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Examination and Proctoring | 1 Min Read

Online Test Proctoring: Comparing Online Proctoring Systems

What Is an Online Proctored Exam?

An online proctored exam is one that allows test takers to take their exams online in the comfort of their home or office. This exam is delivered to the examinee through a computer and a webcam and is visually and audibly supervised by the certified online proctors. Remote proctors permit candidates to take any test at a far-off location. Be that as it may, it doesn’t imply that the reliability of the test is undermined. The online proctored exam includes synchronous remote invigilation by a person or software to assess the conduct of candidates. It ensures that individuals attending the examination are genuine and do not commit any academic dishonesty.

Online Proctoring: Making Online Study Better And Secure

For a typical online proctoring system, you install the software on your computer. On beginning the exam, the application assesses your computer and webcam. You have to confirm your identity by holding up your ID to the camera. You can also verify your identity through facial recognition. Further still, you might be asked to type a short phrase so that their keystrokes are analyzed and compared to previous samples.

In other cases, a password known only by the proctor is used to begin the test. It makes it possible for the proctor to gain control of your computer to enter the password. During the exam, a lockdown mechanism may be used to bar you from opening other web browsers. It helps to minimize the chances of cheating.

When you are doing the exam, a camera records all the proceedings. Some remote proctoring systems relay the video to a human proctor in real-time. The proctor is then able to observe the student’s eye movements or other behaviors that amount to signs of cheating. A report is compiled afterward. In automated proctoring, the software can flag a candidate’s behavior indicative of fraud. These instances are reviewed by the faculty later.

You can take the exam wherever you choose, be it in a residence hall or apartment.  Further still, you have a choice to decide when to take the test. A proctor helps to safeguard against any form of cheating on assessments. You have to make sure you have an approved ID before the test. Plus, you may need to download the appropriate software for proctoring. It allows you to access your computer and give you a password for the exam.

Since they provide a means of supporting academic integrity in an online context compared to non-proctored examinations, online proctoring tools might become the benchmark for online courses. The tools are being enhanced through artificial intelligence by incorporating a machine analysis of a student’s biometric responses. Gadgets like smartwatches might be employed to detect changes in a student’s pulse and temperature. Information may then be sent to proctoring software for analysis.

Existing tools, like keyboard analysis, facial recognition, and sound recognition, are being expanded to discern cheating. These rely on factors like head position or movement, facial expression, and typing rhythm. Thus, online proctoring tools provide a reasonable level of security for exams that are taken remotely. It allows you to complete online assessments in a place or time of your choice.

Colleges and universities which were reluctant to teach online courses are now persuaded to try it. This is because remote proctors provide confidence to a secure testing option.

Is It Possible to Cheat in an Online Proctored Exam?

Even though the most advanced proctoring systems are leaving no room for unfair practices, some test-takers unleash their creativity in working around the system. There have been plenty of instances where students tried their level best to beat the system. Here are some cases when test-takers were at their creative best:

Old Schoolers

Despite the advancement in digital learning methodologies, some dedicated cheaters have still preferred taking the old-school way to cheat on any exam. In the same manner, as a standard pen-and-paper test, many students scrawl stuff on their hands or stick tiny chits to computer screens– and use them during the test. Unaware of the presence of the online proctors in the surroundings, they are happy in their cheating zone. In today’s times, online test proctors can not only verify examinees’ identities online but can monitor their every move during the exam. With the advent of advanced facial recognition and detection technology came more power to the proctors.

The Screenshot

Some technology-savvy candidates have a way with cutting-edge technology, and some are unable to make the most of it. One candidate held his mobile phone up to the screen level to take screenshots of the exam, completely losing sight of the fact that he was continuously monitored through the webcam. Although there are other simple ways to take a screenshot, features like keystroke dynamics enable online test proctors to identify variabilities as candidates type. This way, proctors can determine whether a person is typing answers or taking screenshots.

Frequent Breaks in Between

It’s human to feel thirsty during a test, but there have been times when water bottles were used for more than just drinking water. There was the case for one student who affixed small notes on the inner label of the bottle and glass. It may seem a convincing technique, but can’t go unnoticed from the watchful eyes of the webcam.

Act of Concealing

Some examinees get their cheating game strong by providing cover- using blinds, desks, closets, beds as a hiding place- for their accomplices. One test-taker took the help of a friend who was hiding behind the blinds. This friend carefully muttered answers while in hiding. Ironically, the duo was unaware of the power of online proctored exams. They forgot that remote proctoring comes with advanced audio detection technology that can send an alert to test proctors if there’s unusual noise in the background. These cheating stories are sure to give you an idea of how creative a student may get during online exams.

How Mercer| Mettl Can Help?

Mercer| Mettl’s comprehensive suite of remote proctoring services is secure, scalable, and customizable as per client’s budget and requirements. Online proctoring caters to a broad spectrum of assessments from pre-employment tests to entrance tests and mid-semester exams. Mettl’s AI-backed robust platform helps in managing virtual exams seamlessly and effortlessly. ProctorPLUS is one such essential tool that is driven by AI to provide effective solutions that maintain the integrity of online assessments with the utmost accuracy in preventing cheating. It is customizable as per business needs and comes with top-notch features that redefine aspects of invigilation. It can also be easily integrated into any human resource management system(HRMS).

You may also like to read: Online Web Proctored Exams: All You Wanted to Know

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Originally published March 26 2018, Updated June 24 2020

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