Online Proctored Exams: The Pros and Cons

Online exams have been here for some time now. The ease and convenience they offer are without a doubt indispensable in the world where we are surrounded by an abundance of computers, internet, and smartphones. This also becomes an easy breeding ground for cheaters, fraudulent practices, and impersonation.

Why go for an online proctored exam?

The more the technology advances, the more there are chances to cheat and manipulate because technology works both the ways. Hundreds of thousands of online examinations are conducted these days owing to the fact that educational system is expanding the world over and universities and colleges are mushrooming. These educational ecosystems look for cost-effective and efficient architecture for avoiding cheating and faulty practices. Online proctored exam come as a relief.

Kinds of exam proctoring services:

The exam proctoring services have ballooned twice the time in the last 15 years. Here are the different categories:

Auto Authentication: This starts before the commencement of the online examination. The students have to submit through live video- an ID and a photograph. They are supposed to answer challenging questions and enter signatures that can’t be changed at a later point of time.

Live Authentication: A live proctor tests the authenticity of facial features and compares.  

Automatic Proctoring: The student and the environment is tested for changes in sounds, systems, and motions.

Live Proctoring: Inside the premises of the test center, there’s live proctoring that the exam schedule and the students undergo for possible testing infractions.

Record-and-Review Proctoring: This goes on with the live proctoring. One proctor is testing the live examination environment while the other checks the recording of the examination, later on, to see if the exam went smooth without deviations.

The Pros:

Reduces cheating: When students know they are being monitored, there’s a heightened sense of awareness about being scrutinized. Even if someone tries to cheat, they are caught red-handed. Such students are being barred from giving any further examination of any sort for a defined timeline.

Convenient: Exam proctoring services become easier as there are technological tools and techniques available. All of these advancements offer a better view from overhead or from any angle one would like.

The Cons: Every story has some positive and negative connotations. After reading the positive views, here take a look at the negatives.

Privacy: Students complain of monitoring and surveillance techniques to be extremely intrusive. They also cite privacy issues of recorded videos meant to be proctored later on. This also raises concerns about what happens to those videos and their later use. Though Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guides all such examinations, there’s a lot that will go to allay the fears of students and their family.     

Discrimination: Some students also called out about how live proctors asked some students to remove pictures from the examination premises and to shed more light on themselves, including those who were minority and from diverse backgrounds.

You like it or not, proctored examinations are here to stay!                


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