Is it AI? Is it a Robot? No, it’s the Super Proctor!
by Marten Roorda, on Mar 1, 2023 5:40:14 PM
Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Key takeaways from the blog:
- The number of candidates that one person can proctor can be increased by 300 percent by using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Remote proctoring is here to stay. It will become the mainstream of test delivery, and AI will be used in the majority of test administrations.
- Putting advanced automation and AI in the hands of a human proctor creates what the experts refer to as Super Proctor.
When David Foster and I came up with the idea of remote proctoring for testing in 2006, it was not easy to find an investor. Many believed the idea was “interesting” but the test sponsors would never risk having candidates take a high-stakes test from their home. Fortunately, we found Drake International prepared to invest, and their company Kryterion facilitated the introduction of remote proctoring to the marketplace in 2007. The first customers were online universities and soon a couple of other companies entered this market segment. A new wave of companies launched between 2013 and 2015 when remote proctoring was adopted by some big companies in IT certification. The market leaders in assessment also started doing remote testing. It was the pandemic that accelerated the market and helped mature the technology. Currently, there are around fifty companies in the world offering remote proctoring and an increasing number of them are using artificial intelligence in some shape or form.
In the industry, people are wondering if in the post-covid period, candidates will come back to the test centers and if remote proctoring is here to stay. Before Covid, about 80 percent of all tests were taken in a test center and only 20 percent remotely. During Covid, testing shifted dramatically towards remote proctoring: 60 percent against only 40 percent of tests taken onsite. Some programs went back to the test centers but the percentages are steady. Although most tests are now hybrid, offered both online and onsite, remote proctoring will trend towards 80 percent because the younger generations do not mind taking their test on a screen and actually prefer remote over in-person. So, 80/20 will likely change to 20/80 soon.
What helped move the needle is the pandemic that raised the acceptance of remote proctoring. When we started the new technology, market leaders were skeptic about remote proctoring ever doing high-stakes examinations. But when Covid hit, several high-stakes tests were transitioned to remote quickly: AP went online maybe a bit too fast, but LSAT moved smoothly, quickly and completely online. The pandemic changed our perception of and trust in remote proctoring, lowering the barriers significantly. Some of the high-stakes tests moved from the test center to live online proctoring. And some of the mid-stakes programs, especially in certification and licensure, moved from live online proctoring to recorded-and-review (review the recording after the test). Also, as cheating is becoming better and more advanced remote proctoring will not primarily be seen as a way to catch cheaters but more as a deterrence. Test sponsors are accountable for taking adequate measures to guard the test administration and protect the IP. Remote proctoring is their accountability.
The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps accelerate these trends. AI can detect suspicious (or anomalous) behavior from candidates or detect objects that do not belong in the room. It can be used to fully automate remote proctoring during a session, replacing human proctors, and it can be used to “watch” and “listen” to recordings of sessions after the test is taken. In some areas of the world, people are okay with replacing the human proctor with AI –here robots do all that work.
In other areas of the world, people prefer keeping humans in the loop while AI is used to enhance the monitoring capacity of a proctor. The number of candidates that one person can proctor can be increased by 300 percent using AI. Putting advanced automation and AI in the hands of a human proctor creates what we would like to call a Super Proctor. I have spoken with Many experts in remote proctoring, and they all agree that AI is a great assistant but that well-trained proctors can detect many suspicious behaviors that AI cannot see. So a Super Proctor is also ‘super’ because he/she is a great proctor professionally. There are companies, like Datamatics, that are specialized in recruiting, training and offering certified at the highest quality level.
Remote proctoring is here to stay. It will become the mainstream of test delivery, and AI will be used in the majority of test administrations. The role of proctoring will change from warning and catching cheaters to monitoring and facilitating the testing process. Other innovations will have a more significant role in preventing testing fraud, especially automated content generation, creating tests automatically on the fly. It is interesting to watch all these developments happen not so long after being involved with the introduction of remote proctoring in 2006. Things are changing so fast!