Even as colleges and universities return to campus, there is an increased and persistent need for online proctoring solutions that maximize test-taker privacy while still being easy to use and fair to students.
Not all online proctoring software is created equal. Be aware of the pitfalls and complaints that routinely come along with this technology, including student data privacy concerns, and the mechanisms in place for identifying and demonstrating academic dishonesty.
Whether your students are learning in person or remotely, these expert tips should guide you through administering online examinations fairly and securely.
Don't be afraid to share with test-takers which proctoring solution you're using. Make it part of your course introduction. There are plenty of options out there with unique benefits and weaknesses.
Describe how your choice of online proctoring software benefits the test-taker and your college or university by listing the benefits so your students have a better understanding of why online proctoring needs to happen.
Most students will appreciate that their identity is verified and their exam is proctored to ensure that the person taking the test is who they say they are. This level of rigor makes a good impression all around.
Make clear to test-takers where to find support and who to contact with any questions or concerns they may have. Not every student has an equal familiarity with online test taking and proctoring. Ask in writing if test-takers understand how the proctoring session functions. Give them a demo if possible. During an exam, make sure students know that if they don't understand, they can stop and ask for further clarification.
Online proctoring needs robust identity verification. Obviously, it’s essential that colleges and universities are able to ensure that the student taking the exam is who they say they are.
Students—and importantly, anyone in the public who will rely on these test takers’ knowledge or ability—benefit from having a multi-factor identity verification in place for anyone sitting to take an exam online.
Any credible proctoring software should have ample ID verification out of the box. As soon as the test-taker launches the exam, your proctoring software should prompt for identity verification including capturing the candidate's ID information and photo. During the exam, the software should capture a video feed of the testing environment and alert exam administrators for anything that needs review, for example, a test taker getting up from their desk. It’s important that proctoring software be able to flag instances like this to ensure that after the initial identity verification, the exam integrity is maintained by continuous identity verification.
Your online proctoring process should never be static. One major benefit of online proctoring versus in-person proctoring is the ability to gather a lot of data that you can learn from. This data allows you to make smart, informed decisions about creating the most fair test-taking process possible.
Take the insights you glean from your proctoring software and adjust your approach accordingly. You might double-check the phrasing and clarity of exam questions if you notice that many students keep getting them wrong. By keeping an eye out for these patterns, you’ll create a more equitable testing process.