We all know that e-learning is the future of learning. “It has been estimated that by 2025 the global e-learning market will surge up to reach $325 billion USD.” And the rapid growth of the e-learning industry has to be supported by suiting technologies. An area that is seeing a fast growth potential is virtual proctoring. Online video proctoring is a consequence of e-learning.
What is Remote Proctoring?
Remote proctoring is an online proctoring service which helps candidates to write a test online in a remote location, while maintaining the integrity of the test.To give such a proctored test the candidate must confirm their identity and they will be monitored throughout the test by many technical ways.They may be found okay or not for the proctored exam based on several parameters and the final decision may be taken accordingly.
What is online exam proctoring?
In online proctoring a candidate is monitored online during the test duration with the help of a webcam, mic and access to the screen of a candidate.
To take an online proctored test from a remote location a candidate needs:-
1.A suitable device(desktop PC/Laptop/Tablet/Mobile)
2.An internet connection with at least 256kbps speed
3.A webcam and a mic
4.In PC/Laptop any of the modern browsers
The market of online test proctoring is spreading like a wildfire and soon this will shine being the ruling technology conquering the entire space of examinations.The smartest tool is here to keep cheaters in check and it holds the promise of a bright challenge-worthy future.
Comparison of the three modes of proctoring
There are usually three modes of proctoring:-
1. Live Proctoring––In a live proctored exam a qualified proctor checks the candidate’s audio-video and screen-sharing activities the whole time of the exam.
A proctor can supervise up to 16-32 candidates depending on the service provider. The important advantage of live proctoring is that it removes the locational constraints of proctoring.The one disadvantage is that there is human involvement needed in conducting the exam through this system. It is also not scalable and is pricey.
2.Recorded Proctoring-–-In this type of online proctoring, no real person needs to monitor the exam in real time. The audio-video and screen sharing details are recorded throughout the test by the proctoring software. Later, a live proctor reviews the recorded video of the candidates and issues a red flag if he sees any suspicious activity. It has the advantage that it removes locational barriers but comes along with one disadvantage that it still needs human intervention for the review and is expensive and unscalable.
3.Advanced Automated Proctoring-–This is the most advanced form of proctoring. Here also the audio-video and share screen feeds of the candidates are recorded during the test. But in addition to recording, the system also monitors the feeds for any suspicious activity using advanced audio and video analytics. It makes sure that the candidate focuses on the test screen during the test, there is enough light in the room and also checks for suspicious objects in video. It also checks the background voice activity to stop and declare the test as invalid. It also uses face recognition to do student authentication. The advantages of this form of proctoring are that it removes the locational constraints, does not require humans to do the review, is scalable and is more cost effective.
To make the online proctored exam securer and safer some additional checks can be done:-
1.Limit candidate logins to specific IP addresses.
2.Block the copy-paste options.
3.Freeze the screen of device blocking candidates from accessing other applications or switching windows.
A comparison between the three modes of proctoring services are as such:-
Live Proctoring—The presence of a human proctor is the main feature of live proctoring.
Auto Proctoring-–The AI algorithms with advanced analytics takes care of all the functions without any human presence. The effectiveness of this way differs with the service providers.
Recorded Proctoring—The proctor checks the recording of the candidate taking the test later with red flags. In this type of proctoring cheating cannot be stopped but proctors can check and restrict tests for cheating later on.
Live Proctoring—The capacity to handle candidates steadily and back to back is limited.
Auto Proctoring—It is highly recommended as it can incorporate a large number of students any time of the day as the service is available round the clock. The live proctor need not be there for it.
Recorded Proctoring-–It is scalable decently. Though the proctor is required to be present for review he may not be so at the time of the test making it a more flexible solution.
Live Proctoring—This tool is very useful as most of the service givers allott experienced personnel to guide through the exams. And the companies that help these proctors with AI algorithms help to check and notice the presence of cheating and other malpractices.
Auto Proctoring—This solution is still evolving and will soon take over live proctoring in terms of effectiveness.
Recorded Proctoring—It is highly effective but has a downside. This solution cannot prevent cheating while the test is going on but the proctor can cancel the test if any cheating is noticed after further reviews.
Live Proctoring—This is a relatively expensive solution. The cost of a typical online exam varies from $8 to $20 for an hourly test.
Auto Proctoring—An auto exam costs roughly $3.
Recorded Proctoring-–A recorded proctoring solution approximately costs $5-$15 for a one hour test.
Live Proctoring–-It is not a very flexible method for both proctors and the students who need to be on time for the test. This solution gives instant reports as it has multiple slots present for the same tests.
Auto Proctoring—It is a highly flexible service because the students can schedule the test according to their need and are monitored continuously by algorithms.
Recorded Proctoring-–It is flexible to a level as the proctor can sit and check all the videos of the candidates in a single shot. This solution does not give instant reports as reviewing happens later.
Choice option and deciding criteria for the three kinds of proctoring services
To decide which of the three proctoring services is feasible for one, he/she needs to ask themselves what are the stakes of the proctored exam. Teaching is the process for facilitation of knowledge. And then it’s testing that validates all the learnings. It is the measure for both.The way to know whether the exams are high or low stake is by knowing the purpose of the exams that are conducted. If it is a high stake exam then remote proctoring can be used.The best product is the one which combines human proctoring and AI algorithms and so it should be chosen over others.
For example, the degree exams of universities that declare the final score of students are usually high stake exams. If one is conducting entrance exams then it is a high stake one. On the other hand, in a low stake test exam recorded or automated proctoring can be used.
To assess corporate learning this method should be followed. After the completion of training a bulk of employees need evaluation of their learnings. A recorded proctored assessment will be feasible for all according to their convenience.
Before one decides which solution to choose they need to consider their budget and requirements.Then it has to be combined with the purpose of conducting the tests and then an easy decision can be reached.
Online assessments are the main way of evaluation in e-learning. Companies can conduct job assessments irrespective of geographical barriers. It’s important to check the authenticity of the candidates who give the test and so it is the reason for examiners to opt for online test proctoring.There can be a problem over the selection of the right proctoring solution and it is a matter of preferences, needs and budgets.There are many ways one can maintain the integrity of exams whether through live, auto or recorded proctoring.
Factors driving the growth of Online Proctoring
The key aspects of driving the growth of remote proctoring are:-
1.Demand due to growth of e-learning.
2.Avoidance of high costs of proctored assessment centers.
3.No misuse and saving of candidate’s time and energy.
4.Useful for institutions with not enough infrastructure or computer labs for conducting tests.
In consideration of the current global scenario, more and more institutes are opting to digitize many of their processes and so online proctoring is being emphasized and seeing an increase in it’s usage across the globe. It is a balanced and systematic approach to conduct online exams without geographical constraints, budget issues. It will make the students understand the meaning of hard work, importance of real learning without using fake methods and will prepare generations in a very smart, efficient and competitive manner.