about the diverse range of online remote proctoring software packages on the market that can help you secure your online exams. Our next chapter will bring you closer to the perfect solution for that impeccable test-giving experience.

 


Chapter 6: Top Online Proctoring Software and Service Providers

The market today is replete with a myriad of proctoring service providers. These superlative providers are intensifying the competition and improving the processes concerning online exams with automation, standardization and efficiency. From those providing a state-of-the-art online proctoring platform, sophisticated online invigilation services to those sharing detailed student/candidate performance and diagnostic reports, how does one shortlist an end-to-end online proctoring software provider? Similarly, the proctoring purpose for an examiner is very different from an educator as well as a recruiter, so how does one make that critical distinction is the question. 

Well, it’s simple. Choosing the best global proctoring systems provider depending on your requirement begins with understanding the top features needed in a remote proctoring system.

A practical rule of thumb is to stick to these three considerations:

Anti-cheating Proctoring Tools:

A proctored exam taken from anywhere in the world should provide similar accountability levels as an in-person exam for test-takers. Hence, state-of-the-art anti-cheating tools to ensure strict invigilation online is critical. Any proctoring solution provider that you choose should have an AI-based algorithm capable of detecting dynamic digressions and suspicious cases with over 95% accuracy. From verifying each test-taker’s identity, disclosing non-visibility of the face/ presence, detecting mobile phones, an additional person’s presence, to catching a distracted eye movement – the best proctoring solution provider’s anti-cheating mechanisms should negate all possibilities of malpractices during a remote proctored exam. Additionally, the provider should also offer a secure browsing feature to eliminate concerns about on-screen remote proctored exam cheating.

LMS or HMS Integration:

Another feature that helps shortlist the best proctoring solution provider is the vendor’s ability to provide almost instantaneous proctoring integration with any LMS or hiring management system. This means once a proctoring software is integrated with the LMS or HMS, the proctoring platform will have a much-needed layer of invigilation, comprising credible anti-cheating features, insightful analysis and instantaneous report generation. This integration streamlines exams’ delivery and eliminates technical adaptability issues. Today, proctoring services are available as a Chrome plug-in-play, allowing exam administrators and faculty to customize and initiate proctored exams without leaving their environment.

Insightful Analysis:

Besides technical challenges, it is vital to maintain the examination’s and the university’s integrity while ensuring proctoring’s sanctity. Hence, the remote proctoring solution provider you choose must provide automated, instantaneous and most relevant results. Whether a test-taker’s integrity report or an account of the score report, the remote proctoring software should be adept at sharing granular insights with real-time validation.  

Now, based on the above information, we’ve listed the top seven remote proctoring system providers in the market with a comparison table for informed decision-making.

The Top Seven Proctoring System Providers Are:

  • Mercer | Mettl
  • PSI Services LLC
  • ProctorU
  • Examity
  • Proctortrack
  • Proctorio
  • Talview

Chapter 7: Various Applications of Online Remote Proctoring

Use case of online remote proctoring services

 

In case you assume that remote proctoring is best suited only for online exams, it’s time to change that perception. The truth is, proctoring applications are expanding at breakneck speed. In a not-so-distant-future, it would be difficult to undermine the benefits accorded by remote proctoring technology even by the most ardent votaries of pen-and-paper-based exams. Whether it is to streamline the workflow, ensure continuity or simply communicate, proctoring technologies are changing the way everyone works and interacts with one another.  

Here are some extremely well-received use cases of online remote proctoring technology:

1. Companies: Pre-employment Assessment:

When shortlisting top talent, organizations can leverage live proctoring to test and evaluate multiple candidates by making them take an online assessment as a filtration process. While technical screening verifies each candidate’s fundamental and advanced skills, live proctoring ensures they do not indulge in untoward activities. Pre-employment assessments are beneficial as they do away with time-consuming interviews with applicants that are neither qualified nor suited for a particular position. This reduces the logistical inputs, reducing the cost and time-to-hire for the recruiters.

Apart from pre-employment remote proctoring assessments, companies can leverage the remote proctoring software for internal purposes, such as training needs identification, learning and development and skills gap analysis, etc.

2. Remote Employee Monitoring:

At a time when work-from-home has become a norm, remotely monitoring thousands of employees is one of the foremost challenges facing the BPO industry. It is a challenge to gauge whether remote employees are working diligently. Subsequently, they also need to monitor employees’ performance to maintain their performance levels. Hence, organizations employ online remote proctoring technology that records all the activities of a person sitting in front of the computer screen by using the computer’s web camera. This reliable and resilient software solution makes the WFH scenario effortless and result-driven. Organizations can revisit the recorded video file, anytime, to ascertain employee behavior at a particular date and time.

3. Certification Programs:

Varied Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), offering digital learning programs by prominent institutes are available across multiple online learning platforms. Such courses have enabled significant student engagement, allowing them to acquire knowledge without considerations, such as their presence in the classrooms or physical distances. However, as the certification exams are online and attempted remotely, institutes can enable online remote proctoring with a robust anti-cheating invigilation mechanism to ensure those attempting the test can take their exam remotely, without resorting to unfair means. In such cases, experienced proctors are available round-the-clock to undertake proctoring across time zones. From attesting a test-taker’s authenticity to maintaining the quality and rigor offered in a center-based exam, remotely proctored exams provide a safe alternative to all.

4. Industry Certifications:

Remote proctoring negates violations that undermine an organization’s prestige and legacy. It upholds the credibility of the on-the-job training certification or a candidate’s professional credential-related to upskilling or reskilling. It offers an unbiased testing experience with the utmost flexibility and security.

5. Government:

The government provides social welfare to its people, and various schemes and programs are designed to achieve them. Remote proctoring plays a crucial role in ensuring all of the above are administered quickly and easily with increased coverage and convenience. Let us explain this with an example where a company played a vital role in providing online remote proctoring solutions.

PMGDisha is a GoI initiative, with Mercer | Mettl as the technology partner. This program aims at digital literacy (how to create an account, how to transact using the internet, etc.), and assessments are conducted on Mercer | Mettl’s platform after the training, with remote online proctoring, to validate their learning.

 


Chapter 8: Case Studies on Online Remote Proctoring

You may be keen on deep-diving into a particular case that elucidates how remote proctoring’s deployment enabled leading academia to regulate its educational landscape with a future roadmap. 

Here are some quantitative examples that showcase the prowess of remote proctoring in maintaining educational and examination continuity, also safeguarding the sanctity of the examination initiative.

 

#1 Institute: IIM Bangalore


Mercer | Mettl helped IIMB proctor over 1.2 million learners spread across 190 countries.

  • Use Case: IIMB’s preeminent digital learning programs’ examinations required a dynamic end-to-end platform to overcome operational complexities. Test-takers could use creative means to trick the system and ace their remote proctoring exams. Any such violation would have undermined the institute’s prestige and legacy. 
  • Solution: We provided IIMB with an airtight solution to prevent candidates from attempting the remote proctoring test while resorting to unfair means. We pre-configured the proctoring technology onto their legacy LMS with a stricter focus on monitoring, analysis and scrutiny to maintain the institute’s values. 
  • Impact- 95%+ accuracy negated any possibility of malpractice during the online remotely proctored exam. IIMB’s brand integrity remained intact with perfect quality, conduct, and the administration of online exams as 1.2 million learners spread across 190 countries took the exams seamlessly.

 

#2 Association: All India Management Association (AIMA)


Mercer | Mettl’s remote proctoring technology-enabled AIMA
(the national apex body of the management profession in India) to give the prestigious MAT (Management Aptitude Test) online for 35000+ students across the country.

  • Use Case: It was a prestigious and high-stakes test, attracting large numbers of applicants from tier-3 and tier-4 cities. Hence, a robust and scalable platform was required to ensure the test-takers’ performance and experience remained intact. It also had to ensure the credibility and success of the exercise without technical glitches.
  • Solution: Catering to AIMA’s every concern, we offered state-of-the-art proctoring features on a robust platform. The dynamic solutions created a watertight environment, negating any possibility of remote proctoring cheating and assuaged its concerns about scale and credibility.
  • Impact: The participation rate in the offline mode was a lowly 37%. The remotely proctored exams enabled a significant uptick in the participation rate, with numbers clocking as high as 45 percent, which assumes greater significance given the massive headcount. Over 35000 applicants transitioned online seamlessly without any technical or operational glitches, with a notable gain in participation from tier-3 and tier-4 cities. 

Feel free to check out some more interesting insights from leading industry experts and learn in detail about their online remote proctoring experience.

 


Chapter 9: FAQs

Unable to ask or find answers to questions on online remote proctoring? Well, if that’s hindering your transition, we’ve listed the solutions to all the possible problems that online examiners, proctors and students have concerning remotely proctored exams, remotely proctored tests, or the efficiency of online remote proctoring services, to name a few. 

 

Is there any change in the examination experience for a student when giving the exam remotely?


Ideally, once you get the hang of the remotely proctored test, you will not feel any change in experience or hassle in taking exams online. 

 

How safe is the data submitted during a remotely proctored exam? What about privacy?


A viable service provider will have a sharper focus on regulations such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ISO certification to strengthen data privacy. Databases, where the personal information, exam records and other sensitive details of test-takers and clients are gathered, are stored in an uncompromisable maximum security storage environment. 

 

Can you cheat on an online proctored exam?


No, you can not cheat in a remote online proctored exam. Leading
online proctoring service providers offer stringent anti-cheating measures in remote proctoring tools, making it near impossible for assessees to indulge in malicious behavior. Mercer | Mettl’s online remote proctoring services negate remote proctoring cheating, ensuring that virtual remote exams occur in a secure environment. 

 

What is a remote proctored internet-based test meaning? 


A remote proctored internet-based test means that a remote proctored test mode requires a basic internet connection, a webcam and a microphone-supported computer to initiate a remote proctoring test. 

 

What is a remote proctored online solution? 


A remote proctoring solution is one that enables academia to host safe virtual exams and allows students to take them from anywhere in the world, including their homes. 

 

Can a remote proctor see your screen?


No, a remote proctor cannot see your screen during a remote proctoring test. But, the proctoring solutions provider does provide the proctor with tools that can restrict any on-screen activity. One such remote proctoring tool is Mercer | Mettl’s
Mettl Secure Browser– which monitors an examinee’s screen and eliminates the possibility of remotely proctored cheating on the computer. 

 

Can you take a proctored exam at home?


Yes, you have the freedom to take a proctored exam from home or any other place, provided it is a complacent environment free from fraud.

 

Can online tests detect cheating?


Yes, online tests are capable of detecting cheating if they are undertaken using proctoring technology. The right proctoring tool integrated with state-of-the-art technology will efficiently detect as well as predict cheating.  

Please check this link out for a more exhaustive list of FAQs for a more detailed understanding of the subject of exam proctoring.

 

infographic

 

So this is our complete guide book on online remote proctoring

We believe that this handy piece offered you clarity and negated your concerns, preparing you to confidently embrace the future of examinations.  

Now let’s turn it over to you.

What did you think about this guide? What made you resort to online remote proctoring? 

Is there something you’d like us to include? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Originally published December 4 2019, Updated January 8 2021

Shirisha Jain

Written by

Shirisha has been helping countless brands gain traction with her content. Her deep understanding of the education sector and sound knowledge of technical skills have helped her structure the most creative solutions for key stakeholders. Shirisha has also ghosted pieces for several industry honcho’s successfully published both online and offline. When she's not keeping up with the world, you're sure to find her catching up on bollywood stories or gramming for fun.

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