Online Proctoring Options
While it may be impossible to completely eliminate cheating, particularly online, several simple options are available to improve remote exam integrity.
Online Proctoring Options
Exams can be administered in an LMS such as Learning Suite or Canvas. There are some basic things you can do to increase the exam security and reduce cheating. These options are available on both Learning Suite and Canvas.
- Timed exams: Set a reasonable time limit for the exam
- Simultaneous administration: Limit a timed exam to the same window of time for all students so they all take the exam at the same time
- Multiple forms: Create multiple forms of the exam by changing the order of questions so students don’t all receive the same exam with questions in the same order
- Random from question banks: Automatically pull a random subset of questions from a larger question pool. Larger pools reduce the chance of two students receiving identical exams.
- Proctoring: Observing and monitoring of the test taker, either in person, remotely, or via computer software
Software Proctoring Options
Simple Proctor (Learning Suite only)
Simple Proctor is a free, built-in option for Learning Suite exams which can be useful for low and middle stakes tests. It will take a randomly timed photo from the students’ web camera every X minutes, depending on settings the instructor chooses. It will also indicate to the instructor if the student turned off their camera, disabled their internet, tabbed away from the browser, or minimized it while looking at something else. The proctoring results are reported to the instructor as a table with images and timestamps. Instructors can glance through the images and pick out anything that looks wrong.
Pluses: Free, simple, works on all browsers and all operating systems. Also works on mobile devices.
Minuses: Requires a web camera, does not lock the browser down, provides images only, does not do complex cheating prevention.
Proctorio (Learning Suite and Canvas)
Exams are created in and administered by the LMS (Proctorio does not administer the exam). Students take the exam in the LMS as they usually do; the software acts as a “bubble” around that exam. When enabled on an exam, Proctorio controls and monitors the students’ computers during the exam, depending on the choices the faculty made on setup. The software can be set to fairly lenient (just recording the student’s screen) to severe (full browser lockdown, the student is recorded throughout the exam and flagged when they look away from the monitor or speak out loud, etc.) The student must set up the software prior to taking the exam, show a scan of the room and verify their webcam is enabled, show their ID, and so forth. Once the software is set up Proctorio returns the student to the LMS to take the exam, where the student is monitored until the exam is submitted. Proctorio also makes a record of the student’s internet strength and computer performance. Faculty can view the flags for cheating behaviors for each student, along with video and audio recordings if enabled by the faculty.
Pluses: Strong controls over the student’s computer; can lock the browser down, prevent copy/paste, prevent other programs and tabs from being opened, limit to only one monitor, automatic flags for suspicious behavior.
Minuses: Proctorio only works on Chrome/Edge browsers regardless of operating system and requires the student to download and install the Proctorio Extension (getproctorio.com). Students must have a modern computer, solid internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone. Proctorio will not work on any mobile devices; Chromebooks can be used but often are unable to handle the extra resource burden of the software. Humans (instructor, TAs, etc) must review the Proctorio report for cheating analysis. Does not work on mobile devices.