Like any tool that gets refined over time, exam proctoring has evolved. The days of learners commuting to a testing center to sit at a desk and write the exam in the same room as a proctor were already adjusting in the face of several factors, including, but not limited to:
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the move away from in-person to online proctoring in a way that may never fully readjust to how it was. And for good reason: Online exam proctoring is more efficient, flexible, and can be just as secure as in-person proctoring.
This post will give you a sense of the landscape of online proctoring today, and explain how exam proctoring software works in the real world.
It’s a misconception that remote proctoring is something that replaces human proctors. Online or remote proctoring software (also known in some parts of the world as invigilation software) is technology that makes the process of having a human proctor more efficient.
This technology often features:
It’s not just colleges and universities. While higher education naturally accounts for a large base of proctoring software users, it’s far from the only use case.
Consider the scenarios where exam proctoring is the safeguard for public health or safety. Doctors and nurses going through professional recertification; pilots taking a training course on a new process or equipment; structural engineers ensuring their knowledge is sound by completing a licensure exam—in all these situations, the stakes are high. There are trusting members of the public who expect that the people flying their planes, performing their surgeries, and building their bridges are qualified to be doing so.
Any test that’s worth protecting should be a candidate for online proctoring. A broad range of organizations and situations could take advantage of online exam proctoring:
Exam proctoring software allows the test takers and test administrators to feel good about the process of taking an exam. We can characterize this broadly into four central feelings that get touched during the exam proctoring process.
A remote proctoring solution should work in conjunction with any of the major learning management systems, including Blackboard, Canvas, and Moodle, major testing platforms, or as a standalone application. There are four core parts to the test-taking process with online proctoring technology in use.
After the test taker verifies their identity, a testing URL is generated, and the student goes there to begin the exam on a web browser.
As the exam is underway, the online proctoring application is running and collecting three streams of data: webcam footage, screen recording, and audio.
These data streams are uploaded to the cloud for review and analysis. A report is generated with suggestions of where an exam administrator should take a closer look.
The reviewer can flag questionable or abnormal activity and identify the severity of the infraction. These activities may include leaving the view of the web camera, using materials off camera, speaking to someone else in the room, navigating to unauthorized resources on the computer, etc.
By leveraging online proctoring technology, your organization will be able to deter cheating, safeguard the contents of your exams, and provide learners with a quality test-taking experience that is more convenient and lower stress than in-person alternatives.
There is much more to learn about online proctoring, so if this topic is something you need to know more about, you should take a look at The Ultimate Guide to Online Proctoring, which dives deeper into remote proctoring software solutions for a variety of use cases.