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The increasing trend of 'Online Remote Proctored exams' post COVID

How was education sector in the pre-Covid world?

The pre-Covid world was much different than now in many ways. The people could move freely without wearing masks and they were not scared of crowded places. A large number of people could come together to discuss, celebrate or to carry any social activity.

The people could go to office and students could go to schools. The students sat together in classes to learn from the teachers who took face to face lectures. In fact, almost everything related to teaching-learning was carried out in classrooms.

The lessons were taught only once and only a few doubts or queries asked by the students were solved. The syllabus was standard, students didn’t have a choice and also lot of emphasis was given on marks rather than knowledge.

Even during the exams, the students, teachers and exam invigilators travelled to the exam venue and the exams were pen and paper based. All the tasks such as transporting answer sheets, question papers, carrying documents and identity proofs, etc. were carried out manually.

The education policies were not suitable for every student. They were old and did not match the needs of the changing times. The education was completely devoid of technology.

But there were also some advantages of classroom based education. The students belonging to same age and classes were able to interact easily.

They were able to sit together, eat, play and discuss. They were able to share thoughts, teach each other and learn together.

Thus, the education in the pre-Covid world has some advantages and some shortcomings.

How has Covid impacted the education sector?

The onset of Covid which began towards the end of the year 2019 started spreading in India in the year 2020. Since then, the education sector was completely disrupted.

The educational institutes had to shut down due to the social distancing norms. The flow of education came to a halt and all the stakeholders including parents, students, management, authorities, government, etc. started worrying.

Everyone was confined to their homes. But this was a major loss especially for the students as they were getting an unnecessary gap in the education. The loss faced by the students belonging to 10th and 12th classes was just unimaginable!

Until 2020, the older National Education Policies did not have any clauses to infuse technology in education. This made it even more difficult for the educational institutes to make a switch to the online mode for education delivery.

Thus, the education sector and all the stakeholders related to education were facing a huge setback and were trying to search alternative options to carry out teaching-learning activities.

How the traditional classroom-based exams proving impractical?

During the Covid-19 outbreak phase, all the educational institutes including the higher education were completely closed down. The strict social distancing norms which were imposed made the students stay at home until indefinite duration.

The students couldn’t visit the educational institutes which made it difficult to share, interact and learn. The teachers faced similar issues with teaching, solving doubts, giving assignments and evaluating projects.

Covid certainly affected the educational sector in a negative way. The students were losing important years or educations and everyone was helpless. In some cases, this also led some mental issues among students.

Conducting classes and exams in a classroom was no more an option. The face-to-face classroom based learning and pen-paper based exams become obsolete and it was time for the educational institutes to embrace technology so as to shift the education from offline to online mode.

How can online remote proctored exams prove useful?

The educational institutes and government educational authorities soon realized that it was necessary for them to find options to continue education.

Since a long time, technology has been used by the different small and big organizations to conduct training, skill related exams, meetings, conferences, etc. Thus, switching to online mode was the best possible alternative to replace the traditional ways of education.

Thus, technology came into lime light. Technology helped the educational institutes to explore the modern advanced methods of performing teaching-learning activities.

The educational institutes started adopting online platforms to conduct classes on daily basis as also for all the exams which were conducted during the year. These online platforms helped them to organize and schedule live classes as well as conduct online exams.

There were many shortcomings related to the classroom based education which were not addressed, rather which were ignored previously. These technologically advanced online platforms helped to overcome many hurdles or shortcomings.

Below are the features of online education and remote proctored exams which are proved advantageous for the educational institutes during the Covid-19 outbreak phase and will continue to prove useful in the post Covid phase.

<> Location and time

Location has always been one of the major drawbacks faced by the traditional classrooms. In case of higher education. The students were unable to apply for the courses which were very far away from their hometowns. They could not apply for the courses which were available only in some other country.

Technology helped to bring education closer or made it easily accessible. The online courses are available 24X7 for all the days in the year. Their availability is also location independent.

Such online courses also often provide online payment options in various different currencies. All this has helped the students far and wide to apply for any course of their choice.

As these courses are pre-recorded or recorded during the lecture, the school students are able to watch them whenever they want and for infinite number of times.  This helps them to understand some complex concepts in a much better way.

<> Valid certifications for niche courses

The students belonging to higher education as also the those who have part-time or full time jobs, rely on online courses to acquire knowledge and certifications. Until 2019, very few courses were conducted in online mode as also very few of them had accreditation.

The courses completed or certifications which were acquired online were not considered valid and authentic in many organizations or educational institutes. But this scenario changed in 2020.

The online courses became accredited which means the certifications acquired started holding value. The students were thus able to even the niche courses in online mode to strengthen their skill set.

<> Proctoring techniques

In the pen and paper based exams; the students were monitored by an invigilator. As these exams were conducted in classrooms, it was easier to appoint physical invigilators to supervise the candidates.

In case of online exams, the students appear for them from their homes which might give them many chances to cheat during the exam. But with the help of proctoring techniques, it becomes completely impossible to cheat during online exams.

Remote proctoring which comes in three types – Image based, audio based and video based, is an excellent solution to catch any sort of malpractice or frauds immediately. The online examination platforms can offer you remote proctoring, auto-proctoring and AI based proctoring techniques while conducting online exam.

The AI based proctoring techniques which include Chatbots, suspicious object movement detection and facial recognition certainly help to eliminate even the slightest chance of cheating.  Thus, proctoring is a very beneficial way of conducting online exams in a safe and secure environment.

<> Ease of creating questions paper and evaluating them

In the traditional scenario, the paper setter or the subject matter experts would sit down and brainstorm to create exam question papers. They had to create multiple such question paper sets so that anyone of which could be used during the exam to avoid leakage.

The examiners or paper checkers had to collect the answer sheets from the location and evaluate them. All the processes were manually done which made them time and effort consuming.

The online examination platforms can help you to simplify both of these processes. These online exam platforms offer a feature known as Question Bank Management which helps the paper setters to create, edit, save and delete question paper sets as per their convenience.

The Onscreen evaluation System helps the examiners to check the answers sheets in online mode. As the answer sheets are uploaded on the portal, they can be easily accessed and evaluated by the examiners from any location by using any device.

<> Cost effective

The traditional classroom based exams certainly involved many different small or large cost investments. The education institutes had to make a lot of different arrangements while taking classes as well conducting exams.

These cost investments included infrastructure which included classrooms or computer labs, different facilities, physical invigilation, logistics such as question paper and answer sheets transportation, storage of answer sheets, evaluation of the answer sheets, etc. All this not only made the examination process expensive but also time-consuming.

The online exams are conducted at home and monitored from a remote location. This helps to cut down a lot of expenses spent on infrastructure, physical invigilation, storage and transportation. Due to the presence of many features, the evaluation of these answer sheets is also simplified.

Thus the overall costs spent on numerous activities are either lowered or eliminated completely.

<> Result generation and analysis

The result generation was another time-consuming process in the traditional education scenario. The calculation of marks, comparison and analysis- everything was done manually.

This not only slowed down the result generation process but also affected the accuracy of the results due to human limitations.
The speed and accuracy of performing calculations is certainly better in case of computers. Thus, the online examination platforms can help to generate results in an easier way.

The online examination platforms have built-in algorithms which help you to generate student performance results by defining different filters. These results can be analysed with the help of system to get a better understanding of the knowledge acquired by the students.
Needless to say, the results and the analysis reports are extremely accurate as also instantly generate.

What are the trends in online education and online proctored exams?

The education trends are always changing. These changes affect the educational stakeholders especially the students belonging to different levels of education.

We conducted a survey to find out the latest trends in online education and the viewpoint of the stakeholders. For this purpose, we asked a few questions to the stakeholders belonging to some of the educational institutes in the country.

These educational institutes are well-known in the country and also deal in both K12 and higher education sector.

The summary of our key findings in shown in the below graph:

Here is a list of question which we considered while conducting the survey and the options provided to choose from for the stakeholders.

Q1) Do you think that continuing online classes and exams in online mode is a good option for students?

For K-12:
For kids belonging to K-12 level, online classes can prove very beneficial not only to conduct lessons in school but also to conduct hobby classes. The students can easily take up hobby classes such as dancing, playing an instrument or painting in online mode.

For higher education:
Online education eliminates the issues related to location dependency, time as also expenses. Online education also makes it easier for the higher educational institutes to arrange guest lectures. This way, even the guest lecturers who belong to a different remote location will be able to share his/her knowledge with the students in a simple way which would prove very helpful for the students to build their career.

Q2) Is online education cost effective than traditional classroom based education especially in the post Covid phase?

Many stakeholders including the parents and educational management seem to think that online education is costlier than traditional classroom based education. But only those stakeholders who have adopted online platforms to conduct classes and examinations are aware about the fact that online education is in fact cheaper than traditional classroom based education.

Q3) Do you think blended learning can prove advantageous to the students?

Blended learning is one of the most recent trends in the educational sector in the coming years. Blended learning is a mixture of the best practices used in both online and offline methods of education.

In case of K-12, the educational institute can conduct 50% classes in online mode and 50% in offline. The educational institutes can even conduct oral or viva exams in online mode for the K-12 students.

For higher education:
Blended learning can enable the higher educational institutes to conduct practical exams in the institute premises and lectures in online mode. This helps both the students and the institute management to maintain social distancing and follow the method of blended learning in the most beneficial way.

Q4) Do you think blended learning will affect education in a positive way?

The concept of blended learning is created to give equal importance to both offline and online education as both of these methods of education have their own perks.

Blended learning will helps the educational institutes to continue with the education even in the worst situations which would prove beneficial to the students as well. It will also help to digitalize the education and improve its quality.

Q5) Can blended learning help to reduce time and efforts of the teachers?

Blended learning involves classroom education (mostly practical exams and vivas) and online classes. During the online classes, the teachers are able to record their sessions and then share the videos with students.

This helps the teachers tremendously to cut down the time and efforts which they would invest on explaining the complex concepts again and again to the students. The students can watch the videos any number of times until they truly understand.

Q6) Do you think adopting remote proctoring would prove cost-effective for both the students and education management?

Remote proctoring makes use of technology to monitor the students during online exam. This helps the educational institutes to reduce the costs involved in appointing invigilators for physical supervision.

Not just that, it eliminates the need for arranging a different venue to conduct exams, logistics, infrastructure, etc. which help to reduce the costs furthermore. It helps the students to eliminate the costs required on travelling to the exam location and creating photocopies of the documents.

Q7) Do you think conducting remote proctored online exams would be able to disallow cheating carried out using electronic devices, textbooks and notes?

The online examination platforms are created using powerful Artificial Intelligence based mechanisms.  These mechanisms help you to detect any sort of abnormal behavior which happens in case of cheating using electronic devices, textbooks or notes.

The system can sense even the slightest discrepancy and can immediately send error notifications.

Q8) Can blended learning and online proctored exams become the future of Indian Education sector?

Blended learning for education delivery and remote proctoring for online examinations are trending in the education sector. The popularity of these new trends is gaining popularity because they are proving advantageous to all the educational stakeholders.

Both of these trends have the potential to improve the ways of teaching-learning. These trends can completely transform the face of education by digitalizing it. Both of these trends certainly have the potential of becoming the future of Indian Education sector.

Q9) Do you think the implementation of new National Education Policies will change the face of Indian education in a positive way?

The new set of Indian Education Policies has been created by considering the need to introduce technology in the education. Digitalization of classroom based education is the main aim of these Indian Education Policies.

It thus includes changes which would make us of technology to deliver education. It puts focus on continuing the conduction of classes and exams in online mode. There are also many other changes drafted in these policies. All these changes together will surely help to change the face of Indian education in a positive way.

Q10) Do you think technology has the capacity to improve the current state of Indian Education system?

There is nothing in this world that technology cannot change. Education is a sector which requires digitalisation as a part of upgrade.

Advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc. are really powerful and can certainly help to improve the current state of Indian Education system in the best possible way.

Q11) Can technology be able to provide good quality education to the students belonging to all levels of education?

For K-12:
Technology like Virtual Reality can help the students belonging to K-12 level to visit real-life places virtually. Technology such as Artificial Intelligence can understand the exact needs, likes and dislikes or strengths and weaknesses of the students can help them to learn accordingly.

For higher education:
Virtual Reality can help conduct practical sessions by creating a real-life three-dimensional world for the students to practice. Artificial Intelligence can help them to understand even the most complex concepts easily due the feature of personalised learning.

Thus, technology can only make it easier for the teachers to provide better education to all the students belonging to different levels of education.

Q12) Can we depend or rely on technology to take up the responsibility of educating the coming generations in the right way?

Technology is potent source of simplifying every job. Technology keeps on advancing and becomes powerful. The new technological inventions are worth adopting as they are going to make our lives easier.

The use of technology in the form of online platforms is definitely going to prove very beneficial to the education sector. In the coming generation, technology will get better and better which will improve its importance and increase our dependency on it.

About Eklavvya

An online examination platform is necessary to be adopted if you wish to simplify the process of conducting online exams. Eklavvya is one of the best platforms which has been adopted by many educational institutes and organizations to carry out every activity related to online exam conduction.

Eklavvya can help you to conduct remote proctored online exams in the simplest way as it is developed using he best technology and algorithms. Eklavvya offers all the features trending in the online examination industry.

Thus, Eklavvya is the best online examination platform which can help you to conduct exams in a safe, secure, reliable, error-free, user-friendly and hassle-friendly way.

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