Proctored exams mean the presence of an invigilator or a proctor while the exam is being conducted in order to ensure the credibility and integrity of the exam. Proctor is a person who is skilled and qualified in making sure that no candidate indulges in any cheating activities. Traditionally, physical presence of the proctor was essential, but with the advancement of technology, exams can now be conducted as online proctored exams.
Online proctored exams let the candidates undertake an exam at the place of their comfort. At the same time, it ensures that the integrity of the exam is maintained by keeping a close check on the movements of the candidate to catch hold of any suspicious activity. Students confirm their identity via webcam and thus are monitored through technology and webcam. Online testing is not something new; it has been in existence for so many years. But with time, it has become more advanced which has led to an increase in its authenticity and integrity. To clearly understand the concept of online proctoring, one needs to understand what its type is and how it works.
For online proctoring, certain requirements need to be fulfilled. These include:
- A proper functioning device i.e. laptop/mobile phone/tablet/PC.
- Strong internet connection
- Web camera and a mic
- Any of the modern browsers
There are three types of online proctoring, depending upon the way proctoring can take place. These are:
- Live Online Proctoring: Under this, a proctor who is qualified enough supervises the candidate’s audio, video, and screen share feeds in real time. They are trained for proctoring the candidate and noticing any cheating behavior. They are capable of monitoring 16 to 32 candidates at the same time. This helps to reduce distance and travelling constraints.
- Recorded Proctoring: Under recorded proctoring, the proctoring does not take place in real time. The audio, video and screen shared are recorded of the candidate during the test. The video is then fast-forwarded to check for any suspicious activity on the part of the candidate. Under this, human involvement is there to check the review.
- Advanced Automated Proctoring: This is the most technologically advanced proctoring. It comprises the benefits of both methods mentioned above. The candidate’s activities are also recorded and at the same time, monitored in real-time using advance video and audio analytics, which reduces the level of cheating in exams. Under this, face recognition is also done to make sure of student authentication.
Online proctoring has solved major problems that are linked with traditional proctoring. This is important for both, the candidate, and the institution, as explained below:
- For Candidate
- Online proctoring provides flexibility to the candidates as they can give exams from the comfort of their home or any other place of their choice. All one needs is the internet and web camera to take the exam. Also, the exam window is provided to the candidates; they can choose the date which they are comfortable with.
- They don’t have to worry about travelling long distances as it was the case with the traditional mode of conducting an exam. It leads to saving of time and effort on the part of the candidate.
- Online proctored exams provide privacy to the candidate. Candidates don’t have to pay attention to others as they are the only one giving the exam. This leads to stress free environment.
- For Institution
- Institutions do not have to worry about arranging qualified proctor to conduct the exam. It thus reduces the administration work for the institution. It keeps them stress free.
- The scheduling of exams in traditional way is a headache for institutions. They have to consider various things, such as public holidays, the gap between different exams etc. This involves a lot of work from the side of the institution. They have to make a lot of arrangements. All these issues can be overcome with online proctoring.
- The risk of cheating under online proctoring is minimal to zero. It requires on the part of the candidate to give a full look of examination room through the web camera and also the identification verification is done through the video. The proctors are highly qualified to look into suspicious behavior of the candidate, and thus, there are no chances of cheating activities.
- Also, with online proctoring, the institutions can increase their geographical base as candidates from remote areas can also easily take up the exams.
- Online proctoring is a more cost-effective way of conducting exams as one needs to invest in only proper proctoring tools.
These reasons make it clear why online proctoring is gaining so much importance nowadays. There are various factors which have led to its popularity. E- Learning is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity. But, before going for it, there are certain factors that must be taken care of. These factors include:
- There must be easy integration with the existing assessment engine. Many solutions require their own assessment engine, to work seamlessly. So, one must be aware of the solution requirements.
- It is very important to have a strong internet connection; otherwise, it will lead to disturbance during the exam and might affect the candidate’s performance. Hence, internet connectivity and hardware quality must be taken care of.
- The more automated the proctoring, the more seamless the operation. This is because there will be less human involvement, which will reduce the cost and time of conducting the exams. So, go with the solution with most automated features.
- It is important to see that the proctoring tools that one is using are efficient enough to notice suspicious behavior. They must be able to provide a complete diagnostic report of the candidate. Only then it will serve the purpose of proctoring.
Proctoring is essential for both online and offline modes of exams. Without properly proctored exams, there will be no integrity and reliability of the results. With the increase in technological advancements, the future of exams is online.