5 things you should know about remote proctoring

Online assessment has been an option for a while, but it’s only in recent years that the practice really took hold. The pandemic forced many institutions online and, with them, their assessment strategies. However, some aspects of the eAssessment format still cause concern for assessors and students alike, and one of these is the prospect of remote invigilation. For assessors, the lack of a physical presence can suggest reduced accuracy and examination integrity, whereas students often find the process of being watched online intrusive. But there is more than one option when it comes to remote proctoring, and it’s important to understand the key factors before you choose your service. Read on to find out five things you should know before committing to a remote invigilation service, from the types available to the individual features to look out for.

1: Understanding your options

The first thing you should consider when choosing a remote invigilation provider is the type of service it offers. Remote invigilation generally falls under two categories – live and automated. But what sets them apart, and how can you work out the best option for you?

Live invigilation

Live invigilation is the closest alternative to a traditional exam setting. An actual proctor watches the candidate complete their test via webcam, with the opportunity to interact with the student during the assessment and intervene if required. This method helps some assessors to feel more comfortable with the switch to digital assessment, and the presence of a professional invigilator can support the integrity of the exam. However, this option requires a proctor to be available at the same time as the candidate, lessening the exam’s flexibility. Plus, some students have commented that they found live invigilation off putting during their exam, which could potentially influence their performance.

Automated invigilation

On the other hand, automated invigilation is an option which can reduce this intrusive feeling. Also known as AI invigilation, this method uses software to detect any prohibited behaviour during an assessment, such as speech, unauthorised movement or the opening of any unapproved computer software or web pages. This method doesn’t require a live invigilator, so offers more flexibility as well as a less invasive experience for the individual. However, it can be seen as less effective than live proctoring as it relies on the algorithm, rather than human intelligence.

Joining forces

Although these are the two main forms of remote invigilation, it is possible to combine the two and create a more bespoke experience. For example, the two could run in tandem to add an extra security element for assessors. Alternatively, the option of a ‘live pop-in’ format could be beneficial for some. This involves utilising automated invigilation generally, and keeping live proctors on hand in addition. This way, if the AI detects something, the live proctor can access the assessment in question and further investigate in real time. This helps maintain the assessment’s integrity with accurate detection, while also easing stress for candidates – the physical presence of an invigilator won’t be felt unless you are flagged as suspicious.

2: Maintaining exam integrity

Although the proctoring format can impact the integrity of the assessment, there are other features which can affect the invigilation’s accuracy. Different platforms offer a combination of features, so it’s up to you to choose the most appropriate. Some of these could include ID verification, video monitoring, sound detection and browser lockdown software, all of which offer increased assurance that a candidate is completing their assessment honestly. And these features can go even further – some sound detection, for example, can differentiate between ambient noise and meaningful language, including another voice in the room or learned commands like ‘hey, Siri’. This can streamline the number of flags raised by the technology, meaning that the assessors spend less time investigating false claims of suspicious behaviour.

3: Question protection

Ensuring a fair and secure examination environment is crucial for all assessors, so it’s incredibly frustrating when you find your exam questions have been copied and uploaded to popular study websites like Quizlet. Requesting their removal is a time consuming process and their presence can render the whole exam redundant if the questions have been posted during the examination window. However, some remote invigilation platforms include inbuilt protection against question theft, with the added benefit of automatically scanning the web for your questions and beginning the removal request process as quickly as possible. This helps to keep your assessment as secure as possible, and should be a key consideration when choosing an invigilation platform.

4: Cost confusion

It can be tricky to compare prices for different remote invigilation platforms, especially when they offer costs based on different parameters. Some of the ways a platform might charge could be per student, per exam, or per hour – meaning that different requirements could cost a lot more or a lot less on different platforms. For example, compare an assessor looking to invigilate one three-hour exam with 50 students, with someone looking for three one-hour long exams for 15 students each. The first assessor would pay more if they used a cost-per-student program, but the second would pay more with a cost-per-exam set up. If they used a per-hour framework, both would pay the same. Working out the best payment plan for you can save considerable amounts of money when done correctly.

5: Get integrated

Online assessment can require a wide range of platforms to enable optimal performance from both students and assessors. Learning management systems (LMS) need to work in tandem with the remote invigilation software in order to ensure a streamlined experience and minimise the risk of malfunctions and errors. It’s important, therefore, that your chosen remote proctoring platform can be integrated with your existing LMS software. Alternatively, platforms like Rogo offer a complete eAssessment and eLearning platform with built-in online invigilation, taking the guesswork out of your decision and offering assurance that your software will be as streamlined as possible. 

Maintaining assessment standards as we move to online examination can be difficult, but Rogo is here to make the transition as swift as possible. If you have any questions about remote invigilation, or any of Rogo’s other bespoke features, get in touch here.