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What Is Remote Proctoring?

While the traditional setup for taking a test involves being in a classroom with the instructor, there are sometimes advantages to incorporating technology into testing. The potential benefits of remote proctoring include convenience in terms of scheduling, location, and instructor resources. The technology may sometimes allow superior testing methods, such as assessing based on video material that students can replay their desired number of times.

Overall, remote proctoring is when the instructor or test administrator is not in the same room as the test taker, but the test taker is still monitored for irregularities. Nowadays, computer or device-based testing is common. Remote proctoring often includes drawbacks for students, instructors, and institutions. However, the conveniences sometimes lead educators and test administrators to choose remote proctoring.

Remotely proctored exams have both different and overlapping implications for instructors, students, and educational institutions. Businesses and other organizations that use online exams may have similar or different considerations to educational parties. Understanding the full scope of testing conducted when the student or instructor is in a remote location becomes easier by looking at the questions formed by those first encountering a remote testing situation.

How does remote proctoring or online proctoring work?

Remote Proctoring (A Remote Location)

At the broadest interpretation, remote proctoring is a setup in which a test administrator, instructor, or remote proctoring software monitors test takers. While most cases include online exams, creating a testing setup without an internet connection is possible. For example, an instructor could have students simply record themselves taking a timed test, completing an assessment, or giving a presentation. Then students would turn in that file or paper.

However, in most cases, students stay connected to the internet or software throughout the test. Proctoring software that doesn’t require an internet connection isn’t standard. Live online proctoring via a webcam or screen-capturing software are both common forms of remote proctoring.

Online Proctoring

Online remote proctoring is popular for online exams, such as when students take a test housed online. You can imagine students clicking through questions and answering written questions on a screen. Students may also undergo live online proctoring while taking a paper exam. An instructor may use a videoconferencing program or testing software. Instructors or proctors conduct live online proctoring by monitoring the students’ actions and access throughout the testing time.

Automated Proctoring

Automated proctoring allows instructors and students more flexibility in scheduling and location. Remote proctoring software usually allows students a wider timeframe on the exam date or dates. As long as they meet the deadline, students can take an exam anytime within a certain window.

Proctoring software aims to duplicate the level of test integrity offered by physical proctors. It may use a test taker’s webcam (or a device’s camera). The recording is to ensure they don’t use textbooks, cheat sheets, or other people.

An online proctored exam may take some form of screen capture. Some programs offer continuous screen captures instead of intermittent screenshots. Screen-recorded proctoring works better for some disciplines and skills than others. For example, consider a scenario where students are required to demonstrate computer skills within a specified time frame. In this case, a simple screen recording (similar to a standard screencast but without additional remote proctoring elements such as room scans) might be adequate for monitoring purposes. Imagine a test on photo editing software or digital art creation. With these tasks, cheat sheets and open materials in the test taker’s environment pose less of a threat to the integrity of the exam or are irrelevant to the task.

What educational institutions and class types use remote proctoring?

History of Remote Proctoring

Colleges were among the first institutions to use remote proctoring. Two decades ago, professors started using take-home tests designed to preserve test integrity without anyone needing to travel to the classroom. With developments in online classes and e-learning methods, one proctoring solution cropped up after the other.

Remote Proctoring Today

Now, standardized tests may even be conducted with remote proctoring. Organizations qualifying or training employees and volunteers may conduct remote training. Afterward, they offer tests with remote proctoring.

Class Types

A class type is often called a “mode” or a “format” in education. Today, a college, technical school, or work training program may conduct a class in a traditional classroom or online. Hybrid formats will have some proportion of in-person meeting time. Skills that require onsite experience, such as work training, can be conducted via practicums or in multiple factory sites. These learning formats may use an online exam or general remote proctoring.

How is remote proctoring different from traditionally proctored exams in classrooms?

Common elements of the remote proctored exam experience best illustrate the differences between traditional classroom exams and those using remote proctoring. These elements include the authenticity checks below, such as “room scan” or “identity check.”

Identity check:

The first difference test takers may encounter is the need to prove their identity before the exam begins. By showing an ID to the web camera, they can prove they are the same person who enrolled in the class or registered for the standardized test.

Room scan:

A test taker may also be required to scan the room with their device or web camera. This proves the room is devoid of cheating materials or knowledgeable people used as resources.

Real-time audio:

A test may record sound in the environment of the test taker. Real-time audio is used to prevent cheating by calling someone and asking for an answer.

Web browser locks:

Some proctoring software or add-ons can prevent the test taker from visiting other websites or programs on their device. Web browser locks are common for online proctored exams. Test takers can’t seek outside information or help because their computer is locked onto a testing tab or program. Some tests may allow navigation to certain approved sites used as resources.

Do proctored exams use your camera?

Many proctored exams use a device’s camera or require a web camera. Usually, the test will specify beforehand if a camera is needed. Students can locate an appropriately equipped device; some schools will provide them.

Is remote proctoring legal?

Remote proctoring is legal. However, the room scan component of automated proctoring software has been challenged successfully.

Remote Proctoring Student FAQ’s

What is remote proctoring?

Remote proctoring is a way to make a home or remote testing environment similar to a classroom. Instructors attempt to preserve academic integrity and prevent cheating via remote proctoring.

Is it easy to take a remote proctored exam?

Taking a remotely proctored exam is not difficult once you familiarize yourself with the testing procedure requirements and prepare. It’s vital to thoroughly read the test instructions and any testing software instructions. The first step is understanding the elements of online proctoring, like web browser locks and camera requirements designed to capture suspicious activities. Then, students may need to prepare by gathering the required materials. Bear in mind that the test taker’s school or employer may be able to provide the computer equipment for remotely proctored exams. Some institutions have testing centers equipped to give remotely proctored exams.

Can a remote proctor see your screen?

The testing instructions usually explain whether the proctoring solution or a human proctor can view the test taker’s screen. If not, test takers can ask the instructor whether their screen will be captured during the exam.

Is cheating possible in remote proctored exam situations?

A remote proctored exam aims to make cheating as difficult as possible. While students may cheat on an exam with remote proctor measures in place, the likelihood of getting caught is high. The measures are designed to flag suspicious activity for instructors. If a student is tempted to test the remote proctoring entity’s ability to preserve academic integrity, they may want to disenroll from their class, academic pursuit, or training.

Remote Proctoring Summarized

Many students or work trainees who have never taken a test outside of a classroom wonder: “What is remote proctoring, and what do I need to do to prepare?” Remote proctoring is a testing situation that enables a student to take a test outside a traditional in-person classroom while being “proctored” or monitored for problems. Remote proctoring can avoid the need to travel to the classroom. It can save instructors time. It allows more scheduling flexibility. Testing technology like online testing software protects the exam’s integrity so that it’s still a true measure of the student’s mastery. A remotely proctored exam may require one or more of the following: ID verification, a web camera, a microphone, and an internet connection. Web browser locks and room scans are other elements of online proctoring.

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