Online proctoring. Anytime, anywhere testing…

Online proctoring at ProctorU

Online proctors at ProctorU.

So… online proctoring… what’s it all about?

Let’s face it, change takes place slowly in the assessment world. For decades we’ve carried out tests and exams in exactly the same way. Rows of students have sat in silent exam halls with test papers and a clear plastic bag for a pen, rubber and ruler.

With the increased adoption of e-Assessment, the use of technology to assist with the creation and delivery of tests and exams, we’ve been able to challenge this traditional view. Awarding organisations and educational institutions now recognise the many benefits for both assessors and candidates in using digital assessment to create and carry out their assessments.

The Traditional Method of Test Taking

So with the use of digital assessment now commonplace, we can look at some of the other features of the assessment process that have ‘always been so’.  Up until now, if you had to sit an exam, it was a given that you would travel to a college or test centre to take it. If you were lucky enough to live in a city then this could be a short trip. If you were living in a remote location then this could be a bit more of an expedition. Students with dependants could have additional logistics to consider and for most they would incur a financial cost. Students with disabilities could face insurmountable difficulties when attending an exam scheduled in this way. Distance, travel costs or time out of work all present very real challenges for some students.

We are now opening the doors and letting technology build flexibility into our examinations system. We can begin to ask questions around whether it is imperative that all candidates take exactly the same test, at the same time and in the same place. Can technology now enhance this process? If we open our minds, can we imagine a situation where the exam hall no longer exists?

Anytime, Anywhere Testing

Online proctoring allows candidates to take exams from a location that suits them by mirroring the environment of a traditional exam hall. The only real difference is that proctoring takes place across the internet. Using a simple webcam connection, the student verifies their identity with an invigilator. This invigilator is a real, human being! We are not that far away from the traditional model here are we?

The candidate shows their photo id and uses the webcam to show the environment around the room. In this way, the invigilator verifies that they have the correct candidate and that no additional media is accessible during the exam. They then watch the student throughout the test period just as they would in an exam hall. Should the invigilator be suspicious of anything the student does, they immediately ask for clarification. There is very little here that would differ from the traditional environment. The only difference being that this works for any student, at any time of day, anywhere with internet access.

This simple use of technology has the potential to overhaul what can be an inefficient and inflexible exams process. Students can take exams almost anywhere. No-one is disadvantaged by their location or ability to access a college or test centre. The cost to the institution is greatly reduced. Crucially, the integrity of the exam process is maintained throughout.

Online Proctoring- is it right for you?

The combination of our high stakes assessment software with the use of online proctoring is proving to be a popular option with our customers. We now partner with leading online proctoring provider ProctorU. In our opinion, this gives our customers the best in high stakes assessment software coupled with market leading online proctoring services.  You can read more about our partnership here.

To get more information on online proctoring using the Cirrus e-Assessment Platform, get in touch with one of our team. They will be happy to talk through all your digital assessment options with you.