Introduction to Remote Proctoring
Technology is advancing rapidly. Different developments are taking place at a faster pace. Due to this, technology is entering each and every field or sector. Technology is on the way to becoming an inseparable part of the education sector.
Online education is trending worldwide and gaining tremendous popularity in India as well. Many schools, colleges and universities are switching over to the online mode of conducting classes and exams.
During live or online classes, teachers and students interact virtually. Conducting classes online is an easier task as compared to conducting online exams. Conducting online exams and their supervision can be a little tricky and cumbersome as the students need to appear for the exams from different/remote locations in different time zones or maybe in different languages.
It is a technique used to monitor the candidates appearing for online exams based at different locations. This technique helps the examiner or the proctor to supervise the exams remotely, that is, by using electronic devices such as web cameras and speakers. Using remote proctoring, one can rest assured of firmly maintaining the integrity of the online exam being conducted.
The process of remote proctoring not only includes supervision but also includes authorizing and authenticating the identity and other details of the candidates appearing for the online exam. For this, it uses many different mechanisms or features.
Now, let us understand the importance and need of remote proctoring in current times.
Why is Remote Proctoring important in current times?
As we know, supervision or vigilance is a crucial factor for any exam. In traditional exams, an invigilator used to personally supervise the candidates as they wrote their exams.
With the coronavirus outbreak, maintaining social distancing has become inevitable and educational entities deliberately had to switch to an Online mode of exam conduction.
The old traditional ways of conducting examinations are now gradually going out of date. We are bound to take up learning activities within the four walls of our houses. Hence, conducting courses and exams remotely has become a necessity.
Eklavvya’s solution for Remote proctoring addresses all the issues and requirements related to the conduction of online exams. It is one of the most advanced and reliable solutions for remote proctoring online exams.
Let us now see the different mechanisms offered by the Remote proctoring solution.
Secure Browser mechanism with Remote Proctoring
While an exam activity is going on, a candidate might try to open a new browser or window to search for the answers on the internet. This hampers the integrity of the Online Exam.
The secure browser mechanism prevents the user from opening any other window during examination activity. It ensures that the candidate’s browser windows are locked for other activities.
Hence, this feature makes it impossible to even switch to a new window. This helps in securing the exam from unauthorized cheating.
The secure browser feature is a part of Eklavvya’s professional plan. This feature also prevents the running of other applications such as recording software or screen capture in the background.
Hence, this feature provides overall security during online exams.
Secure Browser App
This app prevents the candidates from opening a new window during the online exam activity. The browser in which the exam activity is going should be the only one that is accessed by the candidate.
This also helps to block access for shortcut keys such as copy, paste or screen capture. This app can also stop any recording or screen-sharing software from running in the background.
If a candidate tries to move away from the current browser, then the system sends a warning message. These warning messages are stored together in the database for analysis.
If more than two such messages are generated for a specific candidate, then he/she can get suspended from the exam. It is possible to get a customized app installed on the machine or mobile phone. The candidates can log in and appear for the exam through this app. This will help to secure the online exam process.
Conducting Remote Proctored exams with Mobile Application
It is a fact that many of the students might not have access to computers or laptops, but they can certainly have access to mobile phones. Keeping this fact in mind, the Eklavvya platform has designed the application in such a way that the online exams can be conducted on mobile phones as well.
It is necessary to keep the front camera of the mobile phone ON as the sound needs to be on unmute mode before launching Eklavvya’s exam application. The front camera is used by the proctor to keep a watch on the activity of the candidate during the exam.
The speaker on the mobile phone captures the noise and voice notes audible from the background, where the candidate is appearing for the online exam from. Eklavvya’s online examination tool can enable the speakers to capture even the minute difference in the frequency of the sound. If the system notices even the smallest deviation, it flags an error notification.
Eklavvya’s mobile application for online exams verifies the identity of the candidate when the candidate shows a valid identity card to the mobile phone camera. Once the details are verified, it grants access to start the exam.
Eklavvya’s mobile application for Online Exams allows the candidates to type in their answers. There is also a utility available to upload the scanned answer sheets for evaluation through the mobile application itself.
Web Camera Enabled Online Exam with Remote Proctoring
The web camera is a mandatory essential during online exams. It is necessary for the candidate to keep the front camera on while launching the exam. The web camera is used for many different purposes. It is used for verifying the identity of the candidate by flashing the identity card to the camera. Once verified, the system provides access to start the exam.
For remote proctored online exams, the web camera acts as the eye of the invigilator as it utilizes it to its fullest potential.
Remote proctoring utilizes the web camera for multiple instances based on multifarious mechanisms that it uses to conduct exams in a secure environment.
Video-based proctoring is a live streaming-based remote proctoring mechanism which is fully based on the live streaming of the Online Exam activity. In video-based remote proctoring, the invigilator sitting on the other side of the screen gets complete video surveillance of the candidate’s room, through the web camera attached to the candidate’s laptop/computer/mobile phone.
On the other hand, Image-based Proctoring is a lightweight proctoring mechanism which uses the web camera attached to the candidate’s laptop/computer/mobile phone to capture pictures, after a set time interval, without the candidate’s notice. These pictures captured could later be analyzed to identify malpractices or cheating activities.
This way, a web camera is an essential and proven element of the online exam conduction process. It helps to prohibit cheating or some sort of malpractice.
Documents uploading during Remote Proctored Online Exam
Identity verification is a crucial aspect of any exam. The students appearing for the Online Exams are situated at different far-away locations. It is not possible for examiners to reach each one of them personally to validate their identity.
Therefore, the students need to upload scanned copies of all the proofs for their identity verification. This can be done by using the advanced scanners provided by Eklavvya.
The students can also show their valid identity cards to the web camera so that the system can scan them and verify the details. The exam begins only when all details and identity of the candidate are verified.
This helps to reduce the time consumed for verifying each document manually. Eklavvya also helps to keep track and store these documents belonging to candidates and thus prevents cheating due to unauthorized access during online exams.
Image Proctoring-based Online Exam
This is an important and very effective mechanism of remote proctoring. This lightweight feature authorizes and authenticates the identity of a candidate appearing for the exam.
During the exam activity, the web camera is used to capture the photos of the candidate after certain intervals of time (approximately 30 to 60 seconds). These photos are compared with the ones which are already scanned and stored in the system during validation.
This helps to keep a check on the candidate who attempts to cheat in disguise. If the system finds any deviation, then it is flagged as an error and notified to the administrator.
These photos are analyzed by the proctor to ensure the security of the online exam. This mechanism is especially useful in areas where internet stability is relatively low.
Audio Proctoring during Online Exams
Audio proctoring is another essential yet underestimated mechanism of remote proctoring. This feature captures noise or voice such as voices of people talking or videos being played by the candidate during the online exam.
It uses speakers for this purpose and it can record even the slightest deflation in the audio frequency coming from the candidate’s environment. If there is any deviation in the audio, the system sends an error notification which can be analyzed by the proctor for any suspicious voice notes or distortions. And this way, it can be counted as audio or voice-based cheating.
These were the key features of Remote proctoring. Eklavvya also uses Artificial Intelligence for proctoring online exams. Let us understand more about AI-based proctoring and its features.
AI-powered Remote Proctoring
Artificial intelligence is a highly advanced and innovative technology which has been proven to be useful in reducing manual tasks. It can perform tedious tasks more efficiently which in turn also helps to save a lot of time.
Hence, Eklavvya’s feature of AI-based proctoring is extremely useful while conducting online examinations. AI-based exams are studied with many different features.
With video proctoring, the proctor can continuously monitor the candidate’s activity through live streaming while audio proctoring helps the proctor to keep track of any deviations in the voice coming from the candidate’s background.
AI also helps to detect any suspicious movements such as accessing electronic devices, referring to books or opening a new window or browser.
Also, the task of answer sheet evaluation is being done by the system which has helped to reduce the manual work to a great extent.
Another potent feature of AI is a live chatbot. Using this feature, the candidates can directly chat with the proctor during the examination in case of any difficulties.
Facial recognition is another such useful feature of AI which we shall see in the next point.
Facial Recognition with AI-powered Remote Proctoring
One of the most powerful and advanced features of AI is the use of facial recognition. It helps to identify and validate the candidate’s identity by scanning the identity proof presented by the candidate as well his/her face.
Once the candidate is authorized, he/she can proceed with the exam. If the system finds any mismatch during identification, the access to start the exam gets blocked. Hence, in this way, the chances of identity fraud or disguise can be minimized.
Multiple Candidate Recognition
As the name goes, this mechanism offered by Eklavvya can recognize and validate the identity of many students simultaneously. Multiple students can upload their documents at the same time. The system can process all the documents, validate them and provide access to all the students for beginning the exam.
Eklavvya uses various data analytics algorithms to analyze the information about the performances in exams by a student. It can provide insight into a student’s performance. This also helps to reduce the reduced bias created due to the personalized feedback about the teachers given by the students.
Object Detection During Online Examination
This is one of the most beneficial features of remote proctoring.
During online examinations, a candidate might try to cheat using books or notes. He/she might try to access a mobile phone or tablet to search for answers by keeping them away from the computer or laptop screens through which they are appearing for the exam.
Eklavvya uses a web camera and speakers to detect any suspicious movements. The web camera can detect such events by keeping a keen watch on the physical activities of the candidate such as looking elsewhere or turning their head around, moving away from the laptop screen or leaning around.
The audio proctoring feature of Eklavvya is very sensitive and can help capture even the slightest voice notes such as the flipping of papers. If the system detects any abnormal activity, it terminates the exam immediately. In this way, all kinds of malpractices are totally prohibited by using Eklavvya.
Advanced Proctoring- 360 Degree Proctoring
360-degree proctoring is one of the most advanced and innovative remote invigilation techniques, unlike simple remote proctoring, 360-degree remote proctoring makes sure that the student is not taking help from any other person or resource by enabling the invigilator to monitor the premises around the candidate.
In case of the simple proctoring, the invigilator can only see some part of the premises around the candidate, 360-degree proctoring allows the remote invigilator to have an eye over the total premises around the candidate that ensures the malpractice-free exams.
For the purpose of providing a 360 view of the premises around the candidate, the proctoring system utilizes 2 cameras, one which faces the candidate (basically, the webcam of the laptop) and another that faces the laptop/computer screen (a smartphone camera that captures candidate’s laptop screen and front side premises).
One of the major limitations of the conventional proctoring methodology is that it cannot get the view of behind-the-computer screen activities which is no longer the case with 360-degree proctoring.
In summary, the 360-degree proctoring system provides a complete view of the user attempting the online exam to the invigilator which nullifies the chances of malpractice during the online exam.
Remote proctoring-based online exams are the need of the hour. The advanced technology used in developing different features of remote proctoring makes it easier to conduct and monitor online exams and evaluate their answers.
It helps to reduce the time and effort required to organize the exams and distribute the answer sheets among the examiners for checking and generating results. Day by day, technology is advancing. It is entering every field and sector as also our lives. Many reputed schools, colleges and universities from all over the world have benefitted from the Eklavvya proctoring solutions.
We at Splashgain have developed every feature of Eklavvya in a way so that every possibility of cheating or any sort of malpractice being carried out by the candidates during online exams is completely eliminated.
Online exams thus conducted and proctored using remote proctoring or AI-based proctoring solutions offered by the national award-winning Eklavvya platform are not only cost-effective but also the best in the country.