How does online proctoring work?

According to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics, more than one-third of students registered in post-secondary classes at American colleges and universities are enrolled in distance learning. As more adults are pursuing new career paths and recent high school graduates seek more flexible learning environments, that number is expected to grow.

In response, national and international universities and colleges—specifically those focused on the growing fields of health sciences—are adding more remote learning classes to their course offerings. As demand for these classes increases, leaders of academic institutions are often left searching for ways to administer exams to these students in a way that allows for flexibility while maintaining high educational standards. After all, as we all know, some students cheat.

What is Online Proctoring?

Online proctoring systems provide an effective and secure solution to this problem. Just as technology allows for more effective remote coursework, it can also provide the necessary tools for administering exams in long-distance learning capacities.

For students, long-distance learning provides a flexible and affordable opportunity to study at home, allowing time for family responsibilities and demanding work schedules. Often, the schools providing these classes are located far away, making it impractical for students to take an in-person proctored exam.

How Does Online Proctoring Work?

Proctoring software makes it possible to ensure the fairness and integrity of answers for tests taken at home. Online proctoring systems allow for timed exams to be scheduled with as much convenience and flexibility as the class itself. This makes schools using this software a better choice for many long-distance students.

These systems involve the installation of software that monitors a computer's desktop, utilizes webcam video, records the student's actions and even employs artificial intelligence to analyze the student's test-taking session. Once the test is complete, the data collected with the software is usually transferred to a proctoring service for review.

Is Online Proctoring Effective? 

Online proctoring is an even more recent innovation than remote learning, but there are a growing number of testimonials advocating for its effectiveness.

The Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors has recognized specific benefits of online proctoring, including:

  • Improved integrity of test results

Even when auditors were instructed to cheat in the subtlest ways, an online system was able to identify the problems better than one or two in-person proctors who were tasked with watching over a room of 50 to 100 students.

  • Less costly

A remotely proctored exam reduces costs for both the student and the institution offering the testing. The APSCA determined that they saved $4.8 million by not having to pay travel expenses for each auditor to attend an in-person exam at a physical testing center.

  • Flexible and transparent

These systems are effective because everything is recorded, so there is no confusion as to the integrity of the examination process. Unlike in-person proctoring, online proctoring means there is no debate as to where the student is on the exam or what communication took place between students and proctors. This is true for all kinds of exams, as well. Multiple choice, essays, and remote, one-on-one interviews can all be monitored closely using an online proctoring system.

  • Beneficial for many situations

Whether students are taking a test in another language or there are other unique circumstances involved in a particular remote learning experience, online proctoring is designed for flexibility. It’s an effective tool to guarantee the validity of test results when in-person examinations are not practical or feasible. In fact, online proctoring can be used in place of live proctors even on college campuses.

Implementing Online Proctoring

The best online proctoring services offer a variety of options to conform to the unique situation of any university or college institution. While different services offer different features and approaches, it's important to find a solution that fits seamlessly into the student's learning experience. Otherwise, it can be burdensome to schedule and complete proctor sessions or even get help when it's needed.

Caduceus International Publishing has recently partnered with ProctorU to provide the best possible proctoring experience for students and faculty. ProctorU pioneered the first live remote learning proctoring system for higher education, and in 2019, the company earned the "Best Online Proctoring Solution" award by the EdTech Breakthrough Awards program.

They offer three service options that integrate artificial intelligence technology for proctoring:

  • Auto: a fully automated platform that uses video recording and automated identity verification, made more secure when paired with professional proctor review of all video
  • Live+: includes professional live proctors to monitor and oversee the behavior analysis performed by the software
  • Pro: a service that is highly customizable and ideal for professional certification testing for industry use

Proctoring services can be integrated with all major learning systems, including Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, and D2L.

The Caduceus Proctoring service - powered by ProctorU - is a unique offering for Caduceus customers only. Not only is the student's proctoring experience deeply integrated into their learning environment, but Caduceus staff also provide personal support to students and faculty during the entire process. Caduceus staff even review and manage incident reports from the proctors, giving time back to faculty so they can remain focused on teaching.

To learn more about health science online courses that have online proctoring "built-in," log on to CIP's courses page.

Want more information on how online proctoring works?

Check out the recorded webinar we co-hosted live on October 24th with ProctorU addressing the challenges of academic dishonesty and what your institution can do about it:

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