VIRTUAL PROCTORING – Is It True The System Can Be Broken?

Virtual proctoring, it’s a service nearly everyone is familiar with. Created to help higher-ed institutions protect against cheating, the process is designed to be cheaper than brick and mortar proctoring methods which are typically very expensive. The problem is, it’s not effective.

With technology growing at an unprecedented rate, virtual proctoring companies are not equipped to deal with the emerging technologies and actors that seek to thwart their “cheat proof” systems.

Typically, when taking an online-proctored exam, students are required to have a computer, a monitor, a webcam, and in some cases, device of some sort to show the proctor that you do not have any notes taped to the side of your monitor. Proctors then use their remote access to take over control of your mouse and check the settings on your computer to ensure that you only have one monitor display and to disable your screenshot capability. Finally, the proctor then has you spin your webcam around the room so they can see where you are taking the test. 

In theory, as the test taker you’re stuck in front of your monitor with a webcam that shows everything to a proctor on the other end. Problem solved right? Well… not so fast.

A quick google search shows that these so-called “remote proctoring solutions” can be beat. Blogs and how-to guides like “How to beat online exam proctoring” or "Beating, Cheating, and Defeating Online Proctoring” are just a few places where students can receive information and training on how to cheat on a virtually proctored exam.

Students and faculty alike have also complained that virtual proctoring is intrusive, expensive and ineffective. In an article entitled “Students raise concerns about exam web tool ProctorTrack” the author notes that there is considerable skepticism about tools like ProctorTrack and their ability to combat cheating.

IN FACT, students have taken it upon themselves to demonstrate just how ProctorTrack can be bypassed and have created a guide for beating the system - “On Knuckle Scanners and Cheating – How to Bypass Proctortrack”.

Unfortunately, schools are being sold a feel-good system that students can now drive a truck through to cheat. Liability for collecting physical biometrics like face, fingerprints and the potential hacking of same are important to know about:  

At the end of the day, cheaters and frauds will always try to game the system. It’s been proven that proctoring does little to deter academic dishonesty as a whole. After all, if you know you will be watched you are generally on your best behavior, because cheating can expel you.

Sure, a proctored mid-term or final may keep most students honest, but what about the rest of the semester? AND since all the other gradable assessments that count for most of the GPA are not proctored and use a password to access, students use whoever they want to do the work for great grades. Depending on how a course is weighted, the proctored exam may only account for 30% of the overall grade while the other 70% of the course is fair game for cheaters.

Periodic authentication throughout a course semester is the key for stopping bad actors. If you’re looking for a solution that’s non-invasive, affordable and proven to work, check out BioSig-ID™. Make students happy. Deliver yourself from risk. Re-take control of the classroom.