5 Must-Have Online Proctoring Features for Colleges and Universities

Today, universities face unique challenges in maintaining academic integrity while keeping overhead low. The college landscape is rapidly changing, which means schools must provide flexible, secure online proctoring services to stay competitive.

While the end goal is to evaluate students’ knowledge, online proctoring software also significantly affects your institution’s reputation and bottom line. There are many online proctoring services to choose from, so making the right choice requires narrowing down the most critical features and choosing a vendor that fits those needs. 

In this post, we'll cover the essential proctoring features your institution should consider.

Flexible, on-demand exam options

There is a strong need for online proctoring in universities, in part because the expectations of students and test-takers are changing. Today's students expect seamless technology that is available whenever they need it. 

Nowadays, students have so many choices, so meeting candidates where they are is crucial for a school to stay competitive. Maintaining academic transparency while providing a relaxed testing environment is a difficult task. Despite the inherent stress of taking a test, the objective is to make the process as painless and enjoyable as possible. 

Providing candidates with self-paced coursework and tests is one way to exceed their expectations. The vast majority of businesspeople cannot drive to their MBA classes or exams. Your online proctoring solution should demonstrate your sensitivity to the needs of your candidates and awareness of their hectic schedules.

Your online proctoring solution should be flexible and intuitive enough to allow students control over whether to accelerate their learning and move ahead or give them additional time to complete the work. Everyone appreciates a convenient test tailored to their learning style, whether they are testing a professional or a university student.

Responsive, personalized customer experience

A common complaint colleges have is that their online proctoring providers don't listen to them or care about their needs. As a result, many smaller colleges and universities feel like small fish in a big pond, which is frustrating. Partnering with a proctoring brand that gets to know your business is crucial. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to online proctoring. Because your school is unique, your needs will vary widely—sometimes even from department to department! It can be challenging to integrate your organization's entire tech stack, including your Learning Management System and online resources. 

Coordination is key to making sure all of your systems are connected and working correctly. If, for instance, an academic institution had planned system maintenance, updating proctoring software would have to align so as not to disturb the process.

Your customer support affects not only your organization but also the students you serve. The testing experience can be seamless when you have a partner that understands your needs and adapts to your unique circumstances.

Customizable data privacy protection

Verifying the identities of test-takers via facial feature detection is crucial for ensuring exam integrity. As a result, your organization will be responsible for stewarding sensitive personal data safely and responsibly. 

As state biometric privacy laws rapidly evolve, your online proctoring solution should allow you to disable the facial detection features as needed to ensure compliance. Choose an online proctoring provider that offers an automated review element while allowing you to adjust the amount of human review required. 

Your online proctoring solution should keep your facial detection and personal profile information private, never sharing it with anyone outside your organization. Additionally, you should be purging raw data every 30 days. The rest stores automatically for one year, unless you request otherwise. Your online proctoring vendor should be able to quickly and appropriately handle data purging requests. 

Tech support for the organization and the test-taker

The tech support offered by your online proctoring solution should achieve two things. One, provide sufficient training and support so that faculty and students don't bog down administration and staff with support requests, allowing them to focus on other priorities. Two, minimize student distraction and anxiety to most accurately measure and assess their knowledge.

During the exam period, tech support must be readily available. Even though true 24/7 support isn't sustainable, your solution should at least be able to accommodate test-takers and staff who might need assistance after hours or on holidays. 

The best support forms are chat, email, or remote help from your online proctoring partner. Adequate support means that your LMS provider and faculty members won’t have to deal with high call volume. When you remove these issues from your organization, you can focus on assessing knowledge and improving the bottom line.

Secure browser capability 

Distractions are more prevalent today than ever before. Focusing on an exam, especially one that’s complex and lengthy, is difficult for anyone. Online proctoring should have a secure web component that helps students stay focused while also ensuring academic integrity at your institution.

Secure web browsers will open their own exam browsers rather than opening the URL in a default browser. Your proctoring solution should allow your organization to design learning materials and exams in kiosk mode so that your material is restrictive when the stakes are high but also has an eject feature that allows a student to leave if necessary. 

A secure web browser isn't just for your exams—it's something that honest, hardworking students appreciate. The students want to know that their studying and preparation paid off and that they can compete on a level playing field with others. To ensure this level playing field, look for a secure browser that restricts: 

  • Copy and paste functions
  • Forward and back buttons
  • Opening additional tabs
  • Links, tabs, and other non-related programs in the browser toolbar.

The bottom line on critical online proctoring features

All online proctoring solutions are not created equally. You must choose a proctoring solution with the right features if you want to provide an exceptional experience for test-takers and boost your organization's reputation. 

Similarly, your organization's needs for online proctoring are specific and unique. That's why the right online proctoring solution must provide a flexible service with easily accessible support. In addition, proctoring companies should offer data privacy features that enable you to stay compliant with state laws. 

Lastly, a secure browser ensures the integrity of your exam materials. It ensures that students’ preparation for the exam will be rewarded and not competing against academic dishonesty.

Download The Ultimate Guide to Online Proctoring to learn more about essential online proctoring features for colleges and universities. 

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