What Is Online Proctored Exam? How Does Remote Proctored Exam Work?

21, May 2020

The Minister of Human Resource Development Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal – has been one of the most prominent names that have been hustling through the entire year of “2020” & now “2021” to ensure that all students get – “best education facilities”.

He came with new initiatives from time to time.

I would like to mention one of his tweets -

“Glad to launch India Report on #DigitalEducation, 2020 today. The report elaborates on the innovative methods adopted by Education Departments of States and Union Territories for ensuring accessible and inclusive #education to children at home and reducing learning gaps.”

This reflects that right from the beginning of the pandemic, the government has been focusing to help institutions adopt the best e-learning practices.

The pandemic had made it clear that we don’t have a choice in the upcoming years but to embrace the digitization of education. And kudos to the Indian educational institutions – schools, colleges, and universities – who have successfully conducted online teaching & learning classes by implementing innovative e-learning software.

However, when it comes to online examinations & online assessments, there remains a wide scope of improvement in terms of malpractices or cheating-free & monitored examinations. Online proctored exams are thus, buzzing in the education sector.

Change is required & necessary for growth. Therefore, you must not be nervous or doubtful about adopting the online examination software with proctoring technology.

What is an Online Proctored Exam?

An online proctored exam is a type of online examination that helps the faculty to monitor students’ activities in real-time as they attend the online exam session. Thus, inbuilt with AI-powered technology, the online proctored exams track & monitor students and help institutions to eliminate cheating in the exams!

Ever since the concept of online proctored exams came into existence, students are simply not getting any answer from “Google” on -

“How to cheat in an online proctored exam?”

Jokes apart, as a faculty, you would need an online examination system

How Does Online Proctoring Software Work?

Here is a step-by-step process that would help you understand how the online proctoring software works.

#1: Online Registration of Candidates

First & foremost, students need to do the online registration for the exam. They need to add their details such as name, address, class, academic year, and other information asked by the online proctored examination software to complete the online registration successfully.

#2: Authentication before Proceeding

After the successful online exam registration, students would get an ID and password that they need to use while appearing for the online tests. The online assessment software would authenticate whether the ID & password are correct & even send an OTP for confirmation. Once the authentication process is done, students can proceed with the examination.

#3: Examination Session & Monitoring

Depending on the type of online examination –semester exam/yearly exam/entrance exam students would be given instructions in the beginning. They need to abide by the rules & continue with the exam. Here, the faculty would be able to monitor them as soon as they start the online examination.

#4: Additional Browser Disablement

The online proctored exam software would disable all the additional browsers to eliminate the risk of cheating. Students can’t escape the examination via any means.

#5: Random Image Capturing & Video Monitoring

The online assessment software would capture random images of students in real-time & send the screenshots to the faculty. In addition, the faculty can also monitor students’ videos by asking them to turn on the webcam in real-time.

It all depends on the features of the exam proctoring software you have. Unlike the traditional examinations, as a faculty, you won’t have to walk across the rooms for invigilation. Everything – right from online student attendance to roll list generation & exam proctoring – everything can be done virtually with robust online proctored software.

DO’s and DON’Ts of an Online Proctored Exam

Online proctored exams are now the norm. Many institutions have adopted online proctored exams to assess and evaluate students during and after the pandemic. To effectively benefit from online exams, the institutes need to follow some DO's and DON'Ts, some of which are listed below:

Ensure that there is sufficient lighting in the room where the online exam will be conducted. Students should not move out of the range of the webcam.
Make sure that the candidate is alone in the room during the exam. Ask students not to cover their faces with a mask.
Ensure that there are no technical issues beforehand. Students must not try to navigate from the exam screen.
The student is required to have an in-built or external webcam as well as a microphone. Keep a tab on students and ask them not to share the screen or questions with anyone via any method.
Ensure that there is a plain background with no background noise. Students must not talk to anyone during the exam.
Make sure there is good internet connectivity with no power cuts. Instruct students to not use multiple devices at the same time, as it can be considered malpractice.
Carry extra rough sheets for rough work. Ask candidates not to consume anything during the exam.
Give students clear instructions that help them at every stage of the exam. Instruct students to not leave the exam before the exam time.
Make sure you don't have any electronic devices near you. Don't forget about using a secure browser for online exams.
Take mock exams to prevent any online exam-related issues. A retake of the exam should be made possible only if there is a technical issue and it is permitted by the instructor.
Ensure that the student logs in to the exam portal at least 15 minutes before the actual time of the exam. Don’t leave candidates waiting when they need assistance.

Authentication of the Candidate in Remote Proctoring Exam

Similar to offline proctoring, online proctoring begins with authentication. The software checks the candidate’s authenticity and eliminates any suspicious behavior during the test. The system ensures that the student is sharing the screen with audio and video recordings before the test.

The authentication of the student is carried out as follows:

Students are given unique credentials to log into the system.

  • After a successful login, the candidate is asked to enter the ID card number to be entered into the portal.
  • The software then validates the unique number with the records stored in the database during registration.
  • If the identity information matches the registered record, then the student needs to show the ID card to the remote proctor, who monitors the student’s activity.
  • If the identity is invalid, then the proctor can reject the entry. The student then needs to repeat this process of showing the ID card for validation.
  • If the identity is deemed valid, then the student is allowed to go ahead and appear for the online exam. During the test, there is a continuous stream of the candidate’s activities. The exam screen is blocked, and the student cannot open other windows on the browser during the entire test.
  • The student is required to appear for the exam within a defined timeline. The online proctor monitors his or her activity, and the system also records the overall exam process. The video and audio recording can be used for audit purposes.

By following the above steps, the system can conduct online exams for students in a safe and secure environment.

How to Prevent Cheating with Safe Proctoring

With auto proctoring capabilities in our online examination software, your institute can have hassle-free exams without any fear of cheating or malpractices. Online proctoring is an AI-based automated proctoring technology that uses students’ microphones and webcams for auto-invigilation.

Video Proctoring

The webcam checks the students' faces, and the video is recorded. It raises flags if there is any suspicious activity visible in the video. The video records can be stored for future reference.

Audio Proctoring

The microphone records the audio of students. The proctoring system monitors the audio feeds and alerts the user if there is a new voice in the area.

Image Proctoring

It assesses and checks students’ pictures, which are taken at regular intervals, to check if there is any cheating activity.

Verify Student’s Authenticity Every Second Throughout the Exam

The AI-based facial recognition technology ensures complete student authenticity.

Before the Exam

  • Email Authentication
  • Mobile Authentication via OTP
  • ID card verification

During the Exam

  • Audio Proctoring
  • Image & Video Proctoring

Choosing the Correct Proctoring Level As Per Your Needs

Before proceeding with the online examination software, your institute must be certain of its proctoring level requirements. Specify in what areas you want the student to be assessed.

You can select a suitable proctoring level based on the following options:

  • Email Verification
  • Mobile Number Verification
  • ID Verification
  • Browser Tolerance
  • Secure Browser
  • AI-Based Auto Proctoring
  • Record and Examine
  • Live Proctoring

Your institute can ask the following questions to make the process of choosing the proctoring level easier.

  • What is the volume of proctoring the institute will need?
  • What is the total number of enrollments in those courses?
  • How many programs/courses will contain a proctored test?
  • What is the total number of exams in the courses?
  • What are the types of exams—MCQ or descriptive?

Conduct Cloud-Based, Scalable, and Remote Proctored Examinations

Online exams need the highest level of safety and security to ensure smooth operation. The system must be cloud-based so that there is 100% data security and no information can be tampered with. Also, with an increasing number of student enrolments and a surge in enrolments, the system must be scalable with no glitches and should be able to operate smoothly and efficiently during exams.

Use an AI-Powered Tool for Safe Online Proctored Exams

An AI-based tool optimizes the remote proctoring process. With AI, online exams can be easily automated, which significantly reduces the need for human labor and improves the data's accuracy.

It further:

  • Ensures the highest credibility of exam results without any bias.
  • Is very convenient and easy to use by both candidates and instructors.
  • Can work with a low-bandwidth internet connection.
  • Uses speech detection and face recognition to prevent any cheating activity.
  • Uses multi-factor authentication features to prevent the risk of a fake identity.
  • Comes with secure browser technology.

What are the Benefits of Online Proctored Examination Software?

As we mentioned, it helps faculty to conduct online examinations successfully. In addition to this, the online proctoring software offers the following benefits to students & educators & faculty–

Benefits of Online Proctored Examination Software for Students

  • Provides flexibility of attending exams from a remote location
  • No need to visit exam halls especially in a pandemic situation
  • Requires just internet & login credentials
  • Multiple online test formats – MCQs & Descriptive
  • Provision to get instant results after final answer submission
  • Feedback from teachers to enhance learning outcomes

Benefits of Online Proctored Examination Software for Faculty

  • Additional browser disablement to avoid cheating
  • Real-time monitoring of students activities
  • Random image capturing & video monitoring
  • 100% secured online exam setup
  • Easy-to-conduct examination & scorecard generation
  • Minimizes a lot of effort & paperwork
  • Cost-cutting due to remote invigilation
  • Online feedback to students for improvement

Features of an Online Proctoring Software

  • Data Security
  • End to end security for the student’s information, results and questions of the exam to maintain integrity.

  • Technical Support
  • Complete support and easy communication among the invigilator and students in case of any technical issues.

  • AI Based Monitoring
  • Integration of AI technology for detailed analysis and improvements in functioning of the system.

Types of Online Proctored Exam

  • Live Online Proctoring
  • In a live proctoring exam, an invigilator monitors the candidates online with real-time feed from audio, video, and screen sharing. The invigilator is trained to verify a student's identity and look out for any suspicious activities.

    He or she can monitor 16-32 students at a time. However, this proctoring method requires human involvement like an offline exam.

  • Recorded Proctoring
  • In the recorded proctoring method, there is no involvement of humans in invigilation. Instead, the audio, video, and screen of the candidates are recorded.

    This can be viewed later by the moderator at a higher speed as a reference for any suspicious activities. It eliminates the need for scheduling but still requires human involvement for proctoring after conducting exams on an online exam platform.

  • Advanced Automated Proctoring
  • In automated proctoring, the audio, video, and screen share are recorded during the test. The software checks for background voice, suspicious activities in video and uses face recognition for authentication.

    It monitors the student and checks for any malpractices using advanced video and audio analytics. It does not require scheduling and human intervention for proctoring.

Configure Your Online Proctored Exam Experience

You can now choose a type of supervision for your online test, such as dual-view security and a chatbox to supervise your students. You can also choose to monitor the students on a real-time basis or review after the test for higher flexibility. Moreover, you can configure the number of invigilators monitoring the students during the exam. Also, the types of tests, such as quizzes, MCQs, and descriptive/subjective tests, can be customized as per the requirement.

How to Set Up an Online Proctored Exam?

You can set up an online proctored exam as per your needs and assess students systematically by following the below steps:

  • First, find a suitable ERP provider with a custom, integrated, and cloud-based online assessment system that can cater to your needs.
  • Check the system features to see if they can be tailored for various kinds of exams.
  • Then, you need to create your assessment questions and organize the test accordingly.
  • Conduct the tests with suitable proctored technology.
  • Generate automated results within a few clicks.

What are the Benefits of Online Proctored Examination Software?

As we mentioned, it helps faculty to conduct online examinations successfully. In addition to this, the online proctoring software offers the following benefits to students & educators & faculty–

Benefits of Online Proctored Examination Software for Students

  • Provides flexibility of attending exams from a remote location
  • No need to visit exam halls especially in a pandemic situation
  • Requires just internet & login credentials
  • Multiple online test formats – MCQs & Descriptive
  • Provision to get instant results after final answer submission
  • Feedback from teachers to enhance learning outcomes

Key Takeaways

Online proctored software is a boon for all the stakeholders.

Real-time monitoring gives an assurance of the best practices and allows the institutions to manage fair exams. The proctoring technology acts as a band-aid for overcoming cheating & other unethical activities. As a teacher, you can stay stress-free while your students attend the online examinations!

Still, have doubts regarding what the proctored online exam software has to offer?

I would like to quote the words of Jim Crapko, Training and Coaching Professional–

"If you continue training the same way you’ve always trained, don’t expect to get better results."

This is exactly the mindset we need to develop.

Change is required & necessary for growth. Therefore, you must not be nervous or doubtful about adopting the online examination software with proctoring technology.

Get in touch with our educational ERP software experts for detailed guidance on online proctored software & queries on how to proctor the online exams.

FAQ's On Online Proctored Exam

Online exam proctoring is a method of monitoring students during online tests using audio-video, screen sharing, and other features.

You must choose online assessments over traditional assessments due to the following reasons. Online assessments are -

  • Online proctored exams are conducted on computers
  • Student’s identity is verified before the test
  • Student’s audio-video and the screen is recorded during the exam
  • The data is stored in the system for future reference
  • Audio-video recording
  • Screen recording
  • Student’s ID verification
  • Detailed candidate reports
  • User-friendly and accessible system
  • Disabled window switching and cut, copy, paste
  • Audio-video recording
  • It prevents cheating and other malpractices
  • Creates a fair exam environment for students
  • Gives detailed reports of student behavior during exam
  • Reduces faculty workload by automated monitoring of students

Some of the main challenges of online proctored exams include the following:

  • Challenges in Technology Adoption in Institutes
  • Technical Issues
  • Problems with the internet and power outages
  • Infrastructural Barriers
  • Difficulty Assessing Long-Answer Descriptive Tests
  • Shifting to open-book Exams

Proctored Tests are completely supervised by the faculty and the live monitoring feature. There is no scope for students to look for answers and cheat during the exams, which ensures the fairness of online tests.

Non-Proctored Tests are unsupervised, and these exams are mostly taken at home. These tests are easy to conduct, and the students can take them at their convenience. But there is a high chance of students copying and cheating during the tests.

Gaurav Somani,
Head Business Development