What is remote proctoring and how does it work?

Everything you need to know about remote proctoring and how it works.

What is remote proctoring?

Remote proctoring, or online proctoring, uses software and/or live remote proctors to:

  • Record and monitor test takers’ behavior
  • Verify identity
  • Protect test content
  • Prevent cheating

How does remote proctoring work?

  • Before the exams start: test takers normally use the webcam to verify their identity and scan the room for unauthorized resources, like cell phones, notes, and even other people.
  • During the exams: test takers are monitored through video, audio, and other AI proctoring tools and/or a live remote proctor, depending on the service.
  • After the exams: ideally, the proctoring service will provide test admins with time-stamped reports with recordings of flagged behavior to review.
  • LMS integration: the remote proctoring platform should integrate directly with the LMS, which improves security, doesn’t require extra passwords and logins, and basically makes it the same experience with the exception of a few clicks (instructors just click to choose the proctoring features they want to use and test takers login to the LMS and take the test in the same environment).

Remote proctoring software tools & features

Standard tools and features in remote proctoring software

  • Video monitoring: uses the webcam to record behavior during the proctored exam.
  • Browser lockdown: prevents access to other browsers and applications, and restricts keyboard shortcuts.
  • Sound detection: flags most noises during exams, such as talking, music, dogs barking, etc. Different from voice detection.
  • ID verification: uses the webcam to verify identity before the exam.

Advanced remote proctoring tools & features

In addition to the standard tools above, some remote proctoring companies offer advanced tools and features:

  • Cell phone detection: detects when test takers try to use cell phones and other devices during proctored exams and the presence of Apple devices in the testing area.
  • Smart Voice Detection: listens for specific keywords and phrases that can indicate exam misconduct, like “Hey Siri,” and other commands that trigger voice assistants. Then, it records the audio and provides a transcript of what was said. Smart Voice Detection is different from sound detection, which flags basically any noise.
  • Live Pop-In: AI-based proctoring monitors test takers and alerts a live remote proctor if it detects potential cheating. The proctor can review the behavior and decide whether to intervene or not.
  • Analytics Hub™: provides easily filterable, in-depth reports with actionable insights into test integrity that streamline review a 360-degree view of academic integrity.

Types of remote proctoring

Browser lockdown software

Entry-level proctoring software that helps prevent access to other browsers and keyboard shortcuts. 

  • Usually cheap, but you get what you pay for because it doesn’t really prevent cheating since test takers can still use their cell phones and other resources.

AI remote proctoring

Only uses artificial intelligence to monitor remote exams.

  • Offers diverse tools to monitor behavior and prevent cheating.
  • No human oversight, which can negatively impact the experience for test takers and test administrators.
    • For example, if the proctoring software uses sound detection (different from voice detection) with no live proctor: if a test taker sneezes, the AI flags the noise, and it could even kick them out of the proctored test.
    • Imagine how many unimportant noises could be flagged during tests (coughing, tapping the desk, dog barking) that admins will need to review if a human proctor isn’t there to check the AI.

Live remote proctoring

A live proctor monitors multiple test takers at once. 

  • Typically the most expensive type of remote proctoring.
  • Being watched can be distracting and stressful (and creepy) for test takers.
  • Can work well if the proctor isn’t watching too many test takers at once—rarely the case—a proctor is usually watching 10 or more test takers at once, which can make it easy to miss problematic behaviors.
  • Exam scheduling can be a hassle because test takers have to find a time that aligns with the proctor’s availability.

Blended remote proctoring

Combines live proctors with AI and browser lockdown software.

  • Locks the browser and uses AI to monitor behavior.
  • AI alerts a live proctor if it detects potential misconduct.
  • After the proctor is alerted, they can review a recording of the situation and intervene if necessary.

Who uses remote proctoring?

Remote proctoring is used in higher education and professional education.

Remote proctoring LMS integrations

Integrating remote proctoring software with your LMS can be the difference between a quick and secure implementation and one that could compromise data security and create a frustrating experience for test takers and administrators.

Proctoring platforms typically integrate with Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, D2L, and Intellum. Some online proctoring services offer custom integration toolkits to create tailored integrations that meet your specific needs.

How much does proctoring cost?

The cost of proctoring depends on the type and the company, but keep these in mind when comparing proctoring services:
  • Look for flat-rate proctoring to avoid variable costs: unexpected costs can add up quickly if the proctoring service charges per hour for exams, so find a remote proctoring service with a flat rate cost per exam or test taker.
  • Make sure support costs are included
  • Do test takers have to pay extra to reschedule a proctored exam?

Honorlock proctoring software and services

Honorlock’s blended remote proctoring combines AI with live proctoring to make online exams simple, easy, and human in higher education and professional education.

Whether it’s detecting cell phones and voices or preventing the use of AI like ChatGPT and locking the browser, you’ll have confidence that academic integrity is protected.

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Implementation Webinar: How Two Colleges Quickly Set Up Online Proctoring

Implementing software or any new technology can be a daunting task, but what if that implementation was strategically streamlined, expertly project managed, and fully supported throughout? Hear from two current Honorlock online proctoring customers as they speak to their experience implementing our online exam technology.

During this implementation webinar, each college will describe:

  • Implementation experience
  • The simple and speedy implementation timeline
  • Who was involved in the decision process and actual implementation
  • Ongoing technical support

Speakers:

Honorlock online proctoring customer

Cody Moyer

Director of Learning Technology Polk State College

Steven Daniello

Director of Assessment Services Indian River State College

Jose Gonzalez

Director of Customer Success @Honorlock

Making Sense of G2 Ratings for Online Proctoring

G2's ratings of the best online proctoring in 2023

G2 is the largest and most trusted peer-to-peer software review site with about 80 million people each year and over 2.2 million authentic reviews. 

Two important words to remember from above:authentic reviews

Companies can’t buy their way to the top. Reviews can’t be influenced or manipulated. They have serious review validation processes to make sure of it. 

G2 is the go-to for real reviews that compare online proctoring software and services. The reviews include ratings of more generalized topics, like ease of use and meeting requirements, and they cover specific proctoring features and functionality.

This article will give you context about the specific features and functionality and why they’re so important if you’re comparing proctoring software and services. See a breakdown of the ratings here.

ID verification

Verifies that the person taking the proctored exam is the person getting credit.

Obviously, you want to know that the person taking the proctored exam is the person getting credit for it. While most online proctoring platforms have ID verification, they aren’t the same. Some are quick and simple. Others are time-consuming and invasive.

Consider these questions as you’re comparing online proctoring software:

Honorlock’s ID verification captures a picture of the test-taker and their photo ID and ensures the name on the ID matches the name in the LMS in about a minute. No facial recognition. That’s it.

ID verification ratings

Browser lockdown

Blocks access to other browsers and software.

If you’re only using browser lockdown software to proctor online exams, you’re essentially just locking your windows but leaving your doors wide open. 

Meaning that only locking the browser won’t really prevent cheating. If a test taker has a cell phone, they can get around it.

But a browser lock is still an important part of a larger solution. And instructors may even want to allow access to certain sites while blocking all others. For example, allowing access to course notes or an online study, while blocking all other sites. Some allow that, some don’t. Make sure the solution’s browser locking is customizable.

Honorlock’s Browser Guard, which is just one component of a comprehensive proctoring solution, is customizable to block all sites and software or allow the ones you want, and it prevents keyboard shortcuts like copying and pasting. 

Browser lockdown software ratings

Video recording

Records test takers’ behavior during the proctored exam session.

Video recording is a staple of proctoring, but it’s important to understand how it’s done and how it’s used.

Do you only want behavior recorded to watch later? Or do you want AI to monitor behavior during the exam, record it, and you’ll just watch the important behaviors that need your attention?

Honorlock’s AI uses the webcam to monitor and record behavior. If the AI detects suspicious behavior during the exam, it alerts a live proctor to review and intervene if necessary. After the exam is over, instructors and admins get a report with proctor-verified violations and can access time-stamped video recordings in full HD quality (many proctoring services only provide SD).

Video recording ratings

Automatic behavior flagging

Uses AI or algorithms to automatically flag test takers’ behavior.

This is one part of online proctoring that separates the best from the rest. 

From cell phone detection and video monitoring to sound detection and room scans, there are many AI proctoring tools to consider that impact the entire experience for all users.

Some AI proctoring software will flag almost anything.

Sneezing – flag.

Talking to themselves – flag.

Looking away from the screen while thinking – flag.

These distract test takers and create more work for administrators during exam reviews. But Honorlock’s approach avoids distractions and extra work. Powerful AI monitors behavior and alerts a live proctor if it detects suspicious behavior. The proctor can review the behavior and decide whether to intervene or not. If the behavior isn’t problematic, the proctor won’t intervene and administrators can skip it when they review. 

AI behavior flagging ratings

Live proctors

A live human proctor is available for an exam session.
Which option would you prefer?

Option 1: There’s a box on your screen of a proctor watching you take an exam

Option 2: No box with a stranger watching you take your exam, and you’ll only interact with a proctor via chat if there’s any behavior that needs to be addressed

Most would choose Option 2 because it isn’t creepy and distracting… And that’s the approach Honorlock uses. You’ll also want to consider what the interactions are like between test takers and proctors. Honorlock’s full-time online proctoring team received training from a nationally certified counselor and educator on providing help and support during moments of test anxiety and frustration. This helps create a better test environment that reduces anxiety and allows test takers to focus.

Live proctoring ratings

Test session reports

Reports containing details about test taker behaviors and suspicious activities.

Test reports can save admins a lot of time… or waste a lot of time.

If you want to save time, make sure that the reports are:

Honorlock’s exam reports save time and make the review process simple. After proctored exams are complete, instructors/admins can access in-depth reports with time-stamped recordings within the LMS dashboard. Reports include test taker violations and notable or suspicious behaviors/activities. In addition, proctors will send a detailed email to test administrators about suspicious behavior observed.

Proctored exam reports ratings

Online proctoring dashboard

A dashboard to view exam trends and overall usage.

How can you monitor proctoring utilization across the institution? How do you determine if the online proctoring platform is actually effective?

In 2023, Honorlock plans to release the most robust analytics reporting available in the online proctoring space. 

The analytics dashboard will allow institutions to:

Honorlock’s dashboard will provide powerful, on-demand analytics empowering institutions to uphold equity, integrity, and exam security by understanding usage trends.

Proctoring dashboard ratings

LMS integrations

The proctoring platform’s integration with Learning Management Systems.

The integration between the online proctoring platform and the LMS impacts the entire experience for every user. It’s the difference between a secure proctoring platform that’s easy to use and a frustrating experience that puts security at risk.

 

Honorlock’s direct LMS integration means that:

Honorlock’s proctoring platform integrates with Blackboard Learn, Instructure Canvas, Moodle, D2L Brightspace, and Intellum. We also offer custom LMS integrations.

Proctoring LMS integration ratings

Other things to look for to find the best online proctoring service and software

Cell phone detection

Some online proctoring services claim to have cell phone detection, but Honorlock has the most robust cell phone detection available. 

Honorlock’s AI proctoring software can detect when students attempt to use their cell phones to access test bank content during the tests, and we’re the only online proctoring company detecting device sharing apps like Apple Handoff.

Technology that finds leaked test content

Honorlock’s Search & Destroy technology scours the internet to find leaked exam questions. If leaked exam questions are found, instructors are given simple steps to take control of their exams’ integrity.

Unlike the technologies at proctoring companies, instructors using Search and Destroy typically won’t have to deal with the hassle of manually selecting which questions they would like to search for. In just a few minutes, Search and Destroy searches all questions included in the exam.

Live US-based support 24/7/365

If proctored exams are available 24/7/365, support should be available at all times too. The quality of support matters too. Ask proctoring services about support satisfaction and support response times. 

Honorlock offers 24/7/365 live human support at no extra cost. Our support response time is less than five seconds, and we have the highest support satisfaction rating (93%) on G2 for online proctoring companies.

 

Flat-rate cost

Variable prices can add up quickly. Find an online proctoring service, like Honorlock, that offers online proctoring at a flat rate cost per user or exam. Including implementation and 24/7/365 live human support.

While there are many online proctoring companies offering different software and services, make sure that you’re choosing the right one for your needs. We encourage you to dig into G2’s reviews for online proctoring because we know that you’ll come to the same conclusion that many others have: Honorlock is the leader in online proctoring and a true partner in academic integrity.



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5 questions to consider if you aren’t proctoring online exams

Top questions to consider if you aren't proctoring online exams

If you aren’t using online proctoring (or just not using the right kind), you may be giving an unfair advantage to some test-takers and missing out on opportunities to test knowledge in nontraditional formats – even in a remote environment.

While most approach their online exams with integrity, some take advantage of unauthorized resources that are available in a remote testing environment, gaining an unfair advantage over others – maybe even unknowingly or innocently. 

These unauthorized resources can include things like: notes and textbooks, or using cell phones and searching the internet during exams, which puts the academic integrity of your online exams at risk.

Consider these questions if you:
  • Do not use any online proctoring services or services
  • Only use browser lockdown software
  • Only use automated proctoring software (no human proctors) or live proctoring services (one proctor watching multiple test-takers at once)

How would you know if a test taker uses a cell phone to look up answers?

Without online proctoring software, test takers can use cell phones and other devices to look up answers during the test.

Browser lockdown software can’t detect cell phones, and some remote proctoring companies rely on live proctors seeing the cell phone to “detect” it. 

Does it really work? Eh, not always. It’s pretty easy for a proctor to miss the cell phone because they may be watching a dozen test takers at once and the phone may be used out of view of the webcam.

So, how can proctored exams detect phones?

Unless you want to rely on a busy proctor seeing a phone, consider using Honorlock’s online proctoring platform to detect cell phone use.

How can Honorlock detect phones?

Honorlock’s online proctoring software can detect when test takers attempt to use cell phones or other devices to access test bank content during the test.

If it detects cell phone use, it alerts a test proctor to enter the test session and address the situation. It also flags the behavior for the instructor to review in a report after the proctored exam.

See how Honorlock can detect cell phones

How would you know the person taking the test is the same person getting credit for the class?

If you can’t verify the test-taker’s identity, you may be giving credit where credit is not due.

Without proctoring tools for online exams, your options are limited.

  • The good news: most online proctor companies offer ways to authenticate ID.
  • The bad news: it can be a complicated, time-consuming process that may put your data at risk.

Be sure that the online proctor companies you evaluate offer a quick, easy, and secure way to authenticate ID.

How does Honorlock’s proctoring platform authenticate ID?

In about a minute, the online proctoring platform captures a picture of the test-taker along with their photo ID to authenticate identity.

That covers the quick and easy parts, but what about security?

From our technology for remote proctoring to ongoing employee training, Honorlock takes a security-first approach in everything we do, including ID authentication.

Our remote proctoring software does not use face recognition or other biometric technologies (e.g., fingerprints or voiceprints) to identify test takers, and it doesn’t identify individual faces, store facial elements, or match faces to a database.

Learn about ID authentication with Honorlock

Are any of your test questions leaked online?

Have you ever found your test questions leaked on the internet? It’s pretty annoying, right?

Online forums (e.g., Reddit & Quora) and homework help sites (e.g., Chegg & Quizlet) have made it all too easy to find and share your test content.

How can you find leaked test content?

You basically have three options to find leaked test content:

  1. Copying and pasting each test question into the search engine, one-by-one, and reviewing tons of results

  2. Using basic proctor software to manually select questions you want it to search for

  3. Searching the internet automatically for all of your leaked test questions in a few minutes with Honorlock’s Search & Destroy technology for remote proctoring

Here’s how Honorlock’s Search & Destroy proctoring technology works

After enabling Honorlock’s online proctor software, Search & Destroy automatically scours the internet for all of your test questions in a few minutes. A simple report shows if leaked content is found and then you can send takedown requests with one click.

See how Search & Destroy works

What if you could remotely proctor hands-on assessments in an online environment?

Whether traditional questions (multiple-choice, etc.) or non-traditional formats (see below), Honorlock helps you customize the proctoring tools and settings needed to protect nearly any assessment activity.

Non-traditional activities that can be remotely proctored using Honorlock:

Open-book questions

Test takers have access to specific physical resources (e.g., textbooks) and/or digital resources (e.g., online research journals) during the exam, while all other resources are prohibited.
See how to proctor open-book exams with Honorlock

Handwritten math problems & essays

Test takers complete handwritten math problems and essay responses using pen and paper.
How to proctor handwritten math problems & essays

Using software to complete tasks

Software like Microsoft Excel and Quickbooks can be used to complete real-world tasks during online exams.
Learn how Honorlock remotely proctors software use during an exam

Online presentations & demonstrations

Using the webcam to conduct presentations and demonstrations in a remote environment.
See how to proctor online presentations & demonstrations

What if you could reduce test anxiety with remote proctoring software?

Test anxiety is common, especially in an online environment. A university survey showed that 64% of test takers agreed that “taking an online test makes me nervous.”

But the good news is that the same survey showed that Honorlock’s blended proctoring solution, which combines AI and human review, reduced test anxiety.

Test anxiety survey results summary after taking online proctored exams using Honorlock:

  • 6% decrease in test anxiety between their first & second proctored exams
  • 15% decrease in anxiety associated with the statement, “Thoughts about the proctor interfered with my concentration.”
  • 100% felt less anxious after interacting with an Honorlock proctor

Download the full anxiety survey eBook here

Online proctoring FAQ

What is online proctoring?

Online proctoring means monitoring test taker behavior with software and/or services to create a fair and equitable test environment that protects exam integrity.

Common online proctoring tools include: video monitoring, browser lockdown, audio monitoring, and ID verification. 

Some online proctor companies, like Honorlock, offer advanced tools that:

  • Detect cell phones and voices
  • Find leaked test content automatically
  • Combine software with human review
  • Proctor exams online with live US-based support 24/7/365

Why should you proctor exams online?

Most assume that online exam proctoring is just to catch cheating, but it does much more. 

In addition to preventing cheating, online proctoring is a strategic advantage and fundamental piece of distance learning that helps:

  • Instructors customize exams
  • Support test takers and reduce test anxiety
  • Assess knowledge with different question formats
  • Protect reputation and scale online testing
  • Provide flexibility to take proctored exams 24/7/365

What industries use online exam proctoring?

Online exam proctoring is often used in higher education and by organizations offering professional education programs.

Online proctoring in higher education

Universities and colleges use online proctoring services and software for: 

  • General testing needs for online courses
  • High-stakes exams, like midterms and finals
  • On-campus testing centers
  • Entrance exams

Online proctoring for corporate and professional education

Organizations of all sizes typically use proctored exam platforms and services for: 

How does online proctoring work with Honorlock?

Honorlock’s blended online proctoring solution combines AI software with human review. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Honorlock’s proctoring platform integrates directly with the LMS, which means:
  • Instructors create exams like they already do, then select the remote proctoring tools and settings they want to use.
  • Test takers log into the LMS like they normally do (no extra logins or passwords), verify ID, launch the proctored exam, and get live support 24/7/365.
  • The online proctoring software monitors exams and alerts a proctor if it detects potentially problematic behavior.
  • Once alerted, they can review the situation in an analysis window to determine whether or not to intervene and address the situation.
  • After the proctored exams are completed, instructors can access reports with timestamped recordings within the LMS.

Honorlock provides the best way to proctor exams online for a few reasons:

  • Our remote proctoring platform integrates directly with the LMS, which makes it easy to use because it’s basically the same test environment
  • AI with human review protects academic integrity with a human touch
  • Proctored exams with live support can be taken 24/7/365
  • It reduces test anxiety because there are fewer distractions and test takers aren’t being watched the entire time

Why is Honorlock the best online proctoring software?

According to peer-to-peer review site, G2, Honorlock is the best online proctoring software because it’s easy to use, simple to set up, and live, US-based support is available 24/7/365.

Our online proctoring services and software create a better test environment that brings integrity, humanity, and confidence to online testing without sacrificing security or academic integrity.

Ready to proctor exams online with Honorlock?
Fill out the form to see how Honorlock’s test proctoring software & services work

Best Online Proctoring for Nursing Programs

Best online proctoring solution for online nursing program exams

More nurses = more exams to complete their education and training

And it’s safe to say that nursing students take A LOT of exams throughout their educational journey, and for good reason – because nurses save lives.

 

Online nursing programs face challenges

While online education is flexible and convenient, it can be challenging to prevent cheating on exams – especially without the right online proctoring solution in place.

Without online proctoring, you may find your test questions leaked on the internet, students can use cell phones to look up answers, and they can take exams with other students.

The right proctoring solution does more than prevent cheating on exams

Online proctoring allows nursing programs to test students in more ways that show knowledge AND practical application without concerns of exam cheating.

What if you could use these exam activities in an online environment and still prevent cheating?

What’s the best way to proctor online nursing exams?

The best proctoring solution for nursing exams combines AI monitoring software with human review. This type of solution is referred to as blended online proctoring or blended proctoring solution.

What’s a blended online proctoring solution?

A blended proctoring solution combines AI exam monitoring software and human proctors to monitor student behavior, prevent cheating, and support students during exams.

 

Why’s this the most effective way of proctoring online nursing exams?

Because AI is good, but it isn’t perfect and neither are humans. While both have strengths, they’re most effective when they’re combined.

Combining AI with human review creates a noninvasive test environment with fewer distractions, works for many different exam formats, and streamlines the review process.

What kinds of nursing exams can be proctored?

Certain blended proctoring solutions, such as Honorlock’s, work for pretty much any question formats and exam activities such as:

How does online proctoring work with a blended solution?

What other exam proctoring features are available?

These proctoring features are available in addition to the combination of AI and human review:

Software that automatically searches for leaked test content

Have you ever found your test question leaked on the internet?

It’s an unfortunate byproduct of homework help sites and internet forums. But online proctoring platforms have AI that can identify leaked test content.

Which option sounds the best to you?

Option 1: manually click each and every test question you want the proctoring platform to search for, wait for the results, and spend time sending takedown requests to each and every one.

Option 2: automatically search the internet for all of your test questions in a few minutes and send takedown requests in a single click

Unless you like time consuming, manual tasks, you probably picked Option 2. The best online proctoring platform provides features to protect your test content and save you time.

Video for monitoring behavior, ID verification, and room scans

The student’s webcam is used to: 

Direct LMS integration

A direct integration between your LMS and the proctoring platform is a game changer. This integration ultimately impacts the testing environment, ease of use, and data security.

The direct integration between Honorlock’s proctoring platform and the LMS creates a testing experience and environment that’s pretty much the same for educators and students with the exception of a few clicks. This integration also means no extra passwords or logins needed for students or educators.

Nursing educator proctoring experience

Nurse educators will create exams just like they already do. And they can customize exam settings with a couple clicks. After the proctored exams are done, educators can view reports and recordings without leaving the LMS.

Nursing student proctored exam experience


It’s just as simple for students taking the nursing exam. They log into the LMS they’re already comfortable with, verify ID, and launch the exam. Students can also get support during the exam without leaving the LMS.

Voice detection, not sound detection

Most proctoring platforms use sound detection instead of voice detection. The terms are used interchangeably but they’re not the same.

The best online proctoring software takes this a step further by providing a transcript of what the student said.

Browser lockdown software

Nursing educators can enable a browser lock to prevent students from accessing other browsers and applications, restrict some keyboard functions, and record the student’s desktop.

Note: browser lockdown software is an entry-level tool that really shouldn’t be used as your only proctoring solution for exams in your nursing program. They only cover a small portion of exam cheating and students can easily work around them.

Timestamped recordings and reports

The best remote proctoring software collects extensive data during the exam and provides actionable reports and time-stamped recordings within the LMS.

The proctored exam reports are in a simple format that’s easy to read and includes relevant information about student activity, like suspicious behavior and potential violations.

No scheduling required to take proctored nursing exams

On-demand proctoring services like Honorlock provide nursing students with the flexibility and convenience of taking exams and getting support 24/7/365 without leaving the LMS.

 

What company has the best proctoring software and services for online nursing exams?

Honorlock’s blended solution is the best online proctoring software to protect online nursing exams. It’s also the highest rated proctoring software on peer-to-peer review site, G2.

Here’s a Honorlock review by a nursing program staff member posted on peer-to-peer software review site, G2:

Why aren’t other proctoring solutions as effective?
Some proctoring solutions do very little, but some do a lot more. So, it depends on your definition of “effective” and what your goals are. If you’re only looking for an inexpensive proctoring solution that checks the box, like browser lockdown software, just remember that you get what you pay for. You can use AI or live proctors to monitor exams, but they both have limitations. AI covers some things, but like any technology, it needs human oversight to truly harness its effectiveness. And only using live proctors can lead to scheduling issues, test anxiety, and unexpected testing costs.

Now that you know more about the benefits of online proctoring for nursing program exams, read part 2 of this series to see how it’s actually applied.

We’ll show you real examples of how to proctor nursing exam activities like:

13 Features of the Best Online Proctoring Companies

Compare platform software and services of the best online proctoring companies

Researching the best online proctoring services and software?

Finding the best online proctoring company is difficult because each offers different platforms, features, and services. We’re here to help.
Click to jump to that section.

Here are the online proctoring platforms and services we’ll refer to:

Browser lockdown: entry-level exam monitoring software prevents use of other browsers and applications.

Live human proctoring: a proctor simultaneously monitors multiple test-takers in real-time.

Automated proctoring (AI proctoring): only uses AI software to monitor behavior.

Automated (AI) + live proctoring: AI software monitors behavior and alerts a human proctor if it detects potential academic dishonesty

13 things to look for in the best online proctoring services and software
1. Combines AI and humans to improve accuracy and the user experience

When you create a document in Microsoft Word, do you accept every grammar suggestion without reviewing it first? Hopefully not.

And after you proofread and make some suggested changes, you may use assistive writing software, like Grammarly, to double-check your work.

Why do we do this?

Because even though AI is powerful, it isn’t perfect, and humans make mistakes. We use AI in many ways but still review it because there are nuances that need human oversight. This everyday example highlights the value of AI and humans working together.

It’s the same situation for online exam proctoring. AI exam monitoring software and human proctors are independently good at certain things, but they’re more effective when combined.

Consider this scenario: You’re a remote proctor responsible for monitoring a dozen test-takers at once. It’d be easy to miss things, right?

But what if the AI monitors test takers’ behavior and alerts a proctor if it detects any problems? And then they can review the situation one-to-one instead of one-to-a dozen before intervening?

The best online proctoring service does that. This approach creates a better testing environment with fewer distractions and improves proctoring accuracy.

2. Detects cell phones and other devices

Most people have cellphones or other devices, which is why you need to find online proctoring that can detect when they’re being used to look up answers.

In addition to detecting cell phones, the online proctoring software should detect device sharing apps like Apple Handoff.

3. Blocks ChatGPT and other AI tools

If you’re looking to stop AI tools like ChatGPT and Transcript browser extension, you’ll need a lot more than browser lockdown software and a plagiarism checker.

A browser lock is a good start, but what if a test taker has a cell phone? And plagiarism checkers are ineffective at detecting AI generated content.

To stop ChatGPT and other AI, you need a comprehensive proctoring solution with a variety of tools such as: cell phone detection, video monitoring, voice detection (not sound detection), and a blend of AI with live proctoring.

4. Flat-rate pricing helps avoid variable costs

Variable costs can add up quickly depending on the proctoring company’s pricing model.

Consider this scenario: You’re using an online proctoring company that charges per hour.

You budgeted for 500 hours of exam proctoring, but the exams take longer than expected, and you’re billed for 650 hours.

How much extra would that cost you? Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, it’s too much.

To help protect your bottom line and estimate testing costs, find an online proctoring company with a flat rate cost per exam or test-taker.

5. The online proctoring software is easy to use and does everything you need

If you invest in online proctoring software, make sure it gets used.

Clunky proctoring software can create a bad user experience that ultimately decreases adoption and requires more time for training.

Ease of use doesn’t mean less functionality. The best test proctoring software makes it easy to use advanced, customizable proctoring features in just a few clicks – even for the least tech-savvy people.

6. Automatically identifies leaked test questions

Unfortunately, it’s common to find leaked test questions on the internet. It’s a frustrating aspect of online learning that puts your tests and reputation at risk.

“If all of our quizzes are out there on the internet where anyone can look up the answers, what kind of quality is that degree?”– Cody Moyer, Director of Learning Technology, Polk State College

But you have a few options to search for your leaked test content:

Option 1: Individually entering your test questions into an internet search tool and reviewing all of the results.

Option 2: Manually selecting each test question to be searched for by the proctoring software and sending individual takedown requests if any are found.

Option 3: Enabling the online proctoring platform to automatically search the internet for all of your test questions and sending takedown requests with a single click.

Which option sounds best? Option 3 because it’s efficient and effective.
That’s the difference between using the best proctoring software to find leaked test content versus software that checks the box.

7. Proctored exams and support are available 24/7/365

People have busy lives and need the flexibility to take exams and get live support 24/7/365.

“Having access to customer support 24/7/365 is huge. Especially when students may be taking exams at any time of day. You want them to have access to someone who can troubleshoot with them.” – Daphnee St. Val, Senior Instructional Designer, Broward College
Read about Daphnee’s experience with proctoring

Support questions to ask online proctoring companies:

8. Proctoring settings are customizable

With some remote proctoring platforms, you’re stuck with out-of-the-box settings, whether you want to use them or not.

The inability to disable specific features of the proctored exam platform limits customization and can negatively impact the exam experience. The best proctoring platforms allow test admins to pick and choose which features to enable or disable in a few clicks.

“Instructors like how they can set different parameters in the exams. It’s a better experience for the students because instructors can be very specific.” – Paula Rodriguez, Former Director of the University Testing Center, Colorado State University.
Read about Paula’s experience with proctoring

The best proctoring services also allow admins to give instructions that provide accommodations, such as bathroom breaks, extended exam times, alternative assessment activities, and assistive devices.

9. Proctors traditional questions and alternative assessment activities

Most remote proctoring companies offer at least one way to protect traditional test questions, like multiple-choice and true-or-false. But what about proctoring alternative assessment activities, sometimes called authentic assessments, like live virtual presentations or preparing balance sheets in Excel?

Browser lockdown software isn’t nearly enough. AI-only won’t cut it, and live proctoring-only could be a scheduling disaster and lead to variable costs.

The most effective way to protect alternative assessments is to combine customizable remote proctoring software with live human review.

Test admins should be able to choose which proctoring features to use and provide the live proctor with detailed instructions and test rules for further customization that cover the many nuances of alternative assessments.

How to use remote proctoring tools in online alternative assessments:
Example alternative assessment activity: giving virtual presentations

 

Example alternative assessment activity: completing a balance sheet in Excel

 

10. The proctoring platform directly integrates with your LMS

A proctoring platform that directly integrates with your learning management system can speed up implementation, improve ease of use, secure data, and it usually means that no extra passwords or logins are required.

“You want an integrated system. You don’t want faculty and students to have separate sign-ons. That was important for us.” – Steven Daniello, Director of Assessment Services, Indian River State College
Read about Steven’s experience with proctoring

11. Uses voice detection instead of sound detection

The terms “voice detection” and “sound detection” are interchangeably used, but they’re significantly different.

 

Which do you think is more likely to create a false flag?

While voice detection is a powerful tool, the best remote proctoring service takes it a step further by creating a transcript of what’s said by the test-taker.

12. Reports and recordings give actionable insights and help streamline the review process

The online proctoring solution should provide exam reports with timestamped recordings within the LMS to help speed up review and give admins better test performance insights.

“I felt that I couldn’t trust my test scores… 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. Honorlock helped me make sense of what was going on.” – Ryan P. Mears, PhD, Lecturer, University of Florida
Read about Ryan’s experience with proctoring

13. Online proctoring companies should take a security-first approach

From security software and technologies to ongoing training and employee onboarding, thoroughly vet the security practices of online proctoring companies because their security becomes your security.

Ask these questions about security of the online proctoring platform and company:

Security testing and employee training

Data security and privacy

 

Tip: Review the proctoring company’s privacy policy, which should be publicly available

 

What’s the best proctoring software and service?

Honorlock-reviews-for-best-online-proctoring-software-and-service-e1660054634632-264x300

Honorlock is the highest-rated online proctoring software on the peer-to-peer review site, G2. Honorlock earned this score thanks to its ease of use, quality of support, and simple setup.

What is Honorlock?

Honorlock is an online proctoring company that combines advanced software and services to protect the integrity of online exams for higher education and professional education.

How does Honorlock work?

Honorlock’s online exam proctoring software monitors behavior and alerts a live human proctor if it detects potential issues.

Once alerted, the proctor can review the situation in an analysis window before deciding whether to intervene or not.

This is the best way to proctor online exams because it protects academic integrity and creates a fair, equitable, and non-invasive test environment. While other online proctoring services just try to catch cheating on exams, Honorlock supports and empowers test-takers and administrators.

 

Direct quotes from Honorlock reviews on G2, a peer-to-peer software evaluation site.
Get in touch with our team to see why Honorlock
is the best online proctoring company

Is a Browser Lockdown Worth It? Probably Not. But Why?

Is the cost of browser lockdown software worth it?

A browser lockdown may check the box for entry-level proctoring needs for some exams. But the problem is that it’s easy to work around because it only protects against one very specific aspect of cheating.

So, is it worth the cost investment? Nope.

If you’re investing in an online proctoring platform, it should be able to detect and prevent all aspects of exam cheating while remaining cost-effective.

Consider this:
If you’re only proctoring online exams with a browser lockdown, test takers are still able to do the following without detection:

The examples above are just a few of the many reasons that only using browser lockdown software isn’t enough to protect online exams and probably isn’t worth the investment.

Is the browser lock protecting academic integrity and preventing cheating in the examples above? Not really.

If the browser lockdown software isn’t protecting academic integrity, is it worth the investment? Probably not.

Are there other proctoring platforms that can comprehensively deter cheating on exams and still be cost-effective? Yes (and we’ll show you).

This article briefly explains what browser lockdown software is, provides the pros and cons, and shows you alternative options for online proctoring services and platforms.

What is a browser lockdown and how does it work?

Browser lockdown software is an entry-level online proctoring platform that helps prevent cheating by restricting access to other websites and applications and disabling keyboard functionality.

 

What are the pros and cons of browser lockdown software?

As you can see from the comparison chart below, the limitations of browser lockdown software greatly outweigh the benefits it provides.

So, what’s a better online proctoring platform option and why?

To comprehensively prevent cheating, protect academic integrity, and support test takers, you need a blended proctoring platform that combines AI with human review.

How does an online proctoring platform like this work?

The proctoring platform uses AI to monitor each exam session for potential academic dishonesty and alerts a live proctor to join the test takers’ session in real-time if it detects any issues.

What are the features and benefits of a blended proctoring platform?

In addition to a browser lock, when you use a proctoring company like Honorlock, you’ll enjoy these extensive additional features and benefits:

Cost-effectiveness and scalability

Honorlock’s online proctoring services and platform are available at a flat rate cost per exam or per test taker. This cost structure helps you accurately estimate testing costs and prevent variable costs. Our proctoring services also include implementation of the online proctoring platform, training, and 24/7/365 US-based support at no additional cost.

Protects exam questions and content

Honorlock’s Search & Destroy technology searches the internet to identify leaked exam questions. If leaked exam content is found, test administrators are given simple steps to take control of their exams’ integrity by sending content takedown requests in one click and updating exam content.

Monitors test takers’ behavior through the webcam

The webcam is used to monitor behavior throughout the exam and provides test administrators with timestamped recordings and reports afterward. The webcam is also used during the room scan and ID verification process.

Detects voices, not just sounds

Honorlock’s voice detection software won’t create endless flags for test takers coughing or talking to themselves during an exam.

Instead, the software listens for specific keywords or phrases, such as “Hey Siri” or “OK Google,” and alerts a live proctor to intervene if necessary.

Customizes exams in a few clicks

Honorlock provides test administrators with the ability to customize proctored exams in just a few clicks. The test administrator creates the exam in the LMS like they already do and then they’ll click to choose which proctoring features to enable or disable. They can also provide the exam instructions for further customization for each exam and even specific test takers.

Proctors alternative assessments and traditional question formats

The blend of AI and human review along with the ability to provide detailed proctor instructions and test rules means that whether it’s multiple-choice questions, math problems using pen and paper, handwritten essays, or open book formats, all test activities will be protected.

Can detect the use of cell phones

Our online proctoring platform can detect when test takers attempt to use their cell phones to access test bank content during the exam.

Verifies test taker ID in 60 seconds

ID verification is quick and simple with Honorlock. The proctoring software uses the webcam to capture a picture of the test-taker along with their photo ID.

Provides 24/7/365 proctored exams and live support

With Honorlock’s proctoring services and platform, proctored exams can be taken anytime, day or night, and both test takers and test administrators can get on-demand support from live, US-based support agents.

Helps reduce test anxiety

This blended solution uses AI to monitor exams and a live proctor will only intervene if potential issues are detected. This means the live proctor won’t be watching the test-taker the whole time.

Integrates with your LMS

A direct integration between Honorlock’s proctoring software and the LMS is key because it creates a familiar test environment and there are no extra passwords or logins needed.

Proctors exams within third-party platforms

Honorlock’s platform proctors exams on third-party platforms, such as MyMathLab, ALEKS, Pearson, and McGraw Hill.

To preserve academic integrity and create a fair testing environment, use Honorlock’s online proctoring platform and services to protect against all aspects of cheating on exams, not just one.

 

Add your information to see a demo of Honorlock’s online proctoring platform

How to Write an RFP for Online Proctoring Services

Download the online proctoring services RFP template to save time and find the right solution.

Creating a Request for Proposal (RFP) for online proctoring services can be daunting. Where do you start? Who’s involved? What questions should you ask? How do you create scoring criteria?

But don’t worry, this article details how to write an RFP for online proctoring services and you can save time by downloading a prewritten, customizable plug-and-play RFP template as a Word Doc or PDF.

How does the template work? It’s a fully customizable, plug-and-play template. We show you where to plugin your information (important deadlines, school name, number of students, etc.) and you can add, remove, and edit any questions and sections within the RFP.

Click the buttons below to skip ahead to each section
What is an RFP?
A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a document used to gather formal responses from vendors that offer specific products and services. RFPs provide the responding vendors with the project’s scope and goals, mandatory requirements, evaluation criteria, contract terms, and timeline.

Planning your online proctoring RFP

Better planning can help get the best responses

Determine who should be involved in the RFP process

Some institutions involve many different departmental stakeholders throughout the online proctoring RFP process, while others only include a few individuals. Determine who needs to be involved and what their expertise brings to the RFP creation and evaluation process.

When it comes to procuring online proctoring services, individual stakeholders may include instructors, directors of online learning, instructional designers, LMS administrators, testing center staff, IT, and security.

Decide what your make-or-break proctoring requirements are

With any RFP, you’ll have features, functionalities, and services that are mandatory, while others are nice to have. This will help save time during the creation process and will hopefully eliminate responses from online proctoring companies that don’t meet your requirements.

For example:

Create a comprehensive list of requirements and questions

This is where the bulk of the work begins for those involved. Your team will create a full list of requirements and questions for the online proctoring companies.

Organize the requirements and questions into specific sections

Once your team compiles a list of all the requirements and questions, break them into specific sections such as proctoring features and functionality, data security, support services, implementation, references, and pricing.

Create scoring criteria for the RFP

Explain how your team will evaluate responses and select a winner.

Scoring may be subjective, such as the team reading written responses and grading them on a scale of 1 – 10. Scoring can also be very objective, such as using a list of requirements with yes or no answers and simply adding up the scores in each column.

Some use weighted scoring where each category is worth a percentage of the total score. For example:

Regardless of your approach, make sure the online proctoring vendors have a clear idea of your scoring process.

Develop a timeline

Create a realistic timeline that accounts for every step of the evaluation process. Your timeline should provide proctoring companies and your institution with adequate time to review, ask questions, and develop appropriate responses.

Provide the dates and times for:

Creating an RFP introduction

This is where you need to consider what information the responding vendors need to provide the best responses. Explains the expectations and goals of implementing online proctoring software and what type of information you want in the RFP responses.

Provide important information to the proctoring vendors

Create detailed response instructions

Having uniform RFP responses makes it easier to review, so give exact details of how you want responses provided. This can include things like:

Vendor information

This section can be as concise or in-depth as you’d like. But the main goal is to get any information you need up front. This section can help vendors set the tone for what the institution can expect in the remainder of the RFP for proctoring services.

This can include things like an overview of features and benefits, security posture, key differentiators, recent achievements, similar customer institutions, and company history and information.

Be sure to include your own MSA or request the standard MSA from the proctoring vendor. You should also ask if and how redlining should be provided.

Online proctoring features and functionality requirements

Types of online proctoring

What type of online proctoring does the vendor offer?

Determine which type of online proctoring software and services your institution needs.

How will the online proctoring solution be used?

Each online proctoring solution has pros and cons, so it’s important to consider the number of students and assessments as well as the types of assessments.

For example, if your instructors plan to offer online authentic assessments, you’ll probably lean toward a solution that blends AI and live proctoring to cover all the nuances. In contrast, if instructors only want to prevent students from opening tabs, browser lockdown software is an option.

LMS integration

The LMS integration impacts virtually every aspect of the online proctoring experience. It’s the difference between a quick and easy implementation, or a clunky, frustrating experience.

Sound or voice detection

Make sure to differentiate smart voice detection from sound detection.

Generally speaking, each and every sound detected will be flagged by the proctoring software. In other words, unless the student is in a completely silent environment, any sound that’s detected can create a false flag, which creates a lengthy and frustrating review process for instructors.
That’s why it’s important to implement proctoring software with the voice detection described above rather than sounds. Ask the following questions:

Test content protection

Homework help sites make it easy for students to find and share test questions and answers. The proctoring technology should be able to identify when the instructors’ test questions are leaked on the internet.

A bonus is if the software allows the instructor to actually take action by removing the content and/or updating their test questions.

Third-party test proctoring

Make sure that the proctoring software can proctor exams on third-party testing platforms such as McGraw-Hill, MyMathLab, and Pearson.

Ask how the proctoring software works with the third-party platforms to make sure that it isn’t a clunky experience for instructors and students.

Some proctoring software makes it simple to proctor third-party exams; it’s just like proctoring within the LMS, just a step or two more). In a few clicks, instructors can set up proctoring and students can launch the exam.

Cell phone detection

This is especially important because most students have a cell phone or another device that they can potentially use during the exam to look up test answers.

ID verification process

The ID verification process can seem straightforward, but you need to understand how they’re verifying it, what personal information is collected, and how it’s stored. This is especially important to understand because some proctoring services don’t perform any AI checks against IDs; they only capture ID for review by a proctor or instructor, which means an even longer review process.

What’s the ID verification process like for students?

During the verification process, does the software use face recognition or face detection?

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re vastly different.

Browser guard

A browser guard, sometimes called browser lockdown software, is a pretty standard proctoring feature, but you should still ask how it works and what its limitations are. Keep in mind that browser lockdown software only protects one small aspect of potential academic misconduct.

Reports and recordings

You want to make sure that reports and recordings are easy to understand and quick to review.

Ask what student behavior is flagged and included in the reports and how instructors will actually access the reports. Ideally, instructors can review reports and export them without leaving the LMS.

You should also ask if the recordings are timestamped. Timestamps of important student activities are crucial for streamlining the video review process for instructors.

Accessibility

There’s a lot to consider with the accessibility of any software, and it’s the difference between having the ability to learn or being left out. Each aspect, no matter how small, makes a huge difference that can make or break the learning experience for some.

While web accessibility is a massive undertaking, we’ll provide key points to consider in this section and a full list of questions in the downloadable RFP template.

Accessibility standards

The proctoring software should be fully ADA accessible, compliant with Section 508, and developed to conform to WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines.

Development process and testing tools

Look for an online proctoring service that accounts for accessibility in their design process from start to finish. And be sure to ask what accessibility testing tools they use as part of this process.

Support and integration with other assistive technologies

What assistive technologies does it work with? e.g., screen readers, alternative keyboards, graphic organizers, etc.

Accommodations for students

Does the proctoring service allow instructors to provide accommodations for specific students, such as bathroom breaks, specific assistive devices, and extended time limits? Accommodations like these are crucial for some students to successfully complete their online exams.

VPAT

Ask for the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, which provides a standardized reporting format for product accessibility conformance.

Data security RFP information

Data security is one of the most important aspects for instructors, institutions, and students using online proctoring software and services. Keep in mind that their security becomes your security.

There’s a lot of information to cover in this section, but we’ll summarize it here and you can a full list of online proctoring security questions in the RFP template that you can download.

Data security and privacy

Data security software and technologies
Disaster planning and response

Security maturity and employee training

Proctoring services for support, implementation, and training

Features and functionality of proctoring software are great, but support, implementation, and training are equally important to your overall success.

Support

Customer success

 

Implementation and training

Ultimately, you need to ensure that implementation is quick and easy and that your faculty are trained and confident.

References

If possible, you’ll want to ask for customer references that are similar to your institution’s type, size, and offerings.

Online proctoring pricing

Look for an appropriate pricing model that fits your needs so that you can accurately predict and anticipate testing costs. Does the company provide flat rate pricing? If not, consider the variable costs associates for different services.

Ask for comprehensive pricing options based on the proctoring service’s various offerings and ask for anticipated additional fees based on your RFP requirements.

Complete the form & we’ll send you the RFP documents

How Does Online Proctoring Work?

How does online proctoring work and what is it?

What is online proctoring?

Online proctoring uses monitors online exams with software and/or live proctors to prevent cheating and support test takers.

Four types of online proctoring:

  1. Browser lockdown: prevents test takers from using other browsers and keyboard functions
  2. AI proctoring (automated): monitors online exams with AI proctoring software only
  3. Live proctoring: a live proctor watches test takers the entire time they take the exam
  4. Blended proctoring: Combines AI proctoring with live proctors. AI monitors exams and alerts a live proctor if it detects potential dishonesty. Blended solutions typically include browser lockdown software.

Can online proctoring be used on different exam formats?

Online proctoring can be used for nearly any type of assessment. Whether it’s an online exam using standard question types (multiple choice and true/false), in-person tests, and even authentic assessments where a test taker 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 (LMS). A direct LMS integration makes it easy to proctor online exams; it streamlines implementation, no extra logins and passwords are needed, and it creates a familiar environment for exam takers and instructors.

Here’s how blended online proctoring works:

Instructors 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.

Test takers get set up and start the online proctored exam

  They’ll 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 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 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 test taker and then help them get back on track.

Instructors 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.

Online proctoring features

We’ll break the proctoring features in this section into two parts:
  1. Common: features used by most online proctoring companies
  2. Exclusive: features used by one or very few proctoring solutions

Common online proctoring features

  • Video monitoring: uses the webcam to monitor behavior, scan the testing room, and verify ID
  • Basic audio monitoring: monitors audio but doesn’t listen for specific keywords or phrases that can indicate potential dishonesty
  • Browser lock: an entry-level proctoring feature that just prevents the use of other browsers and certain keyboard functions
  • ID verification: uses the webcam to verify identity

Exclusive online proctoring features

  • Cell phone detection: AI software that can detect when test takers attempt to use their cell phones or other devices to access test bank content during the exam
  • 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 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 use online proctoring?

Online proctoring creates a fair test and equitable environment

While some believe that online proctoring is just used to catch 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 test takers

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

Provides instructors with valuable insight into test performance

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

Protects reputation

Reputation is a foundational element in higher education and any corporation. Prospective students, accrediting bodies, and employers need to know that the programs are academically sound.

Online exam proctoring services play a critical role in protecting 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 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 exam taker get back on track.

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Is a Browser Lock Enough to Protect Online Exams?

This article will show you what a browser lockdown can and cannot do and provide additional proctoring solutions to solve for areas that browser lockdown software may miss.

When it comes to proctoring online exams, browser lockdown software can help to a degree, but they lack features to truly protect your exams. A browser lock is a no-frills way to check the box of proctoring exams.

This article will show you what a browser lockdown can and cannot do and provide additional proctoring solutions to solve for areas that browser lockdown software may miss.

What is browser lockdown software?

Browser lockdown software helps prevent cheating on online exams by automatically restricting access to certain websites and alternative browsers on a student’s computer. They also disable keyboard shortcuts and other functions that might be used to gain an unfair advantage. 

Here’s what browser lockdown software can do:

  • Restricts access to other websites, browsers, and applications
  • Disables keyboard shortcuts and functions such as printing, copy and paste, and screen capture
  • Removes toolbar and menu options such as browser refresh, back, forward, and stop
  • Blocks the ability for students to minimize the browser display screen
  • Prevents students from exiting the exam until they submit it

While a browser lock checks the box as a baseline tool for institutions that proctor online exams, they’re only a small part of the picture for schools and faculty who seek to preserve academic integrity.

Why browser lockdown software isn’t enough to protect online exams

The features of browser lockdown software highlighted above will help prevent cheating, but there are significant things it cannot do:

Browser lockdown software can’t see the student

While a browser lock can “see” if a student attempts to access another browser tab or computer application or if the student attempts to use keyboard shortcuts, it doesn’t offer the benefits of video proctoring, which uses the student’s webcam to view them during the exam.

Video proctoring often involves recording the student’s exam session for later review by the proctor and instructor. Video proctoring is especially useful because it allows ID verification and can tell if a student is using unauthorized resources or if another person is in the room.

Cannot detect voices or audio

Browser lockdown software can’t hear when a student may be talking on the phone or asking a friend for an answer to a test question.

Some online proctoring software monitors the exam session and goes beyond simple audio detection by listening for specific keywords or phrases, such as “Hey Siri” or “OK Google.”

A browser lockdown can’t verify student ID

Student ID verification before a proctored exam has become a priority and a basic browser lockdown can’t solve this. With no video proctoring capabilities, browser lockdown software can’t verify student ID. 

Director of Learning Technology at Polk State College, Cody Moyer, summed it up perfectly, “If we can’t verify that our students are the ones who are completing the work, and all of our quizzes are out there on the internet where anyone can look up the answers, what kind of quality is that degree?”

Browser lockdown software can’t detect cell phones

A student can simply use their cell phone or another device to look up test questions and answers on the internet. But this weakness can be solved by multi-device detection software, as we’ll discuss in the next section.

Browser lockdown software lacks the human touch of online proctoring that students deserve

Because browser lockdown software is only an automated proctoring solution, there’s no human touch involved to help support students during the exam. We know that exams can cause anxiety and that technical issues can happen during the test and that’s where a human proctor can help students successfully complete their exams. Online proctoring services that combine AI test monitoring with human proctors are the best of both worlds.

Online proctoring options when browser lockdown software isn’t enough

The good news is that Honorlock provides a browser lock as a part of our standard proctoring features, but it also provides many more features and benefits such as:

 

  • Video proctoring 
  • Detecting cell phone use and voices 
  • Blending AI test monitoring software and live proctors
  • Verifying student ID
  • Reducing unauthorized use of your test questions and content on the Internet 

Advanced video proctoring

Early forms of video proctoring were unsettling for students because many didn’t appreciate having a remote proctor’s face hovering on the screen during the entire exam. 

Honorlock’s video proctoring capabilities allow:

  • 60-second ID verification
  • Room scans to make sure that no other people or test resources are present 
  • Detection of possible acts of academic dishonesty

Honorlock can detect cell phone use during proctored exams

Honorlock proctoring software can detect when students use a cell phone, tablet, or laptop to access test bank content during an online exam.

The proctoring software also captures a screen recording of specific websites that the student visited to provide evidence in the event of a violation. The recording can be reviewed by the instructor to determine if academic dishonesty occurred.

Verifies student ID in 60 seconds

Our remote proctoring software completes ID verification in about 60 seconds by capturing the content on the student’s ID along with their photo to make sure the student taking the online exam is the student getting credit.

Detects voices with Honorlock proctoring software

Honorlock’s smart Voice Detection feature listens for specific keywords or phrases to identify students who may be talking to another student or using Siri or Alexa to get the answers to test questions. If the proctoring software detects potential academic dishonesty, it alerts a live test proctor to enter the exam session to intervene and redirect the student.

Helps protect your test questions and answers from unauthorized use on the Internet

You’ve probably heard of students finding and sharing test questions and answers on test banks and homework-help sites. Maybe you’ve even seen your own test content on the Internet. It’s frustrating and it’s quick and simple for any test-taker. 

However, if instructors choose, Honorlock proctoring software searches for leaked test questions, answers, and content and can also request the removal of the material by filing DMCA copyright takedown notices.

Blends AI test monitoring with live test proctors

Honorlock was the first online proctoring service to combine the benefits of automated proctoring with those of a live test proctor. 

What is Honorlock and how does it work?

Our easy to use online proctoring software 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. 

This blend of AI and human review delivers a less intimidating proctored testing experience for the student because they aren’t constantly watched.

Choose to proctor online exams a better way

Browser lockdown software checks the box as a first line of defense against academic integrity but with all its shortcomings, choose to proctor online exams a better way with Honorlock. 

Our approach to online proctoring creates a non-invasive and fair testing environment that benefits the student, instructor, and institution.

Want to see Honorlock in action? Schedule a demo.

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