Technology-Based Online Proctoring Sharply Reduces Cheating on College Finals
Examity's data shows cheating reduced to 1 percent
NEEDHAM, MA — A technology-based system that provides remote proctoring sharply reduced the number of students cheating while taking online final exams during the past month, according to an analysis of 2,500 test-takers.
The student data from public, private and for-profit colleges in 10 states showed that less than 1 percent were observed cheating, according to Michael London, president of Examity (examity.com), a leading online proctoring company.
The numbers are sharply lower than the 32.7 percent of online students who self reported cheating at least once on tests, according to a study in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration.
The fact that a system now exists that can reduce the number of online cheaters is particularly significant today, according to London, as exam integrity is a major concern of college professors, administrators, public officials, and accrediting agencies.
“While no system, no matter how sophisticated, can catch everything, our data demonstrates that an online proctoring program can be very effective as a deterrent,” he said.
London said that in reviewing a random sample of 2,500 students who took final exams, only seven students were caught cheating, while some 410 students were observed with minor infractions that were not considered cheating.
An additional 11 students failed Examity’s identity check, meaning that an imposter was planning to take the exam.
Time-stamped videos of the students observed cheating or failing the identity check were provided to the students’ professors.
The professors have the option of selecting from four levels of security, ranging from a proctor watching the student throughout the test to confirming a student’s identity through an authentication process.
The data showed that the higher the level of security, the less likely the students were to cheat.
The online proctoring system works like this: The student logs on to the Examity site through the college’s LMS (Learning Management System) where a live proctor requests the student to place their photo ID in front of their computer’s camera and then asks the student a series of questions to confirm identity.
The student is then given their professor’s rules to follow while taking the exam and is then requested to show around their room with their computer’s camera to ensure that there are no inappropriate materials or other individuals in the room.
Depending on the level of security requested, the student is then observed and taped by the proctor throughout the taking of the test. Detailed reports are then provided to the college through the system including all videos.
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