According to studies and a recent survey done on misconduct, misdemeanor and use of foul practices it has been found that “the number of students caught cheating using technology has risen to 42% in 2012 to 2016”. There are surprisingly companies which have come up with advanced undetectable gadgets that can be used by students for cheating during examinations.
So online proctored exams must be sealed smartly disabling all sneaky and smart attempts to corrupt the system by cheating and other malpractices.
Here are some efficient technological services that can be used to prevent cheating during online exams:-
1. Candidate ID Authentication
Students misuse the liberties offered by proctored examinations from remote areas like homes and letting the proctored test be written by someone other than the student himself. So it has made the candidate ID authentication a necessity to guard exam integrity.
When the candidate clicks on the test link, he/she is asked to take a photo of him/herself along with his/her ID proof and send the registration details. The live proctors are available all the time, they verify the photo id and the registration details and then clear out whether the candidate is legitimate or not.
Pros and cons:-
Pros – Impersonators are not welcome
Online ID authentication helps to prevent the malpractice of cheating by not allowing fake examinees or impersonators using facial recognition and other tools.
Cons – Single-step ID verification is not exactly a foolproof idea
Many of the colleges and corporations simply carry out a candidate ID authentication which does not suffice. For a truly effective online ID authentication, it must include multiple checks like biometrics, keystroke authentication and multiple identity proof questions.
This service is used by school and university examinations, internal college assignments, MOOC tests, employment tests, certification tests.
2. Secure Exam Browser
Secure Browser is another of the technologies, an online proctoring software that helps prevent cheating. It helps to host the test in a safe environment where the apps and the websites which will be used during the proctored exam are all predefined and the system automatically shuts down any other app or website wanting to run in the system.
The Secure Browser disables screen recording, screen projection, any desktop and web based application or page. In this way the candidate cannot share the screen or browse for answers on google.
Pros and cons:
Pros – It is a great technology to help open book proctored exams where some resources are made available to students by whitelisting some of the links and softwares.
Cons – Secure Exam Browser as an anti-cheating measure is not very effective as it leaves the exam taker free to access resources outside the computer.
Open book exams conducted by educational institutions, colleges, internal assignments, certifications etc.
3. Mobile Phone and Test Leak Prevention
To prevent cheating during online examinations there have come up new technologies to stop this malpractice from becoming an easy solution for giving exams without studying. One way to do so is by preventing mobile phone usage during exams and removing and blocking those sites which have answers.
According to a recent survey conducted 1 out of 3 students use cellphones to do cheating.
- To stop cheating this technology can detect if the candidate is opening any other web browser or searching on google from the device on which the candidate is logged in. In that case the exam of the student is flagged.
- The technology also scans the internet and blocks websites that contain questions or answers similar to questions given in the test. This way the test cannot be leaked online.
Pros and Cons:
Pros – Prevents test paper leakage online
The technology scans the internet for questions that match those of the test and blocks those sites beforehand to stop candidates from accessing them during the test thus maintaining the integrity of the test.
Cons – It’s not exactly the perfect anti-cheating solution
There is no live or auto-proctoring so the candidate can attempt to cheat by using offline resources.
The technology is used by schools and college exams, employment and certification tests etc.
It is an anti-cheating service that uses a proctoring software which monitors a candidate’s behaviour and his activities on computer by audio and video recording before and during the examination.
An ID authentication is done after which the candidate can start the test. In auto-proctoring the AI algorithm monitors the candidate’s activities and screen recording looking for flaws. The auto-proctoring service finds suspicious candidate behavior like the presence or absence of a candidate, the presence of someone other than the candidate, gestures of the candidate and presence of mobile phones.
The suspicious activities are flagged and after the exam ends all the red flags are assessed. A detailed reporting of the candidate’s computer screen, audio and video recording and AI flags are checked. This report is available in PDF and HTML format.
Pros and Cons:
Pros – Cost-effective solution
It is a fully automated process that needs no human intervention and is much cheaper than live proctoring.
Cons – It’s still getting ready
It is a machine-based learning to detect suspicious activity and it’s efficiency is improving, getting updated and is not yet complete and perfect in it’s working.
It is used by university exams, MOOC tests, internal employee tests, certification tests, internal assignments.
5. Record and Review Proctoring
Record and Review Proctoring provides the facilities of live proctoring at a much reasonable price. A team of experts reviews each session and records the time when cheating has been attempted.
In the case of record and review, auto-proctoring runs by default. The report is available after the exam which is then reviewed by experts to see for flaws. Proctors are helped by AI algorithms who raise flags of suspicion to make them do a thorough checkup of the content.
Pros and Cons:
Pros – Cost matters
The candidate’s audio and video records are assessed later and human interference is not needed all the time. They just have to review the submitted flags given by the auto-proctoring software and verify their validity.
Cons – A lengthy process
Record and review proctoring is reactive in nature where the proctor can assess the test only after it has been attempted unlike live proctoring where the proctor can stop the ongoing exam. The result generation is also a time taking process as the proctoring report has to be reviewed by the proctor only after the exam.
Schools and university exams, employment tests.
6. Live Proctoring
It is a combination of auto and human proctoring where the candidate is monitored in real-time by a proctor who is a person and a proctoring software(auto-proctoring)that records candidate and his computer’s activity before and during the exam. A proctor is qualified to do the identity authentication. The live proctor if has some doubts about the authenticity of the candidate can end the exam at that very moment. The proctoring software gives a list of red flags which can be reviewed in real time to decide upon the needed action to be taken.
When the settings for a live proctoring test are configured the examiner is asked to choose a proctor to student ratio.
Live proctoring is of two types:
- 1. Dedicated Proctoring – One proctor monitors a single candidate dedicatedly. The dedication factor is very important in high stake exams.
- 2. Classroom proctoring – Here one proctor monitors many candidates. In this kind of proctoring the proctor uses the red flags that are marked out by the Auto-Proctoring software to monitor many candidates together.
The live proctor or human proctor allows the exam to begin after authenticating the identity of the candidate and assessing the test condition and background via the webcam.
In the case of live proctoring auto proctoring runs in the background by default to help the human proctor.
When the online exam starts after candidate authentication, a human proctor will monitor all the candidates according to the AI flags given by the auto-proctoring software.
The live proctor can chat with the candidate in case of any issue. He can pause or stop the test on suspecting suspicious activity of any kind. The candidate’s activity like video, audio, computer screen and keystroke information is recorded and monitored.
The entire recording of the session is available in the proctoring report with the live chat feed, live proctor interference, screen recording and AI flags.
To make sure that a valid test is not declared as invalid the live proctoring report is saved to help in the editing. The proctoring records are saved for 3-6 months after the test.
Pros and Cons:
Pros – The chances of cheating are very low here as rules are very strict here. Even if the live proctor is unable to detect cheating during the exam, the exam recording can be viewed and on finding proof of cheating the exam can be declared as invalid.
Cons – Difficult to scale – Because live proctoring needs human proctors to look into the candidate’s action and behavior during the test, it is not useful for large scale examinations. And it is difficult to train proctors.
Pros – The cost of live proctoring is adjustable to meet user budget by changing the live proctor to candidate ratio. If an exam is a high stake one without budget constraints, the customer can opt for 1:1 live proctoring i.e, each candidate is monitored by a single proctor. In case of budget issues customers can opt for 1:10 or higher live proctor to candidate ratio.
Cons – Live proctoring needs human intervention and cannot be done by merely using a software, it is more expensive than remote proctoring and other software-based proctoring services.
School and university exams, MOOC tests, employment tests, internal employee tests.
7. Proctoring with 360 degree camera
Some companies have come up with advanced gadgets to stop the students from cheating in exams. These technologies require usage of a camera that can capture a 360-degree view of the room or venue of the exam.
The candidate is given either a 360-degree video and audio capturing webcam which they need to attach to their computer screen to capture the candidate and also the things that the candidate is looking at or doing.
Pros and Cons:
Pros – The 360-degree camera allows the live proctor or the auto-proctoring software to view areas beyond the laptop and more. It gives an extra layer of security.
Cons – The students have to buy the 360-degree headgears with motion-sensitive cameras which are quite expensive. And it is uncomfortable to wear and use too.
University examinations, employment tests, certification tests etc.
The different institutes and companies use different solutions to conduct examinations. Some institutes and organizations use their in-house technologies. And now universities are adopting standalone examination technologies to improve the standard and quality of exams. And these 7 techno-savvy ways can be very useful to help stop unethical and corrupt ways of giving exams.