Using Online Proctoring? 4 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore

Online exams are quickly becoming the standard as schools and businesses adapt to the remote nature of today's world. As a result, the demand for online proctoring software is increasing, so it’s no wonder there are so many brands to choose from.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of choices out there. To narrow down your options, become aware of the potential issues that your proctoring solution could bring your organization. Even though online proctoring provides increased test security, organizations must guard against everything from minor issues to major legal problems.

Whether you’re already utilizing online proctoring or evaluating new technology for the first time, there are some red flags to be aware of. Looking out for the following online proctoring pitfalls will help you decide which proctoring solution is right for your organization.


Red Flag #1: Slow tech support response times

Taking exams is stressful enough without adding cumbersome technology to the equation. Tech glitches can distract students, increasing stress and negatively impacting performance. Fortunately, your organization can take a proactive approach in preventing tech issues.

The best way to prevent distraction is to ensure your proctoring solution provides adequate tech support. Support should be readily available. Providing the necessary support means helping test takers whenever they need it—not limiting support to the proctoring company's traditional business hours.

As a rule of thumb, any online proctoring solution worth its salt should be able to respond to help requests in two minutes or less.


Red Flag #2: Issues connecting with your existing systems

Today, organizations will use multiple technology platforms to keep their businesses functioning optimally. Therefore, your proctoring solution must integrate with multiple systems so your organization can connect everything.

In other words, your proctoring solution needs to integrate with learning management systems (LMS) such as Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle. For professional associations and licensing boards, your online proctoring solutions should integrate seamlessly with your organization’s testing platform, such as Digital Chalk or Gauge.

Here’s the catch—proctoring software needs to be able to connect and disconnect. Your proctoring software needs to function as a standalone solution AND connect to your learning management system. Why? If your other systems go down, you’ll still be able to administer exams. This also ensures that switching to another LMS won’t impact your proctoring software.


Red Flag #3: Limited control of data collection and privacy

Data privacy is a growing concern across every industry as our world moves online. Because students enter sensitive information to identify themselves, your solution needs to protect their data. In addition to making students more comfortable correctly identifying themselves, you'll be protecting your organization from devastating data breaches down the road.

The privacy concerns of students have been handled poorly by some platforms within the online proctoring industry. Therefore, you should always do thorough research before selecting your online proctoring vendor, including knowing a brand’s reputation.

Take the following precautions when selecting your online vendor:

  • Thoroughly evaluate to gauge whether student and test-taker privacy is a top priority for the proctoring brand.
  • Go for solutions that don’t require significant invasive installation measures on a test-taker’s computer.
  • Review and understand your vendor’s data collection and retention policies.
  • Choose a solution with a secure web browser designed explicitly for proctoring. Secure browsers protect student’s data while ensuring a seamless exam experience.

Red Flag #4: Facial recognition bias issues

Understanding how online proctoring solutions use facial recognition will help you understand the bias risks inherent in software and coding. Remote test-taking requires organizations to verify the identity of students taking tests. Using artificial intelligence (AI), proctoring software identifies students and sends alerts when it detects behaviors that may indicate cheating.

While these features are proof of technological advancement, machines aren't perfect. Alarmingly, people of color and people with disabilities are being flagged with higher frequency for things like involuntary movements, muscle spasms, or wearing religious garb like hijabs. As you can see, this is highly problematic and should be on the radar of any organization using online proctoring software.

Just as you evaluate solutions for potential data privacy issues, do your research and ensure your platform isn’t associated with racial or cultural bias issues. Organizations can prevent inequities in exam proctoring by not relying on AI for the entire exam security process. Instead, select a solution that flags suspicious behaviors and then passes them on to exam administrators (preferably those with bias training) to make the final determinations.

Bottom line on avoiding the pitfalls of online proctoring software

When selecting an online proctoring solution for your institution, you should consider two major factors. Support and integration are the first factors to assess. Tech support allows you to provide the best possible experience for exam takers. Choosing a solution with the proper integration capabilities creates a seamless process that can integrate with your LMS and function independently.

As for the second area, avoiding major issues such as data breaches and bias is critical to protecting your organization's reputation. Privacy should be a top priority for your proctoring brand, and your students should feel comfortable entering confidential information into your system. Last but not least, be aware of the current equity concerns surrounding online proctoring. Ensure you have a two-tiered flagging system that allows a human to determine test-taker integrity.

Learn how to choose the best online proctoring solution for your organization. Download The Ultimate Guide to Online Proctoring by clicking the button below.

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