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The usage of proctoring-enabled online exams has grown substantially in the past few years. Kryterion Inc., a US-based firm, was the first company to provide online proctoring services, and the domain has witnessed an upward trajectory ever since. Several new service providers and technologies have emerged in recent times. The online proctoring and remote invigilation market is also growing swiftly. The market is anticipated to be worth an incredible US$10 billion by 2026, with a presence in sectors including educational, 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. Before we discuss more insights on online proctoring, let us first understand all there is to know about web proctoring.
There are usually three modes of proctoring:
i) Live Proctoring
Live proctoring meaning a real life-like exam setting where an online proctor invigilates examinees. Much like an actual classroom setting, proctors supervise the students in real-time and intervene upon observing anything suspicious. A proctor can easily monitor multiple candidates simultaneously, depending on the live proctoring service provider. For instance, Mercer | Mettl provides a two-way live chat option, enabling the invigilators and the students to chat with one another to allay suspicions or queries while proctoring online exams.
The requisite for enabling a live proctoring exam is switching on the front camera and audio mode of the students’ computer, for a professional proctor to monitor them from start to finish. With active intervention, unfavorable activities such as cheating or impersonation are entirely eliminated, ensuring an exam’s integrity. A live proctored exam meaning is similar to a webcam proctored test.
An experienced proctor can supervise up to 16-32 candidates simultaneously, depending on the service provider, during live online proctoring. Live proctoring software offers a distinct advantage of eliminating locational proctoring restrictions.
Whether it is a high-stakes exam, an internal quiz assessment or a sophisticated certification exam, a live proctored exam lends the utmost security and credibility to various such evaluations.
Both institutes and organizations can leverage live proctoring for the following:
Educators responsible for high-stakes exams, such as entrance or government placement exams, are often concerned about their security, integrity, impartiality and accuracy. 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.
Live proctoring lends a much-needed layer of security and convenience to institutes and students by enabling taking the exams remotely. Exams such as semesters, internal assessments and quizzes may not be high-stakes but are equally important in ensuring educational continuity and determining students’ progress. Hence, schools and colleges can easily leverage live proctoring for their online exams, with live proctors to lend fair testing experience.
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 live proctoring with a robust anti-cheating invigilation mechanism to ensure students attempting the test are able to take their exam remotely, without resorting to unfair means. In such cases, experienced proctors are available round-the-clock to undertake live proctoring across time zones.
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.
Live 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 upskilling or reskilling. It offers an unbiased testing experience with the utmost flexibility and security.
When shortlisting a live proctoring company, ensure they offer the following advantages when conducting a live proctoring exam:
Live online proctoring ensures the convenience of 24/7 on-demand testing, given the proctors’ availability. These highly-experienced and professional proctors reduce the administrators’ supervision workload and assuage concerns about identification and cheating with strict scrutiny.
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 with real-time intervention. The two-way chat support helps the students and the proctor communicate continually, at any desired moment during the proctoring process.
An eclectic provision of Human+AI proctoring augments the entire proctoring process. Professional proctors’ scrutiny combined with an AI algorithm trained with more than 2.8 million proctored assessments can detect up to 18 dynamic digressions with over 95% accuracy. They cumulatively flag 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.
The live proctoring feature should be easily available within popular learning management systems, such as Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas or a personal legacy LMS, which means live proctoring is available as a Chrome extension by merely installing the extension. Examiners and students can then log in using their existing credentials. This seamless integration enables exam administrators to manage all aspects of an online assessment, exam and quizzes, without leaving the learning environment. Neither do they indulge in extra activities, nor invest additional time learning a new platform or software.
An almost instantaneous and genuine report is generated in a live proctored exam. Results from the machine and human-grade standardized assessment items are incorporated to provide a comprehensive overview of the performance. In certain cases, a live proctoring company also 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 forms the basis of the analysis, guaranteeing authenticity. Every live online proctoring session is recorded for future reference and is available for viewing later, using the proctoring software.
The benefit of leveraging live proctoring is not restricted to the faculty and exam administrators but also test-takers. They gain the freedom and convenience associated with an automated exam, and reduced logistical inputs immensely benefit administrators in reducing overhead expenses and execution concerns.
ii) Advanced Automated Proctoring
Software is used to detect instances of possible fraud in auto proctored online tests. It can detect whenever different software has been accessed or the presence of another person in a room. The proctor is alerted of such events and can review them, lending incredible ease and integrity to the process of proctoring online exams.
A futuristic AI algorithm is trained with more than 2.8 million online proctored assessments in an online auto proctoring test. It can detect up to 18 dynamic digressions with over 95% accuracy. The intelligent algorithm is configured to flag various suspicious cases, such as the non-visibility of face/ presence, detection of mobile phone, an additional person’s presence, a distracted eye movement, etc. AI proctoring eliminates the most glaring vulnerabilities with a dynamic set of anti-cheating features.
The upside of using an auto proctoring test is that there is no need to rethink scheduling and locational limitations. There is also no need for review by human proctors. Hence, it is a cost-effective and scalable solution.
iii) Recorded Proctoring
There is no monitoring of the feed in real-time in this type of webcam proctored test. The screen share and audio-video feeds of the examinees are recorded throughout the test. A proctor reviews the recorded video later. An official scans the recordings in the fast-forward mode and red-flags suspicious activities via annotations. The system is free from schedules and vocational limitations. Still, human intervention is needed for a review, making it comparatively expensive and unscalable.
No, you cannot cheat in an online proctored exam because live proctoring companies attest to the various anti-cheating mechanisms. The best online proctoring software offers state-of-the-art tools to prevent students from indulging in unethical activities.
A comparison table on how to choose between the Three Online Proctoring Methods
The table compares the three modes of proctoring:
Now, How Do You Decide?
You should be able to make well-informed decisions on choosing the best online proctoring software after a thorough read of the comparison table.
What are the stakes of your exams?
What is your paying capacity?
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 find the most appropriate online proctoring software by determining the exams’ stakes – high or low. This defines the purpose of the examinations to be conducted.
The most refined version of online proctoring should be used in a high-stakes testing landscape.
The best available product, a combination of human proctoring and AI algorithms, must be considered as it flags all cheating instances. For instance, degree exams in universities that provide the students’ final score are typically high-stakes exams. These are the defining scores of students’ academic lives. Therefore, the most refined and apt solution must be considered here.
Finances are a barrier for many. You must consider your budget and requirements before deciding on the solution. You should club this with the purpose of the assessment to make an easy decision and choose the best available option.
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 credibility and accuracy of the test-taker and the outcome, offering unparalleled confidence in the assessment process. It is easy-to-implement, robust and holistically flexible to help clients with varied needs.
Universities and colleges can supervise students even at the most remote locations by live proctoring them from their 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 possibilities of malpractice.
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, to simulate the physical center experience and authorize an examination overseer, Mercer | Mettl has provisioned for a new persona called Super Proctor. A Super Proctor is akin to an examination inspector who ensures that the online examination drive and proctoring goes well.
Mettl Secure Browser (MSB) is another attribute of our proctoring technology. 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 and every unauthorized resource possible. This feature goes a long way in preventing the candidate from surfing the web for answers, using the internet during live proctoring.
Mercer | Mettl’s proprietary algorithm ‘the Credibility Index’ is an excellent predictor, providing the most relevant results to administrators. 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 record details of the proctoring sessions, AI flags, and test finish status forms the basis of the analysis, guaranteeing the authenticity and ensuring only the most deserving students are admitted.
Mercer | Mettl’s state-of-the-art proctoring tools make auto proctored, meaning AI proctored online exams, extremely easy and help conduct diverse assessments, including entrance tests, mid-semester and pre-employment exams.
Below are the answers to some underlying concerns of institutes and universities about conducting online exams using remote proctoring.
A live proctor is an exam invigilator monitoring the examinees from start to finish through a webcam.
Originally published August 28 2018, Updated October 8 2020