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Risks and Benefits Involved in Online Proctoring

In this modern online world, we are all its captives. Any kind of business activity which includes shopping, gamin, gambling, day-trading, programming, data entry, transcribing, accounting, recruiting, payroll services and even a wedding planner or any other business activity that you can think of nowadays can easily be conducted through the internet.

Internet is also a wonderful place for learning and that too, when it comes to certification it is the most useful. Once the thought of giving instructions online began taking place, it was just the matter of tie when the idea of taking test online also became known to the world. Thus, online proctoring services, usually known as the remote proctoring is a process by which any candidate is usually proctored live over the internet with the help of a web camera instead of proctoring that candidate by another person in the same location itself.

How is proctoring done

In this process of remote proctoring, the candidate who is to be proctored sits in front the computer system facing the web camera. During any test, the proctors keep a watch on the candidates through the camera. They can easily detect any method of cheating activities such a cheat notes or unauthorized study materials or the use of any other electronic devices. The proctors in charge can invigilate the candidate and he can also view the entire examination room. They are capable of even detecting the slightest eye movement of the candidate away from the screen which might indicate that the candidate might be looking at notes.


This method of online proctoring has become very renowned in the last few years. It has been accepted widely on a world-wide basis delivering any test to students. Online proctoring or remote proctoring has its own advantages and disadvantages. One of the most important advantage is that it is cost saving.

There is no need to build any established site. Even a candidate can save his time as well as his money, travelling to a particular examination center. Remote or online proctoring has proved to be very useful. It has advantages and disadvantages in certain fields like, exam structure, testing environment, comfort and anxiety, cost and technology. Many academic institutions have found remote proctoring helpful for their various activities and for their students as well. Some of the problems with offline proctored tests or online test taking place without proctoring are also present such as:

  1. Providing a proctored examination center according to the choice of the candidate is quite difficult and is a challenge for many organizations conducting any text.
  2. For a proctored examination to take place, it is often difficult to find a good quality or a qualified proctor. In an offline proctored test, there is no record available, which will ensure whether the proctor did his/her job in an efficient way.
  3. One of the reasons for an extended test schedule is a limited number of test centers.
  4. In an online examination, often cases of cheating and impersonation have been reported. The candidates either take the help of textbooks or electronic devices such as mobiles or other to look for answers. They even take help from their friends.

Types of proctoring

There are mainly three types proctoring methods as follows:

  1. Live online proctoring: In this type of live proctored test, the candidate is monitored in the presence of a qualified proctor. Remote proctoring services are used where a qualified proctor will be sitting in a remote place. These proctors should have been properly trained to make sure a candidate’s authentication. Thus, preventing any kind of cheating methods that can be opted by any candidate. A single proctor has the capability of monitoring of about 16-32 test takers at a time which again depends on the provider. This fact is advantageous in a way that it removes any kind of location constraint of live proctoring. The distance between a candidate and the proctor can even be thousand miles away. Disadvantage lies in the fact that it is a very expensive method and it still requires scheduling of the exams. Since the involvement of human is equal to an offline proctored test, this type of live online proctoring is not much scalable.
  2. Recorded proctoring: In this type of proctoring method, usually there is no need of a proctor who has to monitor any feed on a real time basis. Instead of a proctor, an audio-video and screen shares the feeds of the test giving candidates which are recorded during an exam. These records are then played in a fast forwarded way with a speed of 3X to 20X by a representative and can easily detect any kind of cheating method or any suspicious activity that a candidate might have opted through annotations. In this way, it helps to eliminate any schedule or location constraint and thus proves to be advantageous. But the requirement of a human to do the review is still needed. However it is not much scalable and is expensive too.
  3. Advanced automated proctoring: This is one of the most advanced forms of online proctoring. This one also needs audio-video and screen share feeds of the candidates which are recorded during a particular test. Apart from recording the feeds of any candidate, it also monitors any suspicious activity that might be taking place using advanced audio-video analytics. This method also ensures that the students are able to focus on the test. In the presence of enough light in test room, any suspicious activity, objects can be easily detected. It can also detect any kind of background voice activity in order to red flag the test. For student authentication, it uses the face recognition method. An advantage of this method, is that it eliminates both location and schedule constraints. There is also need of any human for doing the review making this method more scalable and also cost effective.The digital devices that support these online proctoring methods for all the test administrators, it provides a reasonable amount of security. Thus, these systems are also convenient to the candidate.