Every aspect of our lives is changing significantly as a result of global digitization. E-learning has given students the chance to take courses in a wide range of institutions, no matter where they are in the world when it comes to education. But with new opportunities also come fresh difficulties. Therefore, educators must adapt to new standards while strengthening their methods and approaches with new technologies in order to maintain integrity, particularly while assessing the pupils. An online proctored exam is about to start. This program aids educational institutions in keeping an eye on the exam procedure and preventing any form of cheating. We shall examine a proctored exam's definition, working, pros, and cons in this post.

What is remote proctoring?

In order to prevent instances of cheating and provide a cheat-free testing environment, internet remote proctoring involves monitoring an exam from any place. Remote proctoring is a service that simulates the job of an on-site proctor, authenticating the identity of the test-taker and ensuring the integrity of the exam. Tests that are given online and remotely supervised must be taken on a computer with a webcam and microphone.

With the help of remote proctoring, students can take exams whenever and wherever they want, as long as they have access to a computer, a quiet space, and, for OPIc assessments, a webcam, and a headset. Additionally, it relieves the department of having to plan and administer onsite proctored tests. Here are some ways to proctor live exams.

1. Online or live remote proctoring

This style of proctoring resembles a center-based test in many ways. A human invigilator is required to keep an eye on authentication and inspection via the live audio and video feed. It is still important to reserve the exam day and time to guarantee there are proctors available, even though the sole distinction between online and in-person testing is that everything is proctored remotely.

2. Recorded proctoring method

The same principles apply to remote proctoring, but a webcam and microphone are used to record the whole exam session. The device needs to have a webcam, microphone, and an internet connection just like in the prior technique. The screen and everything else are captured using this manner, which eliminates the need for a proctor to view the broadcast in real-time. The offered service will then play this tape back while doubling the speed to check for any abnormalities. Although this approach does not have location restrictions and does not require scheduling, a human proctor is still required.

3. Automated proctoring method

This is a very sophisticated form of remote proctoring where no human intervention is required because the proctoring program handles everything. It recognizes the candidate using face recognition software and does so with 100% accuracy. In addition to being recorded, video, audio, and screen-sharing feeds are continuously watched for and flagged for questionable conduct. This software will examine the amount of light in the space and keep an eye on any suspicious objects and background noise. Ducknowl is one such software that makes a difference.

How does remote proctoring work?

The powerful software that enables educators to design proctored tests in their Learning Management System is at the heart of remote proctoring (LMS). Authentication, real-time monitoring, and data archiving and analysis are typically the three basic stages that are ensured. Let's examine each of them individually.

1. Authentication

Each exam begins with the candidates' identification. When taking a test that is remotely proctored, students typically need to turn on their webcam and provide a copy of their ID. The student image from the video feed is aligned with the ID's content by the software. The exam starts as soon as the identity has been confirmed.

2. Real-time monitoring

A live human proctor or AI-powered software continuously monitors student behavior as the test is being given to detect any questionable activity. Online exams can incorporate a wide range of other invigilating capabilities, in addition to the standard video and audio proctoring, including mobile phone detection, browser lockdown, voice or eye movement detection, and much more.

3. Data archiving and analysis

All forms of remote proctoring imply the recording and storage of all audio and video information. It implies that, in addition to real-time flagging, it is also possible to review the data once the inspection is complete and clear up any ambiguous situations.

Challenges posed by remote proctoring

1. Multiple Requirements

The many advantages of remote proctoring are beyond doubt. On the other hand, there are a lot of requirements for using this kind of online proctoring, including the necessity for a working laptop, high-resolution webcams, high-speed Internet, and additional applications like voice detection and browser locks. These proctoring techniques are most likely ineffective for learners who live in rural places with weak infrastructure or connectivity. In poor countries, such technology capabilities are only accessible to a small group of people, and the general public has limited access to real-time technology.

2. Facial Recognition Bias

In his piece for the MIT Technology Review, a researcher and academic librarian, Shea Swauger discusses facial recognition tools that are “racist, sexist, and transphobic over and over again.” It claimed that exam proctoring programs exhibit prejudices against Black or minority pupils. It has been reported that some proctoring tools "rarely fail to pick up pupils' faces if they are in dimly lit locations. Younger students have reported higher levels of stress even without false flagging, only because they have equipment that constantly records their behaviors.

3. Privacy issues with data

Recent patterns seem to support this. For instance, businesses that provide remote proctoring services are known to gather private data such as a user's IP address and biometrics like fingerprint and retina scans. While some of the information gathered may be necessary for the services provided, it is unclear how long the corporation plans to keep this information on file, which raises questions about data privacy.

4. Continuous supervision of students

Students who are staying at home may struggle with this because they "may not have a quiet private area to take the test." Due to the fact that AI tools are recording and analyzing their behavior, students have also expressed severe test anxiety.

Pros of remote proctoring

Exams that are proctored online have advantages for both students and academic institutions. Here are a few examples:

  • Academic integrity and exam security. Teachers have the opportunity to strike the right balance between flexibility and integrity when using online proctored exams. With the aid of this instrument, they may build their online reputation and provide students with the opportunity to gain from e-learning.
  • No scheduling, and no testing locations. Students can take tests at any time and anywhere thanks to remote proctoring.
  • Fairness of the test. It could appear that online proctoring solely serves to catch cheaters. But it's also about ensuring that individuals who take the exam compete fairly.
  • Cost-efficiency. Significantly lower administrative expenditures for educational institutions are the result of the absence of the need for testing facilities and physical proctors.
  • Advanced monitoring for cheating. The online exam is even more secure than its offline counterpart thanks to a wide range of online proctoring technologies, including those powered by AI.

Cons of remote proctoring

Regrettably, not every online proctoring service is created equal. While some services are appropriate for tests with large stakes, others actually raise the possibility of cheating. Examples comprise.

  • Programs that let proctors see what's on a test screen. taker's There is a significant privacy and security risk here. Theoretically, proctors with this skill could examine a test taker's screen, see the question being asked, and recognize the response given by the test taker. 
  • Another scenario involves laptop cameras, which at most give the examinee a head-and-shoulders perspective. Even though they are less expensive and simpler to operate, these cameras don't give the proctor a clear enough view of the testing space to catch the majority of cheating attempts.
  •  The privacy issues and authentication failure with some services when authenticating students serve as a third example. Examinees showing their ID close to the webcam is not an effective method.
  •  Another potential problem with remote proctoring is the cost. It's possible that students will need to buy a new laptop, a second webcam or microphone, or both, in order to use the proctoring system that their institution uses.
  • The fact that remote proctoring could increase test-taking anxiety is one problem that many individuals have with it. For instance, it would be bothersome to continuously wonder if your eye or head motions are being viewed as "suspect" by an AI during a test, especially if the exam itself is already stressful.