When my niece, who lives in another state, was three, her mother and grandmother would share videos I sent with her, and we would enjoy a weekly call to recap. This virtual but authentic relationship was brought into sharp relief one day when the 3-year-old objected to another video viewing with, “I want to see Auntie IN THE REAL.” While it’s certainly the case that real hugs between family members are best—something we appreciate all the more during the era of social distancing—the academic world has been discovering that quality virtual proctoring of examinations really is as good as the “real” thing.

Virtually Yours, for Real

The most effective virtual proctoring software replicates the security of having test-takers all in the same room, physically distanced as they have been for decades so as to prevent the old “glancing over someone’s shoulder” trick. Instead of having the proctor collect everyone’s mobile phones in a box at the front of the room, the best virtual proctoring systems also block online impropriety without the need to take physical or even virtual access of any student’s secondary devices. Now that’s real effectiveness.

That’s also what Honorlock’s exclusive Search and Destroy™ and Multi-device Detection functions supply. Ken Craver of 93-year-old Tyler Junior College in Texas found this out when the remote testing center at TJC closed and he needed to drive the transition to automatic proctoring. “Honorlock is going to try to keep a problem from happening rather than tell you about a problem after it happens,” he said.

The Wonders of Automatic Proctoring

Some virtual proctoring software records a student’s test and then takes days or weeks to review, sometimes the instructor isn’t notified about possible academic integrity violations until after grades are due! Other online proctoring services are more intrusive, with a live proctor watching the student’s exam from a window on the screen, which can be unnerving and distracting. 

Honorlock’s Live Pop-In function eliminates the drawbacks of other remote proctoring solutions. After the student signs on and verifies their identity with their school ID, they are asked to perform a 360-degree web cam sweep of their testing area (if their instructor requires it). At that point, our live proctor can ask students to remove any extraneous or forbidden materials from the vicinity. Students who may have misunderstood the instructor’s directions thus benefit immediately. (We always recommend that students DO pay close attention to the directions because the last minute is not when you want to discover that the book you were counting on to have open is actually supposed to be closed and inaccessible when the exam starts.)

Once the test begins, no live proctor will disturb the student unless our software detects potential misconduct. When that happens, a live proctor receives an automatic notification. The proctor can then intervene by pausing the student’s exam remotely and communicating by way of a chat box appearing on the screen. As Ken Craver noted above, sometimes a proctor can redirect a student before a violation of academic honesty takes place. This automatic and less intrusive system, combined with a virtual human touch in real time, brings true harmony to the online proctoring experience. 

Our New Virtual Proctoring Age

Many well-known colleges and universities have decided to go completely or partially online as a new academic year begins. Stories are already circulating about colleges and universities who have opened for residential students only to send them home again. In this precarious time, it remains difficult to find the certainty that humans crave, and even more difficult to deny ourselves the in-person contact (hugs with nieces!) so many of us count on for our social and intellectual well-being. Due to the technological advances of the twenty-first century, however, we are able to continue our intellectual and educational pursuits in ways that we couldn’t have done just a decade ago. Professors, some who had never made a video call in their lives, are finding that they can teach effectively online. Institutions, meanwhile, have realized that a wide range of virtual exam proctoring systems are available.

What Sets Honorlock’s Web Proctoring Solution Apart

Honorlock is proud to help students pursue their educational dreams by safeguarding the academic integrity of their schools. We do it with brilliant technology and a caring support team, available 24/7/365. Craver reports that this support empowers Tyler Junior College students: “They don’t have to make a reservation like the used to. Students just log in and take the test anytime within the time window provided by the faculty member. It just works!”

Thousands of instructors have faced LMS integration issues for their courses and exams both pre-and post-pandemic-onset. Online message boards are filled with the exasperation of those who want simply to be left alone to teach. This vexation can be compounded when faculty overcome the logistical challenges of learning to teach online, only to find that students can’t take their final exams properly. Honorlock is a lightweight Chrome browser extension, not a heavy browser in its own right. It works seamlessly with your LMS, alleviating faculty frustration and leaving them free to focus on what’s important.

Craver notes that the transition from TJC’s previous virtual proctoring system was most welcome to its faculty. In the past, they had to wait to receive an e-mail from the former system that noted any possible infractions. “Now they just go in and click on results,” he said.

Results Come from the Process

Most of us are caught up in a results-oriented world. It’s what you did, not how you did it, that is supposedly all that matters. Smart educators, however, know that focusing on the process of learning is greater than any specific “outcome,” and actually leads to a more rewarding payoff in the long run. Honorlock’s people and technology are dedicated to making your web proctoring processes as automatic as possible. You get the best results, to be sure. Even more significantly, your students will be free to learn what they need to live fulfilling and useful lives now and in the future.

Want to know more about the Honorlock process? Request a demo