Online Proctoring in the era of the COVID-19 Pandemic
2020 has been a year of many firsts. Institutions across different sectors have had to embrace a digital revolution that many in a way saw coming.
In the education sector, online proctored exams have gained trust and popularity exponentially over the last few months. This is because numerous institutions and certification providers have had to move to an online mode of conducting examinations to ensure education went on without a break.
Institutions and students together looked at remote proctoring as a savior to ensure that courses and certifications went on without any major hurdles. By embracing this change, everyone could look at the plethora of advantages some of the best online proctoring software(s) bring to the table. They not only facilitated the process of conducting examinations but also ensured the administrative line of things was seamless and effortless. With COVID-19 cases increasing every day, institutions of all levels are looking at online examinations as a long-term solution.
According to a survey, there has been a 50% jump in demand for remote proctoring solutions across different educational institutions. While institutions were hesitant in using even the best online proctoring software(s) due to security implications, the situation has changed with more institutions being open to change.
To understand what the best online proctoring software(s) do, it is imperative to first understand the three different types of remote proctoring that are available:
Live online proctoring
Very similar to the offline proctoring mechanism, live online proctoring uses a qualified invigilator or proctor to monitor audio and video of the candidates in real-time. Sitting remotely, the proctor can invigilate and look for any inconsistencies. A perfect solution when there are a limited number of candidates who need to be proctored, the live online proctoring mechanism is offered by all the best online proctoring software(s), provided there is a high-speed internet connection available for everyone involved.
Much like the name, recorded proctoring records the entire feed of the examination/test-taking process to help institutions review it by a proctor later on. By having a recorded feed, institutions can always review it to look for any suspicious moments or activities. Offered by all the best online proctoring software providers, the recorded proctoring ensures that the students are extra careful while taking their examinations. Recorded proctoring also requires all the parties to have a high-speed internet connection, with the institutions requiring storage spaces to store all the recordings.
One of the most advanced forms of proctoring, automated proctoring as an option is available only among the best online proctoring software providers. Automated proctoring removes the need for any human intervention wherein it uses face-recognition to authenticate the identity, records, and analyses the audio-video feed to find any suspicious activities. Using audio and video analytics, automated proctoring also ensures that the candidate cannot switch among applications, tracks the movement of the cursor, monitors the movement of the candidate among other facets.
So how do the best online proctoring software(s) work?
All the remote online proctoring software(s) accesses the student’s microphone, webcam, and screen during the assessment or examination. Once the student confirms their identity through the camera or facial recognition, the students are asked to type out a short phrase to understand their keystrokes and how they compare with the previous examples. Additionally, the best online proctoring software(s) use a lockdown mechanism to ensure that students can’t use web browsers or are constricted from copying or pasting.
What are the drawbacks of online proctoring?
While the advantages of having the best online proctoring software are innumerable, proctoring software does come with a small list of drawbacks too. One of the biggest drawbacks every individual sees is the discomfort it causes while it constantly monitors a test taker through a webcam. Students across the world are extremely inhibitive of the privacy features of online proctoring software.
The only way educational institutions can overcome this apprehension is by letting students know exactly how the software works and how any permission that is being granted is not disputing the privacy claims of anybody. Moreover, the benefits of all the best online proctoring software(s) outweigh the cons. The software effectively facilitates the process of conducting examinations from a remote location without the fear of any misconduct. All the best online proctoring software(s) are in a way an extended arm of the digital modes of learning, and till the day students and teachers can fearlessly step into the classrooms once again, online proctoring is bound to stay.
What are the advantages of online proctoring?
The best online remote proctoring software(s) provide a simple, effective, and technology-driven alternative to the traditional form of proctoring. With AI tools and other plugins to assist institutions, the best online proctoring software(s) can provide a holistic experience by using its voice/audio recognition tools, object detection tools, facial recognition capabilities among other features. The best online proctoring software(s) also meets the expectations of the candidates and invigilators as they bridge geographical barriers, reduce turnaround time to publish results, and save logistic costs.
Technology is meant to be embraced, and only when it is embraced will we see innovation in spades. This holds true especially for the educational sector which is moving from a completely on-ground setup to an online one. Online proctoring is a change that must be embraced and encouraged to deliver education and examinations to any corner of the world.