If there is something the global pandemic influenced positively, it is the educational sphere, which has benefited greatly from all the changes. E-learning eliminates any kind of borders and limits, giving access to every kind of knowledge despite location, age, or any other features.
With all the advantages of online education, there are still some issues to be addressed – the credibility of the results, as the lack of surveillance provokes cheating and thus, non-relevant qualifications. In order to ensure a proper level of knowledge validation, more and more companies are implementing proctoring services into their programs, which yield the highest level of security and transparency of the exams.
Online education can sometimes be blamed for a lower level of knowledge, compared to the offline mode. One of the reasons is the possibility to copy the answers or use some assistive devices or methods. The online proctoring services take control of the whole process, making it impossible to cheat, thus revealing the true level of knowledge. Besides, if there are any questionable situations, there’s always evidence to resolve them.
Technical support is always available regardless of the time of the day or the location. Thus, students are free to choose a suitable time for taking an exam, without the need to schedule it in advance.
Exams at the physical location are always conducted under the supervision of people or/and cameras. Such methods are quite irritating and distracting, as being aware of the person staring at you during the exams makes the whole experience even more stressful. With online proctoring everything is taken easier – students know about being supervised, however, everything is invisible, with no impatient stares or suspicious looks. Such a non-disturbing control alleviates anxiety levels.
When searching for a reliable proctoring service provider, you will definitely find numerous options, however, there are a few essential things to consider when weighing decisions.
Scalability is a characteristic that defines the number of people that are proctored simultaneously at the exam, without any interruptions. The company needs confirmation of the maximum number of participants being watched at the same time. Clearly, if the numbers get higher than one thousand, the company deserves further examination.
The best proctoring company will be integrated with massive learning management systems like Moodle, Canvas, Open edX, Sakai, Blackboard, etc. Such an implementation is beneficial for both parts – administrators, and students, as there’s no need to install third-party applications, create new profiles, manage logins and passwords, etc. The overall exam experience becomes concentrated on the learning issues alone, nothing else.
The proctoring service should offer exam administrators the to choose the thing to be controlled, depending on the type of exam. With traditional tests, even the browser locking may be helpful, however, if the exam includes the elements of presentation or any other kind of activities, the scale of options needs to be changed appropriately.
The company you are about to choose deals with a great deal of personal information, thus, there must be ways to protect it from leakage. Check the privacy policies mentioned on their website, and ask the assistants about the measures taken to protect the data of their clients.
The simplicity of the process is a key feature of successful results. Easy navigation and test setups don’t overwhelm the students, letting them concentrate on the exam questions, not the technical issues or misunderstandings.
One of the biggest advantages of proctoring services is the detailed reports of the person’s behaviour during the exam. The person is being watched from various sides – webcam, microphone, behavioural pattern, and even eye movements. Every time there is suspicious movement, it’s flagged and recorded. At the end of the exam, every student has a record, with a timeline for ‘behaviour flags’. Such reports help you define whether the exam results are compromised. Besides, such records save time, as there is no need to rewatch all the videos during the exam, just the marked moments.
When choosing the company, we often lose sight of people who are readily available to help when something doesn’t work right during the exam. It’s important to clarify whether the company has 24/7 support, as it ensures that the exam-takers will be helped at any time despite the geographical location. Such an ‘emergency mode’ is especially important for those who participate in time-sensitive exams.
The proctoring software helped to bring online education onto a new level of security and validity, as the results are now worth the trust. Cooperation with an online proctoring company is a wise solution, as it helps prevent and regulate all assessment issues. With the further growth and spread of e-learning, online proctoring services will be a must-have option, as of of the main pillars of the educational systems.