While much of the world remains in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies and individuals are making the necessary adjustments and adapting. We are all trying to figure out how to accomplish our tasks through the virtual world.

Schools have also taken their courses online – with students logging into Zoom calls to continue their lessons.

But there is one question lingering on educator’s minds: how do we maintain exam proctoring during the lockdown? The method is, of course, through online proctoring.

We’ve put together this guide on how proctored exams work in the virtual world.

The Guide to Online Proctoring

With online proctoring, your students can take their examinations online. A proctor ensures they are following the protocol, guidelines, and are not cheating.

Here are the different methods of online proctoring:

1. Live Online Proctoring

With this method, your students have to all login to their exams at a specified time. They will not be able to complete their exams at their own schedule.

The students will take their exams in real-time. A proctor also gets to communicate with them via video and audio. Depending on the online invigilation in lockdown software you use, a proctor can increase the number of students or candidates whom they can proctor at any given time.

The students taking the exam will have to sit in a remote and quiet location. As they are taking the exam, the proctor can watch them (through a webcam) to ensure that they are not cheating.

2. Automated Proctoring

This is the most advanced form of proctoring. We recommend practicing this method before immediately putting it to use.

With this method, the student’s activity during the examination is recorded through video. The software can detect any suspicious activity that may occur during the examination.

It uses facial recognition to verify the identity of the student. It requests adequate light in the room where the student is studying. It can check for suspicious objects in the room (notebooks, textbooks, etc.)

With the automated proctoring, an actual proctor is never needed to be present.

3. Recorded Proctoring

This method of proctoring also forgoes the need for an actual proctor to be present.

This records a video of the student’s screen and shares it with the examination team. The videos can be watched at a later time to look for any suspicious activity.

With this option, students can take the exam at any time they please. After their exam is complete, a proctor will watch every video to ensure that cheating didn’t occur.

Next, we move on to the necessary precautions for online proctoring:

  • Check if all students have the software installed and running on their computers
  • Limit the students’ IP addresses to access the exam; do not allow any other IP addresses to access the exam
  • Freeze the exam software so that the student cannot access other applications while taking the exam
  • Block copy-paste functions and any other that is usually used

Can They Still Cheat?

One concern will remain: can students still manage to cheat when there is online proctoring?

While there will always be software and adept students who can cheat the system, this will likely be a rare occurrence. Online proctoring methods are very sophisticated and make it much harder for students to cheat.

As a live proctor, you can keep your eye on the students and catch them if you see them cheating. For the recorded and automated options, the system is sophisticated enough to record all activity – with the latter automatically pointing out any suspicious activity.

There are no guarantees, of course, but these methods are arguably the best way to curb cheating.

Why You Should Choose Online Proctoring

As online proctoring is a relatively new method of proctoring, it has not yet reached mass adoption.

As the mass lockdowns continue, many educators are considering postponing examinations altogether.

However, we believe it is better to conduct the examinations while the material is still fresh in the student’s minds. It may take time for a proctor or the administration to master the online proctoring methods, but they are an effective way of administering an exam.

Even after these lockdowns end, educators may still consider online proctoring over traditional proctoring due to its effectiveness.

Additional Benefits of Online Proctoring

With our connected world, we now have students from all four corners of the globe, who have access to education. Students in different countries across continents can learn the same material.

When it comes to an examination, the only practical way to assess the performance of students who live overseas is through an online examination. As a result, it is crucial to provide an opportunity for overseas students to take these examinations.

If you opt for recorded proctoring, you are giving the student (and the proctor) the flexibility to take the exam and review the exam at their own schedule.

The advantage of the freedom of location is also beneficial to everyone. While you may expect the students and the proctors to be on campus regularly, we do not always think about how challenging it can be for people to be on campus on time.

Many students and proctors alike may live far from campus and may spend hours commuting on a daily basis. Giving them the option to take an examination or proctor an examination from the comfort of their preferred location is best.

How to Get Started

If you’d like to introduce the option of online proctoring, you need to first choose a great online proctoring service.

Once you have signed up for it, you must require all your students and proctors to install this same application.

You will need to make sure your students and proctors have a stable computer or laptop. They will also need a high-speed internet connection and a web browser that can work with online proctoring software.

You’ll want to request that they buy a webcam (if it is not built-in). You should also recommend an external microphone.

Ready for the Exams

Now that you know the benefits of online proctoring, you and your students are ready for the exams.

Be sure to read more about technology and education.

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