What is online proctoring?

Before we jump into how online proctoring works, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what it is. Online proctoring, sometimes referred to as remote proctoring and online exam proctoring, uses software and/or services to monitor students taking online tests.

There are four types of online proctoring:

  1. Browser lock: prevents students from using other browsers and keyboard functions 
  2. Automated proctoring: uses AI software to monitor students during the online exam
  3. Live proctoring: live remote proctors watch students as they take the online exam
  4. Automated + live proctoring: AI software monitors students and alerts a live proctor if it detects potential dishonesty

Can online proctoring be used on different exam formats?

Online proctoring can be used for pretty much any type of exam. Whether it’s an online exam using standard question types  (multiple choice and true/false), in-person tests in the classroom, and even authentic assessments where a student is completing a task such as a live presentation or demonstration.


How does online proctoring work?

First things first: the online proctoring software should directly integrate with the Learning Management System. A direct LMS integration helps make everything easy for students and faculty; it streamlines implementation, no extra logins and passwords are needed, and it creates a familiar environment for students and faculty.

Here’s an example of how a blended online proctoring solution works for faculty and students:

Faculty create the test in the LMS like they usually do, and the proctoring software collects the necessary information through the integration. 

Instructors pick the exam proctoring features to use

Instructors have plenty of proctoring features to choose from, such as detecting cell phones, locking the browser, detecting voices, verifying ID, and more. 

Students get set up and start the online proctored exam

Students simply log in to the LMS like they already do, verify their identity in about a minute, and then launch the proctored exam. Ideally, they’ll be able to get support directly within the exam window.

AI software monitors the exams 

A key feature of using a blended proctoring solution is that AI software monitors each student’s exam session and alerts a live proctor if it detects any potential dishonesty. 

The benefit of this approach to proctoring online exams is that it’s non-invasive and less intimidating for students because a live proctor isn’t watching them throughout the exam. Additionally, the proctor can quickly review the situation and determine if they need to intervene and address it with the student and then help them get back on track. 

Instructors can review reports after the exams 

The exam proctoring software collects extensive data and provides actionable reports and time-stamped recordings to the instructor within the LMS dashboard. 

The exam proctoring software collects extensive data and provides it to the instructor for review within the LMS dashboard. To help save time, the reports should provide time-stamped recordings of violations and suspicious behavior by students.

3 Part Guide to Online Authentic Assessments

Online proctoring features

We’ll break the proctoring features in this section into two parts:

  1. Common: features used by most proctoring solutions
  2. Exclusive: features used by one or very few proctoring solutions

Common online proctoring features

  • Video monitoring: uses the student’s webcam to monitor behavior, scan the testing room, and verify student ID
  • Basic audio monitoring: monitors audio but doesn’t listen for specific keywords or phrases that can indicate potential dishonesty
  • ID verification: students use their webcam to verify their identity 

Exclusive online proctoring features

  • Smart voice detection: more advanced than the previously mentioned basic audio because it listens for specific keywords or phrases, such as “Alexa,” “OK Google,” or “Hey Siri.” Then, it alerts a live test proctor to intervene
  • AI+Live proctoring: blended online proctoring software that monitors the exam session for potential academic dishonesty and alerts a live proctor to join the student’s session in real-time if it detects any issues
  • Test question integrity: a technology that searches the internet to identify leaked test questions. If it finds leaked questions, instructors can take steps to control their exams’ integrity

Why is online proctoring used?

Creates a fair test and equitable environment for each student

While some believe that online proctoring is to catch students cheating on online exams, it’s much more than that. When proctoring is done right, it helps create a non-invasive and equitable testing environment that holds everyone accountable.

Supports students during the proctored exam

Some companies had their proctoring teams trained by a nationally certified counselor and educator about supporting students during moments of assessment frustration and anxiety.

Provides instructors with valuable insight into student test performance

In-depth reports and recordings help instructors understand how students approach online exams and where they’re struggling or excelling.

Protects institutional reputation

Higher education institutions’ reputation is a foundational element of growing enrollments for both on campus and online programs. Prospective students, accrediting bodies, and candidate employers need to know that the institution and online programs are academically sound.

Online exam proctoring services play a critical role in protecting the institutions reputation and online exams.

What is Honorlock?

Honorlock was the first to combine AI software with live proctors to make online proctoring simple, easy, and human. 

Honorlock upholds academic integrity with online exam proctoring that’s monitored by AI and reviewed by humans. Our proctoring software monitors each student’s exam session and alerts a live, US-based test proctor if it detects any potential problems. This provides our proctors with the opportunity to enter the exam session and help the student get back on track.


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