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Physical Invigilation vs Remote Proctoring

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Physical Invigilation vs Remote Proctoring

Physical Invigilation vs Remote Proctoring

Date: 28/08/2020 | Category: General

Ever since the pen and paper examinations have evolved, manual activities dominate the examinations process. From framing question papers to the declaration of results, a huge number of people are involved at various levels. Invigilation duty during the examinations isone of the toughest labour-intensive activity. At the same time, several individuals are required to monitor the candidates in the examination hall.

Historically, teachers have been performing invigilation duty in educational institutions.They partake in many activities from question paper creation to exam coordinationto returning the answer sheets after exams.Distribution of question papers and answer sheets, cross-checking the details of each candidate to verify the identity and observing the students during exams to ensure no malpractices are some of the major duties of invigilators at the exam hall.

The physical presence of the invigilator helps to provide individual attention to each student thereby maintaining the seriousness of the exam. It also helps the examination committee conduct the process smoothly. At the same time, physical invigilation has many drawbacks. The main drawback is the high possibility of exam-related frauds like cheating and impersonation.

Since the details are verified with hall tickets, it is not always possible to completely authenticate the identity of exam takers. The invigilator cannot observe each student at the same time. Once the invigilator moves or gives attention to other things, the students may try to cheator use some fraudulent methods.

Even the sincerity of teachers and students is also important to check the frauds. If anyone of them is not sincere enough, the fraud may occur. Moreover, the exam needs to be held at a particular time and place. Both students and invigilators have to reach the exam centre on time. In big universities, the transportation of invigilators and exam materials grab major costs, time and efforts. The institutions spend a hefty amount for all these processes.

Furthermore, this traditional invigilation is unable to follow in this current situation. COVID-19 crisis has restricted people’s movements and halted transportation to contain the spread of the virus. In this case, the institutions need to look for alternatives as they did with the academics – digital solutions.

Remote proctoring

The advent of online examinations reduced the hurdles in the process. A major concern everyone shared in the initial days was the effectiveness of the invigilations.

The physical invigilation was the first form in the computer-based examinations, but it soon turned to be ineffective. Next came video proctoring,in which the help of webcam and mic attached to the computer was used to monitor the candidates live. The recorded video proctoring also emerged, in which the video feed was later reviewed by the proctor and the scores were given.

The emergence of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) enabled more advanced proctoring solutions with zero human involvement. The AI-powered remote proctoring tool verifies the candidates’ details with advanced face recognition algorithms. It monitors the mouse and candidates’ movements and other set functions. The automated proctoring restrict the login to specific IP addresses and blocks copy-pasting.

The system records the audio-video and screen share feeds and simultaneously monitors them for any suspicious activities using advanced video and audio analytics. Removal of the location and time constraint makes automated proctoring economical and foolproof.

In India, the higher education regulatory body University Grants Commission (UGC) has ordered universities and colleges to conduct the examinations by the end of September in any mode. UGC’s approval hasincreased the pace of transformation to the online exam and demand for remote proctoring.

On the business side, the global remote proctoring market size is expected to register USD 663.2 million in 2025 with a CAGR of 16.7% between 2020 and 2025, estimated in a research report by Global Info Research[i]. India is still a nascent market for online proctoring, however, many institutions are exploring this technology since the COVID-19 outbreak. TheUGC guidelineshaveboosted the adoption of online exam with remote proctoring services to enhance the security.

Universities and exam bodies are incorporating remote proctoring service in entrance examinations too. Even the authorities in the bodies of high-stake exams like JEE Main and NEET are mulling over adopting the remote proctoring, however, that may not happen soon as those exams directly touch a vast number of students.

MeritTrac’s offering

India’s pioneering assessment and testing company MeritTrac offers an end-to-end online examination service combined with the AI-powered remote proctoring tool. This software helps the institutions to administer the examinations effectively with minimal human interactions. Currently, the company offers three modes of online examination:

  1. Remote Online Exam on MeritTrac Pariksha with Safe Exam Browser (SEB) – Sufficient level of security
  2. Remote Online Exam on MeritTrac Pariksha with Auto Proctoring and/or SEB – High level of security
  3. Remote Online Exam on MeritTrac Pariksha with LIVE Proctoring and/or SEB – Highest level of security

Early in August, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) successfully conducted MET 2020, annual entrance examination for various courses with the remote proctoring solutions of MeritTrac.[ii] Since the beginning of the lockdown in India, MeritTrac has conducted 5 lakh candidate assessment with our remote proctoring solutions. The institutions include Institute of Public Enterprise, Institute of Bioinformatics & Applied Biology, Azim Premji University, Dayanand Sagar University, IITM Trivandrum, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Manipal University Jaipur, and others.

In short, the disruption caused by the pandemic has ushered us to a new normal wherein the remote solutions play a vital role. This remote revolution has already occurred in the education sector also. Live online classroom and e-learning are not just limited to particular strata but is now being adopted by the entire society. Remote proctored online examinationsare also being adopted massively by institutions.


[i]Global Online Remote Proctoring (Remote Invigilation) Market 2020 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025

[ii]MeritTrac remotely proctors MAHE entrance exams successfully