Maintain academic integrity during online assessments with Moodle-compatible proctoring solutions

May 27, 2024 By Barnana Sarkar

The field of education is constantly changing, presenting new challenges in upholding academic honesty, especially in online assessments. Recent market analyses indicate that the remote proctoring solutions market, valued at USD 563.1 million in 2023, is expected to grow significantly to USD 1517.8 million by 2030. This surge in demand highlights the crucial necessity for dependable solutions that can effectively tackle the increasing concerns related to dishonesty and academic misconduct in online assessments.

One of the main arguments favouring online proctoring is its ability to identify and prevent cheating during exams. These solutions use advanced technologies like biometric authentication and real-time monitoring to effectively prevent unauthorised activities, guaranteeing the fairness and integrity of the evaluation process.

This article will explore how Moodle provides effective online proctoring solutions. But first, let’s understand what proctoring means and its different types.

What is proctoring?

In a traditional classroom setting, a proctor plays a crucial role in ensuring that all students adhere to exam guidelines and maintain academic integrity. The rise of online proctoring extends this act of overlooking an examination to secure assessments conducted remotely or within designated computer labs. Digital proctoring goes beyond online assessments and is relevant in conventional settings such as physical classrooms. This is particularly valuable in scenarios involving a large number of students, public examinations, or when supervisors are unfamiliar with all examinees. By seamlessly integrating digital proctoring with traditional testing environments, educational institutions uphold academic integrity while leveraging the precision and effectiveness of technology.

Moreover, online proctoring solutions offer educators valuable data and insights into student performance and test-taking behaviours. Through comprehensive analytics, educators gain a deeper understanding of students’ strengths, weaknesses, and learning patterns, enabling them to tailor instructional strategies to effectively meet diverse academic needs.

Through trusted integrations, the proctoring features are seamlessly integrated into Moodle LMS and Moodle Workplace. This allows educators to create a secure and controlled environment for learners to demonstrate their skills and knowledge confidently. 

Types of proctoring

  • Live proctoring – Live proctoring creates a real-time video connection between students and proctors during online exams. A single proctor monitors a group, engaging and intervening if misconduct is detected like students looking away or using phones. This approach ensures a secure, controlled testing environment.
  • Automated proctoring – Automated proctoring enhances security and accuracy with advanced algorithms, facial recognition, and audio analysis during online exams. It efficiently identifies irregularities and alerts proctors, allowing prompt intervention. Supervisors are notified of inappropriate activities, such as room noise, ensuring effective oversight without constant human monitoring.
  • Record proctoring – Recorded proctoring is fully automated, capturing the entire exam session, including the student’s screen, audio, and webcam feed. Unlike live proctoring, it prompts reviewers to check specific timestamps for unusual activity, saving review time. While effective at detecting dishonest actions, it lacks real-time interaction or immediate intervention capabilities.

How can proctoring software prevent cheating?

  • Continuous identity verification: By employing a rigorous identification and verification process, proctoring ensures the consistent validation of users’ identities throughout the entire test, minimising the risk of impersonation and bolstering the integrity of the examination process.
  • Real-time compliance monitoring: Proctoring engages in real-time compliance monitoring, utilising webcam and audio technology to actively observe test-taker behaviour. This ensures strict adherence to established rules throughout the examination, with immediate alerts triggered for any detected deviations, enabling prompt intervention by proctors.
  • Detailed post-test reporting: Proctoring generates comprehensive post-exam reports that detail the monitoring process. These reports include identity verification checkpoints and instances of potential or verified non-compliance, offering educators valuable insights for informed decision-making and maintaining transparency in the assessment process.
  • Integration with existing online exam software: Proctoring solutions offer seamless integration with existing online exam software, enhancing compatibility and facilitating the incorporation of anti-cheating measures into the assessment infrastructure.
  • Robust automation with minimal manual intervention: Proctoring minimises the need for manual intervention by leveraging robust automation. This feature enhances efficiency and reliability by automating monitoring processes, reducing the likelihood of human error, and creating a secure online testing environment resistant to dishonest activities.

How does Moodle support proctoring?

Moodle provides seamless proctoring integrations, enhancing educators’ capacity to uphold academic integrity during online assessments. 

SMOWL: Online proctoring solution

Moodle Certified Integration SMOWL is a reliable solution for secure online assessments. It creates a fair, cheat-free testing environment that adheres to privacy standards, including GDPR and FERPA. This integration simplifies the management of digital exams on Moodle, allowing for easy setup and monitoring of assessments without the need for additional tools or platforms. It offers a range of features such as continuous monitoring, AI-driven detection of unauthorised actions, and strategies to prevent cheating through virtual machines, ensuring the integrity of online exams.

Safe Exam Browser 

Safe Exam Browser (SEB) is an open-source lockdown browser designed to restrict students’ access to external websites, system functions, and applications during online assessments. With SEB seamlessly integrated into Moodle Quiz by default, teachers can effortlessly establish a controlled testing environment. By requiring students to download and install the SEB application beforehand, this integration enhances the security and integrity of online assessments within the Moodle platform. It provides educators with a user-friendly solution for effectively monitoring and controlling the testing environment, ensuring a smooth and reliable assessment experience.

Other Moodle proctoring plugins

Moodle plugins serve as essential tools in supporting proctoring efforts, offering advanced features that elevate assessment integrity. Among these features is the ability to capture a user’s picture via webcam during a Moodle Quiz, facilitating seamless identification of the test-taker. These plugins use face and emotion recognition technology to analyse users’ behaviour during the test, effectively identifying any anomalies that may indicate unfair participation. The plugins prove instrumental in verifying candidates’ identities and issuing warnings when necessary, ensuring the integrity of the assessment process.

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