How effective is online learning? Can it ever match the proficiency of the traditional educational system? These noteworthy questions often come into focus when examining the online learning format's prospects and outcomes.
On the other hand, the mode of conducting examinations receives an equal amount of scrutiny and emphasis. Although basic computerised tests have been used for years for skills evaluations, they have undergone major changes in recent times.
The development of digital assessment tests that serve to assess students’ comprehensive development is the need of the hour. That is exactly why institutes need to implement a full-proof online examination system aided by a proctoring mechanism.
What is online proctoring?
Online proctoring refers to the remote invigilation of students throughout the examination through online proctoring software. The test-taking candidates’ webcam and the proctoring serve as key tools that enable the capture of students’ activities.
Besides, a modern technology-driven solution that helps authenticate online exams and prevents cheating. Also, sophisticated algorithms, artificial intelligence, and remote monitoring of students help to maintain the integrity of the examination.
How Does Online Proctoring Enhance the Examination System in the Digital Education Era?
1. Live or real-time proctoring
In the traditional examination scenario, students take the test under the direct invigilation of the school- or institute-appointed invigilator. However, during online tests, there are no such provisions, and a lack of proper measures can lead to students taking advantage.
However, institutes can avoid instances of cheating with the help of exam software that provides online proctoring. One of the most common and vital methods is live or real-time proctoring, which enables the remote invigilator to monitor student activities in real-time.
2. Recorded Proctoring
In cases where institutes are unable to appoint remote invigilators or because the staff is busy with other work, they can utilise recorded proctoring. Besides, it is a type of online proctoring exam that functions by capturing or recording the entire examination session.
The staff can review the recorded exam sessions later at their convenience. Although it lacks immediate interventions, it serves as a deterrent for cheating activities. Also, the software stores the sessions in the cloud, preventing them from getting lost.
Also, this mechanism allows the staff to address any post-exam concerns and flag any suspicious activities after checking the audio-video feed.
3. Automated or AI-enabled proctoring
The use of AI (artificial intelligence) has become customary to improve the teaching and learning experience. Therefore, AI features, a key part of the online proctoring exam, aim to identify and prevent unethical and untoward behaviours.
Furthermore, the AI features and algorithms examine the behaviour and activity of the test-taker during an ongoing exam in the following ways:
- The AI features to analyse the behaviours and actions of the test-taking candidates, such as eye movements, facial expressions, body language, etc.
- It also tracks suspicious activities, such as excessive movement or looking off-screen, and triggers automated alerts.
- On witnessing any suspicious activity, the system sends automated messages to the candidate. If the student continues the behaviour more than three times, the system disables the examination.
4. Student Identity Verification
Despite several measures and steps, students still find creative ways to cheat during tests. Nonetheless, it has not stopped them from implementing new and improved ways to prevent malpractice during exams.
One of the common issues that they face is impersonation; there is no way for institutes to verify a student’s identity without tech-enabled measures. Fortunately, institutes can figure out whether it is the registered students or someone else taking the test.
The biometric identity authentication system verifies the student’s identity by matching the ID card with the pre-registered details. Furthermore, AI-powered features like facial recognition analyse the facial features of the students.
5. Environment Scanning
The proctoring features ensure that students comply with the test guidelines and complete the exam accordingly. But what if there was someone in their immediate surroundings prompting answers cautiously and carefully?
Exploring such scenarios is crucial to list out and eliminate all possibilities to authenticate the examination system. An underlying reason behind this is to add value to the student’s overall assessment, a key feature of digital education.
Hence, environment scanning and audio-proctoring, the latest innovations in proctoring technology, are tremendously useful. It works in the following ways:
- Before the exam starts, the remote invigilator or proctor observes the test taker’s surroundings.
- They visually scan the room and check whether there are any prohibited materials or items in the student’s surroundings, such as mobile phones, books, etc.
- Audio-proctoring functions by scanning the student’s physical environment for any additional noises.
- In fact, this feature helps to identify sound-related details such as whispers, mumbling, etc.
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For instance, some of the most effective CBA assessment tools are projects, assignments, presentations, case studies, etc. Besides, these tools help to evaluate the student's strengths and weaknesses and measure their competency levels.
6. Prevents Browsing Activities
The tendency to look for answers or information on the web propels students to attempt to do the same during an ongoing test. Restricting web access during the examination is essential as it assures that students will stick to the rules.
Furthermore, to maintain the authenticity and value of the online exam platform, institutes must incorporate the exam software to prevent browsing activities. Consequently, it will disallow students from accessing any additional websites.
The anti-browsing features disabled shortcuts like cut, copy, and paste mechanisms, data sharing, and screen sharing. Hence, it will motivate students to answer the questions to the best of their abilities without attempting to cheat.
What are the benefits of online proctoring?
The education system is dynamic and subject to continuous change, as it should be to cater to the varied requirements of learners. Additionally, the digital education space must be in line with the latest methodologies, including assessment techniques.
That is why the online examination system must include proctoring features because it ensures authenticity, integrity, and academic success. Besides, it has multiple advantages, such as:
- It provides modern and fail-proof ways to monitor student activities and prevent dishonest acts and malpractices.
- The combination of AI and remote monitoring measures assists in identifying and flagging suspicious activities.
- It creates a sense of security and a cautious environment, helping to raise academic awareness. Hence, students think twice before committing any misdemeanour.
- It provides flexibility, ensuring students can take exams from anywhere and allowing them to accommodate their schedules accordingly.
- The institutes can collect, organise, and maintain all exam-related data, including questionnaires, on the cloud server.
- Therefore, the software prevents unauthorised access and allows only registered and authorised personnel to access the data.
To wrap it up,
Online proctoring has improved the online examination system by providing tools to authenticate students' identities. Also, it leverages AI, remote monitoring, and human intervention to boost online assessment methods. As a result, examination contributes to students' learning, accountability, and skill development.