Exam Monitoring: What Is It and How Does It Help with Online Examinations?


Teaching and learning remotely have their own challenges, most of which have to do with various technical issues that can happen. Someone's laptop failing or having an unstable internet connection can deteriorate the quality of learning students get.

Additionally, there are a number of social and psychological issues that come into play. For example, how does a teacher feel about being away from their classroom, colleagues, and students? How does a student feel sitting in front of their computer at home to learn? 

Evaluating their performance is also a serious matter. To help alleviate the burden on learners, we should look into the available solutions that would enhance both the learning and teaching experience. One of these solutions is exam monitoring.

What is Exam Monitoring?

Exam monitoring is the term used for monitoring exams remotely, as is usually the case for online learning arrangements. Therefore, it allows examiners to make up for their lack of physical presence by having software to help them.

The goal here is to catch plagiarism before it becomes a problem, something that has been proven by research. This concept of online exam monitoring is to allow examiners to catch students who cheat or plagiarize before they have a chance to cover their tracks.

But make no mistake: exam monitoring serves other purposes beyond plagiarism detection. It also prevents the exam from being copied and monitors student behavior during the exam, all while protecting everyone's privacy.

Given these benefits in augmenting a teacher's capacity in an online learning setting, every university or school should have it in the toolbox.

How Does Online Exam Monitoring Work?

The process mostly involves converting the normal processes involved with monitoring exams in a classroom setup. Every step involved here is taken to create the optimal environment for test-taking. Here's how it goes:

Choose Exam Monitoring Features 

Various software comes with different features, and not all of them may be relevant, depending on the type of exam you've made. For example, if they need to create charts for the exam, web tab locking may not be appropriate.

It's all about strategizing. What do you need to do to prevent cheating and plagiarism without setting unnecessary limitations?

Set Test Rules, Guidelines, and Accommodations

Before preparing for an exam, you should always make sure that the room is acceptable for the kind of work you'll be doing in it. For example, if your instructor says cell phones should be off during the exam, your phone should be turned off.

But this doesn't mean that the examiner should take a passive role in this. To clearly define what's expected of everyone, it's important to set expectations of what's acceptable or not.

Student ID Verification

To make sure that no one's taking an exam on the student's behalf, you can verify their student ID. In this case, it would be wise to list what they would need on the exam day so they can prepare beforehand.

If someone loses their ID, you would also be able to help the student work around the issue by presenting alternative forms of identification.

Students Complete the Proctored Online Exam

Once they understand the rules, they can now take the exam. If there are downtimes, they will be reflected in the report.

This would let the teacher better assess the situation should someone ask for, let's say, extra credit because they had issues with internet connectivity.

Review Results of the Proctored Exams

After the exam, you'd gain access to reports which would help you better understand the testing environment your students are in. If a lot of them didn't complete it within the allotted time frame, maybe you should grade on a curve.

All the data you'd get would help you better structure future exams. It can also give insights on whether or not you should adjust the accommodations and testing features you use.

Common Exam Monitoring Features

If you're looking for a good exam monitoring software, here are a few that you should look at:

1. Full automation. With this, students don't have to wait for you to move on to the next phase of the examination. This lets them work at their own pace.

2. Video recording. This feature allows you to monitor student behavior during the examination. Apart from the webcam, it also records their screens.

3. Content protection. It protects the evaluation validity of your exam, so if you don't want your exam copied, this is a must. 

4. Scoring. This removes subjectivity involved with scoring (especially with essay-type exams), thus increasing the credibility of their test scores.

5. Mobile camera connect. To make sure they don't have their cheat sheet on the wall, you can connect to their mobile camera to get a full view of their test environment.

If you're hesitant because of the supposed disadvantages of exam monitoring, you'd be glad to know that it doesn't negatively affect student performance as compared to offline proctoring.

That's why if you're holding online examinations, using exam monitoring software would always be a great help. Try it and see for yourself!