The post-pandemic educational world has undergone dramatic changes in terms of organization, management, and control of the process. Consequently, it gave rise to the development of various software to provide the functionality of each educational stage. The end of any course is typically marked with a test or an exam. However, the major issue is the credibility of the results, as students are extremely innovative regarding cheating, and online mode plays on their side as well. Fortunately, there is one tried-and-tested method that introduces a top level of security for any kind of online assessment – online proctoring. While a few years ago it was just a “good idea” to consider, nowadays, it’s the main pillar of result verification and validation.
Online proctoring is a computer system that supervises students while taking an exam and monitors all activities by recording screen, camera, and audio. Depending on the system requirement, every action can be flagged. Such vigilance is a key to trustworthy results, and thus, the reputation of a company as an educator.
When choosing the proctoring company, it’s crucial to choose a reliable partner checking out its most important characteristics:
The scalability of the proctoring service defines its ability to extend the functions according to the number of participants using it simultaneously. Whether there are only a few students to be tested, or thousands, the performance must remain seamless, without lagging.
Such a capacity must be measured and certified for the usage of big audiences.
The majority of learning platforms and institutions use LMS – learning management systems, which provide management, documentation flow, and tracking of the courses. When selecting the proctoring service, make sure it supports your LMS. The best online proctoring software cooperates with a variety of most common systems like SDK, Moodle, Sakai, open edX, Blackboard, Google and Microsoft forms, etc.
If the LMS is not on the list, the integration will take up to 10 days despite the complexity of the system.
3. Security and Transparency
Students must be notified of what kind of information is gathered, and how it is transmitted and stored. Typically, the list of technologies includes keylogging (keystroke logging), webcam and microphone control, facial recognition, geolocation, and artificial intelligence. Besides, students should be aware of everything that is taken as an “anomaly” of behavior, and what they can be flagged for.
4. Device accessibility
Technical flexibility is key to efficient cooperation. The proctoring service should be available for various devices and operating systems. If there are any limits, the users must be warned about the technical requirements in advance.
Customization is the selection of options to be controlled over the test or exam and depends on the requirements of an educational institution or platform. The test admins are free to choose what must be blocked – copy/paste options, file access, browser options, specific websites, notification, eye-movement control, etc.; or excluded from blocking – the usage of assistive devices, or any alternative activities.
6. Error detection mode
It’s crucial to specify how students are notified about being flagged, as the noise can put them under stress, distracting them from the exam and making the results less credible. Initially, the proctoring services used “sound” detection, yet now, there is a better option – “voice” detection, as it can be adjusted to a professor’s or test-takers voice, which is a less frustrating experience than ringing a bell or any other kind of noise.
7. Customer support
A 24/7 customer support will make sure that every student had a chance for an uninterrupted and seamless exam experience. The company you choose to cooperate with must have a well-established support system, thus, if the students have any technical issues, they will know whom to contact, avoiding unnecessary stress. The team must be highly tolerant, taking into account that exams are always stressful, so the clients may be overwhelmed due to even minor issues.
Proctoring service is a revolutionary kind of software to provide the security of online assessment. Its efficient functionality creates all the conditions to help the examiners get fair and square results for the students. Such a validity of the exam’s outcomes verifies the reputation of an educational institution and the quality of knowledge they give.
When looking for a reliable proctoring service, make sure it fits into the list of the above-mentioned requirements, as that’s the way to provide an impartial and smooth assessment for everyone involved.