Case Study: Live monitoring offers security for online tests

Headshot JuliePosted by Julie Delazyn

Thomas Edison State College (TESC) is one of the oldest schools in the country designed specifically for adults. The college’s 20,000+ students, many of them involved with careers and families, live all over the world and favor courses that enable online study.

In setting up online midterm and final exams, the college wanted to give distance leaners the same kind of security as on-campus students experience at more traditional institutions. At the same time, it was essential to give students some control over where and when they take tests.

Online proctoring offered a way to achieve both of these goals.

Working with Questionmark and ProctorU has enabled TESC to administer proctored exams to students at their home or work computers.

Proctors connect with test takers via webcam and audio hook-ups, verify the each test-taker’s identity, initiate the authentication process, ensure the students are not using any unauthorized materials or aids and troubleshoot technical problems. The college can now run secure tests while meeting the needs of busy students for flexible access to exams.

You can read the full case study here.

Partnering with ProctorU to Add Security to Higher Stakes Online Exams

Posted by Jim Farrell

On June 7th, Questionmark and ProctorU announced their partnership to add security to higher stakes exams taken outside a test center. For those of us within Questionmark, this was a very exciting announcement as it provided our customers with options that until recently were very limited.

For those of you unaware of ProctorU, let me give you some background. In the simplest of terms, ProctorU is an online, real-time proctoring service. Using webcams, screen-sharing technology and proven authentication techniques, live monitors oversee participants taking their examinations from home, work or anywhere. The monitor can see and hear the examinee and provide pre-exam assistance and technical support, maintaining the integrity of the testing process. ProctorU brings the test center to the test taker.

At Questionmark, we see Impersonation, Content Theft, and Cheating as serious threats to test security. Real-time monitoring directly combats each of these threats by:

  • Preventing ID Fraud – Each monitoring session starts with authentication techniques that ensure the test taker is who they say they are.
  • Protecting Content – ProctorU sessions are monitored in real time with screen sharing. If a monitor detects an anomaly, he/she can immediately end the session and send the video to someone for review before your content hits the Internet.
  • Minimizing Cheating – As part of the pre-test checking, the participant must scan the room and work area with his or her webcam. The monitor then watches the room via the webcam, listens via the computer’s microphone and uses screen sharing to monitor the test taker’s actions.

This is exciting to us because Questionmark’s goal is to provide the appropriate amount of security for the situation the test requires. Is this technology necessary for all types of assessments? No, of course not. But as more people work remotely and more students take course and tests online, there are plenty of assessments that require monitoring. Questionmark’s relationship with ProctorU allows for an easy-to-deploy, seamless, secure and fair experience for the test taker.

If you would like to know more about how live online proctoring works, you can tune in to a podcast with Jarrod Morgan of ProctorU.

Podcast: Jarrod Morgan of ProctorU explains live monitoring of online tests

Posted by Joan Phaup

Andrew Jackson University, a distance education school based in Birmingham, Alabama, faced a big question several years ago: How could students take tests the same way they pursued their studies — off campus, via the internet — with the same level of security they would encounter in a test center?

Jarrod Morgan, who was then the school’s director of technology, recently told me the answer:

Jarrod Morgan

 We decided to come up with our own process based on the face-to face monitoring experience that’s been used by colleges and universities and test centers for decades and decades.
What that means is that you have to see the person, you have to see what they’re doing, and you have to know who they are. So if you can do all three of those, see the person, see what they’re doing, and know who they are, you’ve essentially monitored that exam the same way you would do it in a test center.

Great idea! But how did they implement it? By using webcams, screen-sharing technology and layered authentication methods, with a live proctor observing each test taker.

The success and popularity of this solution led to the formation of ProctorU, a live, online proctoring/monitoring service that allows people to complete assessments from wherever they are while  ensuring exam integrity. Questionmark partners with ProctorU to bring added security for higher-stakes exams taken outside testing centers.

In this podcast interview with  Jarrod, now the company’s vice president of business development, you will hear more about how online monitoring works and why  academic institutions, businesses and other organizations are choosing this option. We also talked about various security challenges, including identity fraud, and how to combat them. We touched on how test takers have responded to this idea, too. Feel free to listen in!