Proctored testing, often referred to as online proctoring or remote proctoring, is monitoring students taking online exams with software and services to: 

  • Protect academic integrity
  • Prevent and deter cheating 
  • Help and support students complete their online exams

There are four methods of online proctoring that are commonly used:

  1. Browser lockdown software
  2. Automated proctoring (AI proctoring)
  3. Live remote proctoring
  4. Blended online proctoring (AI proctoring & live remote proctoring)

Regardless of the type, most proctored testing services and software prevent cheating with a few common features, such as:

  • Video monitoring
  • Browser locking
  • Audio monitoring and voice detection
  • Student ID verification
  • Exam reporting 
Download a free customizable RFP template for online proctoring

How does online proctored testing work?

Online proctored testing software typically allows instructors to create online exams in the Learning Management System (LMS), choose the proctoring features that are needed, and set the test rules. 

The steps below describe how instructors can implement proctored online testing services with a blended online proctoring solution, which combines the benefits of AI proctoring with live online test proctors.

Create the online test in the LMS

Instructors create the online test in the LMS like they normally do and Honorlock’s proctored testing software automatically collects all the necessary information through the integration.

Choose proctored testing features 

There are many online proctored testing features that instructors can choose to use, such as cell phone detection, lock down browser, voice detection, and ID verification.

Set test rules, guidelines, and accommodations

Instructors can make rules for the proctored exam, such as no talking, no using secondary devices, and allowing specific websites. Instructors can also provide accommodations for specific students such as extended time to complete the test and assistive technologies that are permitted.

Student ID verification

The student will use their photo ID to verify their identity in about 60-seconds. The proctoring software captures the content on the student’s ID along with their photo to verify their identity.

Students complete the proctored online exam

Students can then launch the proctored online exam from the LMS like they normally would and complete the test. If students have any issues, they can get support within the testing platform without exiting the exam.

Review results of the proctored exams

Remote proctors will review the testing sessions and notify the instructor of any potential violations and provide detailed reports that are easy to read.

Common proctored testing features

Several proctored testing features are commonly used such as:

Besides the commonly used proctored testing features mentioned above, some platforms and online testing services provide a variety of additional features such as:

  • Live Pop-in: this feature is the perfect blend of AI or automated proctoring and live online proctoring. AI monitors the student for potential dishonesty and alerts a remote live proctor to join the student’s proctored exam session in real-time to address any issues.
  • Smart Voice Detection: advanced AI goes above and beyond standard sound detection by listening for specific keywords or phrases, such as “Hey Siri” while still allowing students who like to read out loud the ability to do so without being flagged.
  • Cell phone detection: this patented proctored testing feature detects if a student attempts to use a cell phone and other secondary devices to access test bank content during the exam and can capture a screen recording to provide evidence of the violation.
  • Online paper-based exam proctoring: provides the ability for instructors to customize exam settings and include notes for the remote proctors to allow scratch paper and any allowed items, such as a calculator or book, to complete the exam. This way, test proctors have specific instructions and don’t necessarily have to pop in and interrupt the student during testing. You can also also proctor online authentic assessment activities such as presentations, demonstrations, and the use of real software to complete a task.

What are the benefits of online proctoring?

Online proctored testing is a resource for students and instructors

A common misconception about online proctored testing is that its only goal is to catch students that are cheating. However, online proctoring should be seen as a beneficial resource for students and instructors because it helps ensure a fair testing environment and provides help to complete the exam if any issues occur. Proctored testing also provides instructors with confidence that their online exams are protected and can even save time in the review process.

Online proctoring protects academic integrity, reputation, and accreditation

Reputation is everything and if the academic integrity of the online exam isn’t protected, the reputation of the programs and institution can suffer. Universities face a difficult task to balance convenience for students and faculty while still protecting the security of their online exams. Online proctored testing sets institutions apart by protecting academic integrity and providing convenience and flexibility for both students and instructors without sacrificing security. 

Additionally, accrediting bodies need to know that an institution’s programs and online testing services are academically sound. Many institutions that receive specific funding are required to verify student identity through one or more of the following methods: online proctoring, new technologies to verify and authenticate identity, and a secure login and password through the LMS.

No scheduling headaches

Some online proctored testing solutions allow students to schedule their exams at a time that works for their schedule – 24/7/365. They can also change the scheduled exam day/time if needed with no additional fees.

Online proctoring is secure and protects student privacy

Institutions look to partner with online proctoring services that they can trust to protect student privacy and upholding the highest standards of academic integrity. Online proctoring services, such as Honorlock, follow strict security measures to protect data and privacy. 

Proctored exam reporting helps instructors understand test-taker behavior

As more educational technologies are used in remote learning environments, students and faculty expect fast turnaround times for online exams. In addition to quicker review time, instructors need detailed reporting about student test-taking behavior that’s easy to read.

For example, a lecturer from the University of Florida used online proctored online testing services to identify test questions that needed more complexity and reformatting after the reporting revealed that students were sharing test questions.

“After the second quiz in the third week of class, I had a ceiling effect that looked like a ski jump, with 80% of my students getting 100% on tests. I knew there was something seriously wrong. I felt that I couldn’t trust my test scores,” Lecturer Ryan Mears explained. “After looking at the analytics that come with the flags and real-time recording helped me to understand how students were approaching the course and what strategies they were using to pass the test.”

What are the types of online proctoring?

There are four common types of online proctoring services and software which include a range of features that monitor student behavior, prevent cheating, verify student identity, and provide detailed reporting:

  1. Browser lockdown software: prevents students from accessing websites, applications, and keyboard functions during the proctored exam. It’s important to note that browser locks are a starting point for online exam proctoring but they lack crucial features that fully address academic dishonesty.
  2. Automated proctoring (AI proctoring): uses AI technology to monitor students during the online exam. This proctoring method is beneficial because no proctors have to be present and students can take exams at any time; however, AI can potentially miss academic misconduct and has a lengthy review process
  3. Live remote proctoring: remote proctors (humans) watch students while they take their online exams and can intervene if there are any issues. Live remote proctoring provides the benefits of in-person proctoring but the proctors are often watching multiple students at the same time, which increases the chance of missing misconduct and can increase student exam anxiety. 
  4. Blended online proctoring (AI proctoring & live remote proctoring): provides the benefits of automated proctoring and live proctoring. AI monitors the student during the exam and if any potential issues occur, it alerts a live remote proctor who can review the situation before intervening, which provides a less intimidating and non-invasive exam experience. 

Software and hardware requirements to take an online proctored exam

Generally speaking, students need an internet connection, computer, and a functioning webcam and microphone to take an online proctored exam. They’ll also need to make sure they’re using the appropriate operating system and browser supported by the proctoring software. If these requirements are met, the student simply logs into the LMS as they normally would and launches the online proctored exam. 

Additionally, proctoring software, such as Honorlock, helps create an accessible online experience by integrating with virtually all assistive devices and allowing instructors to provide accommodations for specific students.

Online proctored testing is a strategic advantage

Online proctoring is an ongoing advantage for your institution and a fundamental piece of student success. With seemingly endless technology available to students today, protecting the academic integrity of your online exams with proctored online testing services is more important than ever.

To learn more about online proctoring services, read this 5-part comparison guide which covers in-depth details about features and functionality, implementation and training, support, and pricing.

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