Cheating Mitigated with Technology and Tablet Webcams

With their mobile processing power, tablet devices have become an essential tool for students and educators in the classroom. However, many learning institutions are hesitant to completely rely on this trend because it can also be a tool for cheating. In India, they found a way to use tablets as a device to assist proctors in eliminating cheating during board examinations via its built-in cameras.

In the Indian city of Hyderabad, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) has installed CCTV cameras at 50,049 centers and another 4,000 hidden tablet cameras were monitored by officials of the board’s office. However, despite the installing of cameras, GSHSEB officials predict that the number of exam malpractice cases along with teachers involved is expected to increase this year.

Although the cameras on the tablets do not guarantee that the incidents of cheating will decrease, board chairman V Varsani noted that it has resulted in several positive developments, such as the teachers being able to reinforce and warn students against cheating.

The first examination malpractice recorded using tablets was in 2013, where 48 students and six proctors were sanctioned for the incident. Since then, the government has strengthened their advocacy on preventing more test malpractices by installing 1,300 more tablets, which resulted in 744 students and 392 teachers being caught cheating during exams.

Widespread issue of cheating
One of the most shocking pieces of news recently, particularly in the educational sector, were the photographs and videos showing the widespread issue of cheating in Indian schools during the recent examination period in the country. The Hindustan Times was the first to publish said images where dozens of men were climbing the school wall to hand papers that contained answers to students in the classrooms.

Cheating has become attainable via digital methods through mobile devices. To defeat the widespread exam malpractice in the country, members of the government have spoken out to discourage the usage of mobile devices in the examination room. According to the report by GSHSEB, there were a significant amount of daily requests from members of parliament and legislature to remove tablets from schools. But, is the issue about the device or the human using the technology?

Proper usage of tablets
Tablets are essential for students and teachers alike, rather than smartphones, because of their bigger screens as well as functionalities that mobile devices have. Some of the highly used tablet devices today for students range from iPads, Samsung Tab, Sony Xperia Tab, and other Android running gadgets. With the help of productivity applications and learning software for mobile, students are able to learn more conveniently via these portable devices through visual presentations (Powerpoint, PDF, Cloud, etc.) even when they are away from their classroom. Educators, on the other hand, are able to provide instant references and reading materials in their class through cloud storage and productivity apps.

Introducing students the right way to maximize their technologies will help in the process. In addition, strengthening the rules and regulations in the usage of mobile devices at schools and universities will make it easier to impose the proper sanction to those who are caught cheating. Maximizing software that better assists in the proctoring of exams such as ProctorFree makes it easier to monitor behaviors and patterns associated with cheating through authenticating identity of each student and flagging specific behavior.

Overall, if there’s anything that the educational institutions and government have to prepare for – it will be the smartwatches and smart headset like the Google Glass as a possible next tool for cheating. It will be more difficult to manage and control the data stored to these devices, especially when answers can be viewed in a more discreet fashion.

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