The Increasing Trend of 'Online Remote Proctored Exams' During COVID-19

The Increasing Trend of 'Online Remote Proctored Exams' During COVID-19
Image Source: Google

New Delhi, Delhi, India

  • Online remote proctored exams to minimize malpractices
  • Help universities to conduct the exams in a secured environment

With the current disruption that happened in the Education sector because of COVID-19, one question that is on the mind of everybody is about the examinations that have been delayed and uncertainty that has made the students worried about their academic career. Recently All India Council for Technical Education, AICTE has asked all its affiliated institutions and deemed universities to follow guidelines issued by Universities Grants Commission, UGC to conduct final year degree exams. Education is undergoing a huge transformation with emerging technologies and Universities and Colleges are considering how their examination schedules should proceed. They are exploring for options to conduct safe and secure Online Examinations.

Online Remote Proctored exams is comparatively a new system and many students are unaware of its use and application hence there is also a fair amount of resistance from students. In recent times many companies in testing and assessments have come up with helping institutions to plan for conducting online exams. Also, many Learning management systems are incorporating online exams as their services for education institutions.

“Online examinations have become an integral component of the education ecosystem. With an increasingly competitive educational landscape, the industry has an enormous potential and researches to develop powerful platform & solution to tackles challenges like integrity which is not a new concern in virtual examinations and as an assessment and testing industry, we want to minimize its malpractice and help universities to conduct the examinations in a secured environment,” Spoke Nirmal Singh, in International Testing summit.

Sharing his thoughts, Founder & CEO of Wheebox, a Cloud-based Global Assessment Technology Platform, Nirmal Singh says, "In the last 90 days we have partnered more than 117 premier Academic institutions whereas major concern of almost all institutions has been around security, scalability, and services for candidates during the test. Specifically in India  where many candidates do not have high bandwidth and connected devices, Wheebox has been helping with low bandwidth proctoring solutions whereas High stake tests are conducted using AI-enabled Remote Proctors and pool of Support services for candidates to make their testing a memorable experience."

There are always certain concerns in supervision during a virtual exam, but Artificially Intelligent systems with a combination of face-recognition algorithms using integrated web cameras provide immense opportunities for the evaluators who are virtual proctors, no matter where are the candidates located. Proctoring examinations is just one part of the larger problem statement on how to evaluate students on their academic performance on an ongoing basis. Many companies in the assessment space are using different tools to evaluate candidates using different proctoring tools and AI Services.

Speaking about the evaluation of Subjective assessment, Mr. Singh stated how his organization along with IIT Bhubaneswar has built and deployed solutions using Mobile QR for conducting Long Answer and Subjective assessments for term end and semester-end exams. This system has been used for almost all partnering large institutions for conducting their term-end exams.

There are many technology companies that are enabling proctoring methods in the online exams to make cheating potentially difficult or say, more difficult than having a physical investigator in the examination room where using proctoring allows a candidate to be remotely tracked and the contents of their desktop could be remotely tracked. May systems also verify the identification of a candidate with an AI-assisted facial recognition system and raise an alert when a candidate may be violating the rules outlined in a test.

There are many solutions built by testing and assessment companies on Remote Proctoring Solutions like:

  • Auto proctoring: Highly supported by AI, this flags suspicious events and provides the vast ability to continuously track a larger number of candidates. The program can discover the occurrences on the screen and what is happening in front of the camera. For example, if a test-taker opens a browser and browses other website or application during the test, the remote proctoring system takes screenshots of this activity if it occurs without letting the candidate know.
  • Live proctoring: Live proctoring offers the best of both worlds by incorporating a "real human" with the technology. An invigilator sits and controls the video feeds with live proctoring, and can interfere in real-time if necessary, in a candidate's exam, giving the proctors an additional level of security and feedback to candidates as they go through a test or review. A live proctoring may be used along with either auto proctoring or AI-assisted notifications.
  • Image Proctoring: This proctoring method not only enables additional protection but also provides flexibility to invigilators to monitor the images of students captured by the system during the examination, a proctor then flags any dubious activity if occurs.

Excerpts are taken from the Pan Africa Symposium on Remote Proctoring Solution powered by Wheebox Talent Assessments.