What is proctoring? A proctored exam has been supervised by an entity, either a person or software, to ensure the identity of the candidate and the integrity of the exam venue.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions have become a real stress test for the educational industry. Schools, colleges and universities passed this stress test quite well and quickly changed to a remote format and are now one of the main users of online conference services.
Then, while educational institutions figured out the transformation of the educational process quickly enough, the subject of assessments is still complex. It is not very clear how to hold exams and tests in the new environment. Some colleges and universities have postponed the terms of exams. Some examiners do not see any other options besides conducting tests in the usual offline format when teachers and professors keep an eye on participants to ensure the results can be trusted and credible. However, due to the second wave of coronavirus and the uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last, they can no longer be postponed.
It leads to proctoring becoming the most popular digital solution for holding credible online assessments with automated and live violations monitoring. Moreover, proctoring is expected to be widespread much further than the educational industry.
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The proctoring recognition by tech companies and their clients began long before the pandemic. The first that implemented proctoring was leading educational platforms such as Coursera and Udemy. It was important for them to make the procedure of online exams resistant to cheating, including to their customers’ requirements, who were holding high stake assessments and publishing confidential content on these platforms.
Being an emerging IT solution, proctoring combines several well-known technologies. For example, screen capture helps detect whether other windows and applications are open and, more importantly, control switching to other tabs. Face detection, which prevents participants from replacing themselves during assessments, is similar to that used in modern smartphones. The software verifies the identity with continuous facial recognition and comparison with the original profile photo or ID photo. However, proctoring can include the most advanced technologies as well. The leading proctoring solutions such as ProctorEdu use a neural network, which recognizes violations by some behavioural parameters, and AI can self-learn.
On the one hand, proctoring can be used in three different options:
- Fully automated – when the AI follows the test-taker using biometrical and behavioural trackers and generates a credit report once the exam is completed.
- Asynchronous Proctoring – which gives customers the ability to review controversial cases with a subsequent evaluation.
- Synchronous (Live) Proctoring – when live proctors (they can be professors, teachers or employees responsible for the assessments) observe in real-time, communicate with participants, and reconcile the credibility with automated valuation once the test is completed.
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Almost half of proctoring companies in the global market offer only one or two of these options, the most advanced systems can include all three modes.
On the other hand, it is believed that the future is about fully automated solutions due to the significant increase in demand for remote proctoring and, as a result, the need for load upscaling. To complete moving assessments into an online format, AI has to become as trustworthy as human monitoring. And given the speed with which proctoring solutions are developing and improving, it is highly likely achieved in the coming few years.
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ProctorEdu is a proctoring system for online monitoring, recording, and evaluating user behaviour throughout online assessments.
Proctoring functions are integrated with LMS or testing platforms, which allow you to control remote exams in live or automated modes.
Supervised exams reduce reputational risks and organisational costs and increase the competencies of staff and students' knowledge.