Proctored examinations are becoming increasingly common even as the online learning industry continues to grow.
With platforms like ProctorU, educational institutions and companies are able to securely conduct various forms of tests with little room for candidate or participant cheating.
However, despite the precautions taken by these companies, some candidates still resort to teaching and are caught in most instances.
Proctored examinations are effective in serving as a deterrent to cheating but can also come with their negatives.
Examinations can be stressful for students but even more so when you know there’s someone you can’t see watching your every move.
While some proctoring service providers leverage artificial intelligence, companies like ProctorU are now resorting to a combination of both artificial intelligence and live proctoring.
Using artificial intelligence for proctoring is somewhat effective but these systems flag minor incidences that a human would ascertain as normal.
Additionally, core features of artificial intelligence proctoring systems aren’t designed with disabilities in mind.
Live proctoring on the other may miss certain incidences that the artificial intelligence would flag but the human would easily distinguish between a simple anomaly and an attempt to cheat.
What Can ProctorU Detect
While ProctorU previously focused mostly on artificial intelligence for online proctoring, the company has decided to primarily leverage live proctors as a more effective means of online invigilation.
That said, artificial intelligence compliments the abilities of the human proctor providing more effective and secure invigilation.
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Audible Sound In Candidate’s Background
Candidates are required to grant ProctorU access to their microphones making it possible for ProctorU to hear any sounds from the candidate or anyone else in the background.
This is also the reason why ProctorU required that tests should be taken in a silent environment without any interruptions.
Essentially ProctorU will be able to hear everything going on in your preferred location during the cause of the examination. Additionally, keyboard strokes will also be audible this way.
See Through Webcam
ProctorU can use the candidate’s webcam to view everything within the camera’s field of vision. This means having a webcam is an important requirement for proctored examination.
The proctor will be able to see the head and hands of the candidate as well as their background during the proctored examination.
That said, this is only up to the direction the camera is facing and any objects behind the camera will not be detected.
Additionally, ProctorU also allows the candidate to scan their environment using the camera before the test begins to verify the room or location and its contents.
The environment also needs to be well-lit during the examination for clearer video quality and recording.
External Monitor Or Screen Mirroring
While some candidates have successfully used external monitors for various reasons but not limited to cheating, ProctorU now accesses and deactivates any secondary monitors before an examination.
If you’ve got a specific setup or reason for using a secondary monitor, it’s recommended that you alert the proctoring company to avoid any issues during your testing
During the examination, ProctorU recommends that candidates install their software LogMeln that enables them to access a candidate’s computer to offer any technical support where necessary.
Candidates are required to install the ProctorU browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox. This extension enables the company to gain access to many functionalities which some people have protested as an invasion of privacy.
The extension will prompt candidates to allow access to various functionalities thereby enabling ProctorU to access the following:
- Access your data for all websites
- Clear recent browsing history, cookies, and related data
- Get data from the clipboard
- Input data to the clipboard
- Extend developer tools to access your data in open tabs
- Access your location
- Monitor extension usage and manage themes
- Display notifications to you
- Read and modify privacy settings
- Access browser tabs
- Access browser activity during navigation
While some candidates have protested that this level of access is an invasion and sensitive information can be misused by the company, ProctorU assures candidates of the safety of their personal information.
This level of access to your browser means ProctorU can detect any open tabs and anything you type on your screen during the examination.
Not only this, but your location is also available during the timeframe of the examination and some functionalities will be deactivated.
Although some candidates in the past were able to surpass ProctorU’s security by using virtual machines for their test, this option is no longer effective as the company has implemented measures to counteract this vulnerability.
It is worth noting the company after years of proctoring has identified certain vulnerabilities and implemented countermeasures.
Using any form of a virtual machine to cheat or otherwise will be easily detected.
Does ProctorU Really Watch You
While it’s easy to think there’s no one watching your activities in proctored tests, artificial intelligence along with live proctors observe and flag any abnormalities which will be compiled and grouped under the outlined level of urgency in their after test reports.
In the case where artificial intelligence is the only proctor, any suspicious behavior and action are flagged and will be reviewed by a human instructor or the candidate’s instructor.
However, in the case where a live proctor is available, they may intervene upon any actions that may be considered suspicious.
ProctorU Eye Movement
ProctorU monitors the candidate’s eyes to ensure their eyes are solely focused on their screens during a test. Any eye movements away from the monitor may be seen as suspicious and could come with a warning if repeated.
This is however different in the case where candidates are allowed to have some form of resource or book available at their disposal.
While this may evade the live proctor in some cases, artificial intelligence (AI) is able to easily identify and flag these.
Not only eye movements but and changes in head movements, typing patterns, and even body language can be identified and flagged by artificial intelligence.
What Happens If You Get Caught Cheating On ProctorU
Cheating is considered by most academic institutions as a violation of academic integrity comes with severe consequences in some cases.
Any incidence on ProctorU is filed and assigned to one of the 3 levels of urgency. This enables the institution to easily identify the most severe forms of cheating during test-taking and determine the appropriate punishment.
While ProctorU does not directly penalize candidates for any acts of cheating, they are responsible for ascertaining any attempts to cheat, its severity, and reporting back to the academic institution, instructor, or company.
- Based on the relevance of a test, substantial points may be deducted
- Students may be required to repeat the test or every examination within that semester
- Some institutions may require students to permanently withdraw without any award
What To Do When You Get Caught Cheating On ProctorU
We do not condone cheating in any form in any examination but in the case where you’re caught cheating on a proctored examination by either an AI or a live proctor, it is advisable to simply focus on finishing the test without any further incidence.
Once the test is completed, you can contact your instructor and provide a thorough explanation of the incident before your instructor receives the full report from ProctorU.
Keep in mind that proctoring companies only serve to facilitate a secure online test and have little control over the grade a candidate receives.
Everything is recorded and instructors can review and verify for themselves if there’s any discrepancy.
Are Breaks Allowed During Proctored Exams
While proctoring companies focus on ensuring a secure testing environment for educational institutions and companies, the institutions and instructors are responsible for any decisions regarding breaks. Proctoring companies simply enforce whichever decision is made by the institutions