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Choosing The Right Online Proctoring Type – Live Proctoring, Recorded or AI Proctoring?

Examination and Proctoring | 6 Min Read

Choosing The Right Online Proctoring Type – Live Proctoring, Recorded or AI Proctoring?


The online proctoring and remote invigilation market is witnessing an upward trajectory with the steady emergence of several service providers and technologies. A market research report also states global remote proctoring or online invigilation is expected to exceed an incredible US$10billion by 2026, with a presence in sectors, including education, vocation, corporate and training. The market is only expected to grow further, and online proctoring is slated to become the mainstay of all kinds of online examinations.

And why not?

Online proctoring is offering a level playing field to all stakeholders involved. It is pivotal for educational institutions to conduct seamless exams without compromising their integrity. Meanwhile, it ensures learning and educational continuity for students. Hence, it is an effective way to tide over unforeseen disruptions.

But this is just a basic overview of online proctoring and its varied uses. There’s so much more to this complex phenomenon than one can presume. For instance, online proctoring comes in varied forms. And it is vital to understand the right proctoring software solution for the right use case to effectively implement proctoring. Only then can the examiners up their game, ensure safety and outsmart those trying to game the system.

Let’s delineate the distinct types of proctoring solutions, how each one of them works, and which one is to be used for particular exam types.

To begin with:

What is Live Proctoring and Auto Proctored Testing and Recorded Proctoring?

There are usually three modes of proctoring:


 live proctoring


Watch the video below for an explanation and read further to explore them in detail.


The Meaning of Live Proctoring and How it Works

What is Live Proctoring Online?


Live proctoring online is much like an actual classroom setting. Except, an online proctor invigilates multiple examinees remotely, using a real-time audio and video feed, from start to finish.

A live proctored exam is similar to a webcam proctored test. Proctors can either invigilate through a one-to-many view or a one-to-one view. And if they find anything suspicious during the live online proctoring session, they can intervene and solve the issue 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 while proctoring online exams.


How Does Live Online Proctoring Work?


The requisite for a live proctoring exam for academia begins with finding a professional proctor to monitor applicants from start to finish. An experienced proctor’s vigilance during the live proctored exam creates a cheating-free environment.

Once an experienced proctor is available, the specifications for enabling a live proctoring exam for the student extends to having a:


the specifications for enabling a live proctoring exam


With these in place, students need to share their screen, video and audio with the proctors to initiate live proctoring. Post sharing, live authentication is initiated when students click on the exam link.


Post sharing, live authentication is initiated when students click on the exam link


Once the identity is validated, the proctoring session is initiated until the completion of the exam. With active intervention, activities such as cheating or impersonation are eliminated, ensuring an exam’s integrity.




Exams and Assessments That Work Best with Live Proctored Exams

Whether it is a high-stakes exam or a sophisticated certification exam, a live proctored exam lends utmost security and credibility to various such evaluations. Hence, both institutes and organizations can leverage live proctoring for the following:

High-stakes Academic Exams:

Educators responsible for high-stakes exams, such as entrance or government placement exams, are often concerned about their security, integrity and impartiality. A live proctored exam seamlessly ensures them all. From attesting a test-taker’s authenticity to maintaining the quality and rigor offered in a center-based exam, live proctored exams are a safe alternative. Experienced human proctors, adhering to stringent protocols, are combined with AI proctoring at all times for a seamless live proctoring experience.

Pre-employment Assessments:

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.



Features of a Live Online Proctoring

When shortlisting a live proctoring service provider, ensure they offer the following features to enable you to conduct a seamless live proctoring exam:

Availability of Mindful Proctors for a Live Exam:

A live online proctoring provider should ensure academic integrity by providing exceptionally vigilant and mindful online proctors just like offline invigilators. Such proctors not only limit online distractions but hone a deep sense of trust toward the entire proctoring activity that ensures respectful, responsible and honest drive.

An Ideal Student to Proctor Ratio:

The purpose of having professional live proctors is to reduce the administrators’ supervision workload. It includes assuaging concerns about identification and eliminating cheating with strict scrutiny. But that happens when there is an ideal ratio between experienced proctors and the test-takers they are monitoring. We believe that one proctor can monitor 16-32 test-takers simultaneously from start to finish.

Real-time Supervision With Live Chat Support:

Live proctoring offers the most relevant advantage of real-time supervision with two-way live chat support. The proctor can immediately connect with the student to assess the situation and address misunderstandings or dilemmas in real-time. The two-way chat support helps the students and the proctor communicate continually at any desired moment during the proctoring process.

AI Augmented Live Proctoring:

An eclectic provision of Human + AI proctoring augments the entire proctoring process, adding much depth to the live proctoring mode. A professional proctors’ scrutiny, combined with an AI algorithm, can cumulatively raise flags on various suspicious cases, such as the non-visibility of face/ presence, mobile phone detection, an additional person’s presence, restricted on-screen cheating, etc. The hybrid approach of Human + AI proctoring can eliminate the most glaring proctoring-associated vulnerabilities. For instance, Mercer | Mettl’s AI is trained with more than 2.8 million proctored assessments and can detect up to 18 dynamic digressions with upward of 95% accuracy.

Reporting + Reviewing Tools and Metrics:

Generation of an almost instantaneous and genuine report is another attractive proposition of a live proctored exam. Results from machine and human-grade standardized assessment items provide a granular and comprehensive overview of the performance, assisting the examiner in deciding the next course of action.

In some instances, a live proctoring company provides an applicant’s integrity score for a live proctored session. Insights from the live proctored session’s AI flags and the test finish status form the basis of the analysis, guaranteeing authenticity.

Measures for Data Privacy:

It takes only one misconduct to tarnish an institute’s reputation, painstakingly built over time. Hence, academia has to ensure proper legal and regulatory controls concerning privacy when going online. They can do so by ensuring the online service provider they partner with follows stringent security protocol to safeguard both candidates’ and clients’ data. Neither does anyone gain unauthorized access to an applicant’s sensitive details, nor does anyone misuses it. For instance, at Mercer | Mettl, system and services’ safety and security are of utmost priority. Therefore, it has various established processes to ensure that its service’s micro and macro functionalities are fine-tuned and optimized seamlessly.

A Premium Super Proctor Feature:

One of the most significant concerns among institutes has been relinquishing control over the physical examination process, allowing someone else to pull strings with proctoring. Therefore, Mercer | Mettl has provisioned for a new persona called Super Proctor to simulate the physical center experience and authorize an examination overseer. A Super Proctor is akin to an examination inspector who ensures that the online examination drive and proctoring does not encounter unwanted circumstances. It provides end-client visibility in a live proctored drive with enhanced control.


Meaning of Auto Proctored Online Test and How It Works

What is an Auto Proctored Test Meaning?


Auto proctoring meaning AI-enabled automated proctoring that helps conduct online examinations without human intervention. It is an advanced form of proctoring that ensures minimal errors and 95+ percent accuracy in predicting distractions or other suspicious activities.

A proficient auto proctoring solution software considers human proctors’ observations using an algorithm. It can replicate the way humans process information and make the right decisions. Hence, auto proctoring enhance human abilities and does not replace them.


How Does Automated Proctoring Work?


After mining and analyzing a hoard 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. The more instances the algorithm is made to access, the greater is its robustness and accuracy.


What Are the Pre-requisites for Auto Proctoring?

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

  • A glitch-free video feed: A computer with an operational webcam, which must be switched on throughout the test.
  • An excellent audio feed: A functional microphone 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.


Exams and Assessments That Work Best with Auto Proctoring Test

Automated proctoring lends incredible ease and integrity to the process of proctoring online exams. Such as:

Low-stakes Exams:

Automated proctoring lends a much-needed layer of convenience to institutes and students by enabling exams remotely. Students taking exams such as internal assessments and quizzes can easily be monitored without worrying about incurring inordinate sums and employing a vast workforce. AI algorithm is available round-the-clock to undertake proctoring across time zones as well while negating violations that may undermine an organization’s prestige and legacy.


The Meaning of Recorded Proctoring and How It Works

What is Recorded Proctoring?


Recorded proctoring is an AI-enabled webcam proctored test, wherein the screen and audio-video feeds of the examinees are recorded throughout the test without any real-time monitoring. Later, a proctor views the recorded AI flags and scans them for any suspicious activities via annotations. The system is free from schedules and vocational limitations.


Exams and Assessments That Work Best With Recorded Proctoring

Online Certification Exams:

Varied Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), offering digital learning programs by preeminent 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 classroom or physical distances. However, as the exams are online and attempted remotely, institutes can enable a stellar combination of recorded + automated proctoring with a robust anti-cheating invigilation mechanism to ensure students attempting the test can take their exam remotely, without resorting to unfair means. Proctors can view the recordings later to check for any anomaly, ensuring educational continuity and a fair testing experience.


How to Choose Between Live, Auto and Recorded Proctoring

Here is a comparison table on how to choose among the three online proctoring methods


Difference Between Live, Auto and Recorded Proctoring


Select the Appropriate Proctoring Solution Based on Your Needs


Live online proctoring


*The right proctoring solution can be customized as per your budgetary requirements.

You should be able to make well-informed decisions on choosing the best online proctoring solution after a read of the table detailed above. In case you are still unsure, consider the following:

What are the stakes of your Exam?

Stakes of Your Exams

Teaching is a process that facilitates learning, and testing validates the learning. It is the parameter that measures the two, but it would be immaterial if the test’s integrity has been compromised.

You can choose the most appropriate online proctoring software level by determining the exams’ stakes – high, medium, or low. But we prefer adding a layer of AI to every examination process irrespective of its stakes. For instance, a stellar combination of auto + live proctoring suffices for high-stakes exams. Auto + recorded proctoring works for medium-stakes exams to view flags. Low-stakes exams can be conducted using only auto proctoring.


How Mercer | Mettl Offers the Best Online Proctoring Services

Mercer| Mettl’s end-to-end online proctoring services offer world-class security and authenticity to online assessments. Its online proctoring solutions have been devised to validate the test-takers’ credibility, accuracy, and outcome, offering unparalleled confidence in the assessment process. They are easy to implement, robust, holistic, and flexible to help clients with varied needs.


Here’s how:

  • State-of-the-art Anti-Cheating Features:

Universities and colleges can supervise students even at the most remote locations by live proctoring them from their distantly-located centers. A live proctored online exam taken remotely provides similar accountability levels as an in-person class for students, as invigilation is possible via trained proctors, an AI-based algorithm or an AI-assisted human proctor. Either way, Mercer | Mettl’s proctoring technologies lend fairness, ethics and progressiveness to online exams by negating the possibilities of malpractice.

  • Mettl Secure Browser:

Mettl Secure Browser (MSB) is a shining example of our proctoring technology prowess. A secure browsing feature allows academicians to host any exam or assessment remotely, in a safe environment, without concerns about on-screen cheating. From enabling browser lockdown functions, allowing minimum navigation control, to blocking all external ports – MSB restricts access to any unauthorized resource possible. This remote proctoring feature goes a long way in preventing the candidate from surfing the web for answers, using the internet during live proctoring.

  • Credibility Index:

Mercer | Mettl’s proprietary algorithm ‘Credibility Index’ is an excellent predictor, providing the most relevant results to administrators during remote proctoring. An auto-generated report highlights the applicant’s integrity score for a proctored session. With valuations such as high, medium and low, examiners can swiftly identify and filter out candidates who may have resorted to cheating. Insights from the record details of the proctoring sessions, AI flags, and the test-finish status form the basis of the analysis, guaranteeing the authenticity and ensuring only the most deserving students are admitted.



What is a live proctor?

Can you cheat in an online proctored exam?

Originally published August 28 2018, Updated September 3 2021

Divyeshwari Singh

Written by

About This Topic

Online remote proctoring is the technology through which exams are conducted online in a cheating-free manner, using high-speed internet and a computer with a webcam. Online remote proctoring uses video streaming and AI or human proctors to invigilate large-scale exams securely.

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