Why Online Proctoring is Critical to Assessment Integrity

With the move to virtual learning nearing its one-year mark, preventing online cheating and how to approach online proctoring have consistently been at the top of educators’ concerns.

And while COVID-19 isn’t the origin of online learning, it definitely forced many institutions to come up with plans to meet the virtual learning needs of students with vastly different priorities outside of school.

As learning moves online and physical campuses remain shut down (or reopen for all or some students and then shut down again as COVID cases increase), instructors must pinpoint how to navigate assessments and ensure academic integrity, honesty, and online security during online exams.

Online proctoring

Online proctoring isn’t anything new for all-online schools, but the approach is definitely “culture shock” for students who are not used to online learning.

Companies that offer online proctoring solutions have different solutions that offer various options, such as live proctors or artificial intelligence technology.

Assessments taken in classrooms during exam periods are proctored live with faculty in the room; projects and papers are evaluated by an instructor in campus offices or presented by students during class sessions. Personal presence and attention are the historical benchmarks for ensuring assessments are fair and objective.

But what happens when we put our exams and project/paper assessments online? How do instructors ensure the administration is fair for all students, and that the system has integrity? Many do this through live online proctoring.

With 1.2 billion learners impacted by COVID-19 school closures, proctor applications are becoming critical for ensuring test taking remains fair remotely. Because proctor applications require a lot of information from the user, such as webcam access, driver’s licenses, passports, and sometimes a complete computer takeover, the organizations behind these apps are responsible for keeping user data secure to protect privacy.

If this user data is breached, students are at an increased risk for identity theft and fraud. With institutions remaining online or hybrid, proctor application development will likely increase, so data protection and privacy must be front and center.

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