Due to the pandemic, schools are now conducting classes online. Thanks to technological tools, this offers many benefits, such as cost savings, time efficiency, consistency, and flexibility. However, there are concerns about cheating and monitoring when it comes to online exams and assessments. Online proctored exams are gaining popularity in the education sector to overcome this issue.
What are online proctored exams?
Online proctored exams are timed tests that use proctoring software to monitor your computer's desktop, webcam video, and audio while you take the exam. The data is then sent to a proctoring service for evaluation. Proctored exams may be optional or mandatory for your course and enrollment track. An online proctored exam is like any other exam but with an online platform to support all the related activities and, crucially, invigilation to uphold the integrity of the exam.
What does proctor mean?
Proctoring, also known as invigilation, involves overseeing candidates during an exam to ensure fairness and equality. This is especially important when the stakes are high, as cheating, impersonation, or sharing questions can compromise the exam's integrity. Many of us are familiar with this process from our experiences in education or employment. Online proctoring is a digital version of this monitoring process for online exams. It can be done through specially designed software or with a human invigilator using webcams and remote computer access.
Proctored exams vs. non-proctored exams
So, you got your exams coming up and wondering what the deal with proctored and non-proctored exams is. Let's break it down. Non-proctored exams are those where you're left on your own - no one's watching over you, and sometimes, you can even use your notes or textbooks. These exams are more common when the exam is about problem-solving rather than memorization.
But when it comes to proctored exams, it's a different story. Think about the traditional paper-based exams where a supervisor is in the room, ensuring nobody cheats or copied from someone else. With online exams, proctoring has now moved to the digital world. So, proctored online exams can either be live-monitored or pre-recorded with the help of proctoring software or human invigilators.
How does online proctoring work?
Online proctoring has become an essential tool for ensuring the fairness and security of tests taken over the internet. Let's look at how online proctoring works to keep exams honest and equitable for everyone.
Before the exam
Online proctoring software uses auto or live authentication to ensure that the right student is taking the test. Auto authentication requires students to authenticate their identities through a photo ID and facial recognition, challenge questions, or biometric signatures. On the other hand, live authentication entails a live proctor checking a student's face against their ID.
During the exam
Online proctoring platforms monitor students during the test to prevent cheating. Three types of proctoring are common: automatic, record-and-review, and live proctoring. Automatic proctoring monitors students' environments for any sound or movement that could indicate cheating. Record-and-review proctoring records the exam and then reviews it later for signs of cheating. Lastly, live proctoring uses a live proctor, similar to those found in a classroom, who monitors students during the exam over the computer.
7 Tips to Being Prepared for an Online Exam
Preparing for an online exam requires a certain level of readiness and awareness. Here are seven essential tips for students to prepare for a successful automated, virtual proctoring session:
Schedule exam time
Flexibility is one of the perks of automated, virtual proctoring. But to perform best, students should pick a time that suits them best and ensure they're free from distractions or other responsibilities.
Create a distraction-free testing space.
Creating a distraction-free environment for taking an online exam is crucial to success. Ensure the testing space is well-lit, private, and free from distractions or unauthorized materials.
Install the software
While taking an exam through, software or an automated virtual proctoring system needs to install on your machine.
Check the tech
Before the exam, you must test your computing device, webcam, microphone, and an internet connection to ensure they work correctly.
Keep your ID ready
Depending on the exam's set-up, students may be required to hold an official ID card to the webcam, such as a driver's license or passport.
Advantages of remote proctoring
Remote proctoring offers numerous advantages that can significantly enhance the experience of both students and educators. One of the most significant benefits is that it eliminates the need to arrange exam centers, making the process more convenient and accessible.
In addition, remote proctoring removes the requirement for physical proctors, which saves both time and resources. Automating the proctoring process also provides advanced security and integrity, which is crucial for ensuring fair exams.
Another significant advantage of remote proctoring is that it lessens the hassle of traveling to distant exam locations and enables candidates to take exams in the comfort of their homes.
What's the future of the remote proctoring exam?
The growth and future of remote proctoring are fair. The online exam practice is embraced by both the public and private sectors. It's inspiring to see that over 500 universities in the US alone have recognized the value of remote proctoring as a viable option. As a result, educational institutions are adopting user-friendly technologies to conduct online exams. This trend has contributed to the increasing adoption of remote proctoring, which is gaining momentum in the global educational sector. The potential of remote proctoring to enhance student's learning experience is a promising prospect for the future.