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Is it possible to create a national proctoring system?

In our new article, we will tell you whether it is possible to carry out national exams using online proctoring.

The coronavirus pandemic is truly changing our world. Until a few years ago, it was difficult to imagine that educational institutions would conduct admission exams and sessions online. Today, this is gradually becoming common place, since all the risks of remote testing (mainly cheating) are successfully minimized with the help of online proctoring.

The ministries of education in different countries are already actively discussing the possibility of conducting online state certification exams. It is also planned to entrust proctoring systems with controlling the quality of their results and ensuring the honesty of students.

However, national exams, which are held simultaneously by hundreds of thousands of users across the entire territory of a particular country, are a completely different scale compared to testing at individual universities and corporations. In this case, one comes acrossseveral difficulties at once.

Costs and Load

In order to successfully conduct national exams with online proctoring, it is necessary to create a high-load system capable of processing the data of hundreds of thousands of users simultaneously. It requires a solid technical support and a big staff of proctors. In this case, the simultaneous proctoring format may be too expensive. If a single proctor can effectively monitor 6-10 students at a time, it is not difficult to calculate how many staff will be needed to conduct one certification exam in an entire country.

However, all these difficulties are quite solvable. Already now, the Examus proctoring technology allows taking exams simultaneously with 20 thousand users. If necessary, this load can be successfully scaled to the required amount. This is achieved through an individual approach to working with each client, where we provide an enterprise-solution for a large proctoring center. Staff costs can also be optimized by organizing the testing in the format of asynchronous proctoring with post-check of video recordings. In this case, fewer proctors are required.

Information Security

Of course, preserving the confidentiality of user data is another important task that must be solved when organizing national exams with proctoring. As a rule, most proctoring companies place data on existing cloud storage: AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Cloud, etc. However, already now, there are customers with internal regulations stipulating that all biometric data must be downloaded and processed only on their physical servers. Most likely, the same requirements will apply to mass certification exams.

Examus has found a solution to this problem. We have structured our work so that it is possible to integrate our services directly into the customer's infrastructure. This process takes a little longer compared to classic cloud hosting, but at the same time, it ensures that all data is processed only on the client's servers. Thus, various risks of leakage or loss of confidential information are minimized.

Legal Effect

Another possible obstacle is related to legal restrictions. For example, today in a number of countries, there are no statutory instruments that would allow mass online certification exams. The changes in legislation could become a good driver for introduction of proctoring at a national level. If past experience is any guide, then it is possible to enter some amendments to laws within a few months in some countries, subject to the consolidation of public attitudes.

What the New Format May Look Like

We believe that national online exams will be held on computers and other devices and the times when qualification theses were written exclusively on paper will be over. The process will be similar to the classic proctoring format currently used in universities: the students connect to the general system, get identified by means of biometrics and demonstration of an identity document, and then they can start an exam.

We also anticipate that in a number of countries, it will be allowed to take proctored exams even from mobile devices, since not everywhere schoolchildren and applicants have modern PCs and laptops. The video recordings are likely to be kept on open access so that the rating system transparency might be assured at any time.

Thus, the development of a national proctoring system for uniform certification exams is a feasible task. We are convinced we will be able to see such projects very soon on the condition of joint efforts of the government and the proctoring service provider.

Examus team

April 23, 2021
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