Cheating in an examination is considered a breach of academic integrity and can lead to consequences including the cancellation of an entire paper.
While most teachers would claim we never cheated before during our school days, we understand why some students do this and also why we shouldn’t allow it.
In simpler times, an invigilator could simply stand in front of an entire class and try their best to prevent students from cheating in their examinations.
This still wasn’t the most effective approach as students who were motivated to cheat found ways around it. From looking at other students’ answers to more advanced techniques like the ones shown in the video below, students simply keep adding more strategies to cheat to their portfolios.
Yeah. I’m thinking exactly what you’re probably thinking. One would be tempted to wonder what would happen if students actually put that ingenuity into genuinely studying for the examination.
The advancement of technology didn’t help with respect to cheating as it simply became easier since students could now conveniently use smart devices to look up answers.
Online test-taking for instance became a huge challenge as more and more students could simply search for answers online.
Although online learning comes with many advantages, assessment was one of the major disadvantages that needed to be addressed.
But with the advancement and mass adoption of technology in the education field came companies looking to solve these challenges.
The rise of proctoring services meant that schools could now leverage the same technology being used by students to cheat to ensure that examinations are now secure.
This article will focus on ProtorU and the means through which students are cheating and how it can be prevented.
What Is Online Proctoring
Online proctoring refers to remote test supervision that involves a human or AI-powered supervisor who gains access to some functionalities of your computer including camera, microphone, and computer screen to monitor and deter cheating.
Also check out these other related posts:
- What Happens If You Get Caught Cheating On ProctorU
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Benefits Of Online Proctoring
While educational institutions benefit from online proctoring, likewise corporations all over the world. We’ll be looking at the general benefits of online proctoring or online invigilation for both educational institutions and corporate institutions.
Benefits For Candidates
- Taking tests at test centers has been the solution to cheating in online learning for years now. However, online proctoring enables test-takers to securely take tests online without the need to visit test centers
- Candidates have the flexibility of choosing a date and time for their test as opposed to a fixed time at a test-taking center
- Candidates have the flexibility to choose their preferred location for the examination. This can be at home, office, or wherever they feel comfortable the meets the regulations of the online invigilation
- Candidates can have their privacy outside a populated test-taking center. Online test-taking provides candidates the privacy of taking their examination at the comfort of their homes
Benefits For Institutions
- Eliminates the burden of organizing test-taking centers and invigilators to facilitate test-taking for online learners
- Proctored tests are very secure especially since proctoring companies like ProctorU adopt the use of both artificial intelligence and human proctors. Invigilations also become one-on-one, reducing any chances of cheating
- Invigilation can be reviewed when necessary since proctored tests are usually recorded from the camera, microphone, and computer screen
- Easily confirm the physical location of the candidate through geotagging
- Reduces the chances of cheating
- Since tests require no physical resources, the frequency of examinations can be increased
Why Do Students Cheat
Student cheating isn’t anything new. While most students choose the ethical root of learning to take a test, some choose to find ways to outsmart their invigilators, other students, and the institution in general by cheating. Reasons behind these actions include:
The first and most obvious reason behind cheating is fear. This can stem from fear of simply failing, fear of disappointing their parents or someone else, fear of repeating a class, or even fear of losing a scholarship.
Preparing for a test is a no-brainer. We’ve all been there before and the best way to pass a test is to study and be fully prepared for this test.
Unfortunately, inadequate preparation due to various factors including laziness, and procrastination can lead to a student attempting to cheat in an examination.
Though outperforming others can lead to poor performers attempting to bully you in some cases, competition becomes a part of us in our early years.
Competition in the classroom is necessary as it encourages students to learn. Unfortunately, some students in an attempt to surpass their peers can resort to cheating.
Let’s face it. There’s some comfort that comes with taking an examination online from the comfort of our homes.
It’s easy to think that we can easily Google a question and simply write the answer down for submission.
Students who would normally refrain from cheating would resort to cheating as it becomes an easier option especially when other students are doing the same.
What Is ProctorU
ProctorU provides a live proctoring service for educational institutions and corporations. The platform which used to be powered by an AI to identify cheating during online tests now relies primarily on human proctors for each test.
Although there’re other competitors in the market, ProctorU produces some of the best results. Their system is designed to record video, audio, and computer screen and flag any abnormalities during test-taking.
Unlike traditional exam test centers, ProctorU enables students and corporate trainees to take their examinations in their homes or their chosen locations.
Leveraging human proctors will also enable the company to better serve clients as human proctors are able to easily identify and neglect anomalies like a shout, while artificial intelligence may simply flag these.
How To Prepare For ProctorU Test
There’re some requirements you need to meet in order to take a Proctored test.
Your computer needs to have a working webcam in order to take a ProctorU test. This shouldn’t be a problem as most modern laptops come with inbuilt webcams.
In a situation where your laptop has no webcam, it is advisable to acquire a working external webcam to successfully take this test.
The webcam will enable the proctor to observe the test-taker’s actions to identify any form of cheating, or attempts to cheat.
Another piece of equipment you need is a working microphone. The microphone will enable the proctor to hear any feedback or sound in the background.
This is to ensure that test-takers are not being read answers by someone else in the background.
3. Valid ID
Test-takers will need valid government-issued photo identification to authenticate their identities. This can be a driver’s license, military or state identification card, and passport.
Since some test-takers may ask a 3rd party to take the test on their behalf, valid identification is necessary to confirm your identity.
4. Quiet Environment
The examination must be taken in a quiet environment to avoid any distractions and attempts to receive information. Test-takers are expected to be alone in the examination environment.
5. Well-Lit Environment
The testing environment must be properly lit for better video clarity and quality. It is recommended that you choose a room with enough lighting to produce clear video quality for test monitoring.
6. Hard Surface
Your computer should be placed on a hard surface to avoid the video shaking or the test-taker moving out of frame.
7. Clear Workspace
The area or surface should be cleared of all books, notes, food, a secondary monitor, or any other electronic device including your cell phone.
It is recommended that cell phones in particular are turned off before text begins in order to reduce any distractions.
8. Internet Connectivity
Strong internet connectivity is also necessary to ensure continuous connectivity during the test. Although you’re free to use your phone as a hotspot for the test, it is necessary to ensure that you have strong internet connectivity before the test. The phone should also be put on silent if it is being used as a hotspot.
Can You Cheat On ProctorU
While no system is 100% secure, the extreme measures taken to deter cheating on ProctorU make it a secure test-taking environment. Cheating on ProctorU is quite challenging as they gain access to the computer’s camera, microphone and also record your screen.
Using the microphone, keyboard strokes are recorded to alert a proctor of any discrepancies. This makes cheating on ProctorU very challenging.
That said, some candidates have successfully leveraged various approaches to cheat in a ProctorU test.
While ProctorU focused mostly on their artificial intelligence to detect cheating in the past, the company now focuses mostly on human proctors.
This means candidates would need to trick the eyes and ears of another human, focused on you within the time span of the entire examination.
To support candidates with any technical challenges they may have during test-taking, ProctorU provides an application that enables them to remotely access the candidate’s computer and provide any necessary support.
How To Prevent Cheating On ProctorU
While ProctorU provides a secure test-taking environment, some students have identified strategies to aid them in cheating.
Educational institutions can still play their part in deterring cheating by implementing these approaches.
While ProctorU is a secure platform, educational institutions can help further reduce the risk of cheating by randomizing tests.
A randomized test means candidates would receive different or random questions from a larger pool of questions.
This reduces the risks of cheating since each student receives a different question on each question number.
Although teachers have a broad range of premade questions to choose from, it’s still necessary for them to create newer questions.
Most questions presented to students can now be found directly online and on platforms like Chegg. Repeated questions can lead to students easily finding answers to these questions online.
With unique questions, answers wouldn’t be easily available online even if a student finds a way to cheat.
Institutions need to make their candidates aware of the consequences of any actions towards cheating on a test.
While most institutions outline cheating as a breach of academic integrity, students on the other hand consider searching online as a normal part of their lives.
Institutions should therefore inform their candidates of the consequences of being caught cheating in a proctored test. Consequences may include outright cancellation of the examination.
Proctoring Service Awareness
While some students may possess insight into how proctoring services function, most would not. It is necessary to make learners aware of how the service works to deter them from attempting to cheat.
Left uninformed about the details, students would easily be tempted to cheat since it’s an online or remote test.
Institutions should therefore educate their candidates on the features and implications of the proctored test.
How Does ProctorU Detect Cheating
ProctorU uses human proctors and artificial intelligence to flag cheating by accessing the candidate’s camera, microphone and recording the computer screen. Additionally, ProctorU prevents browser switching, copy-pasting and monitors keyboard activity.
Can ProctorU See Your Screen
Yes, Taking a test on ProctorU means you’ve given consent to recording your screen and also restricting certain actions including switching tabs during test-taking
Can You Be Caught Cheating On ProctorU
Yes, Cheating on ProctorU is a surefire way to get yourself penalized for lack of academic integrity. ProctorU employs a broad range of mechanisms including accessing computer webcam, microphone, screen recording, keyboard monitoring, and software to identify and flag any suspicious activities
Why Is ProctorU Bad
While some will argue the pros outweigh the cons, others consider it an invasion of privacy. This is because ProctorU gains access to the candidate’s computer and activities during the timeframe of the test.
Some students have claimed that ProctorU still identified their activities even after the test ended. That said, this was mostly negligence on the part of the students who didn’t close the software
Can ProctorU See Your Hands
Yes, Candidates’ hands are visible through the active webcam. This deters candidates from interacting with any 3rd persons or reaching out for any materials or smart devices to access information
Can ProctorU Detect Other Devices On WiFi
No. While ProctorU is able to track the candidate’s movement and several activities during the test, ProctorU has no access to check other devices on a candidate’s network. That leads to legal ramifications most proctoring companies would rather avoid.