Schools offering AI-powered ‘exams from home’: All you need to understand proctoring


Written by Shyna Kalra
| New Delhi |

Published: May 12, 2020 6:50:43 pm


take from home exam, exam from home, online exam, online assessment, AI proctor, proctor, anti cheating technique, how to cheat in online exam, jee main leak, education news AI-proctoring offers surveillance during take home exams (Graphics: Gargi Singh)

Imagine a situation where you are appearing for an exam within the comfort of your home. Now imagine a good invigilator standing right in front of you, checking your every move, change within voice, posture, and even wandering associated with eyes. While the former is a desire every student, the latter is a wish of educators. The two seem to hit a balance in the latest innovation known as ‘take-home exams’ or exams from home.

While this has been practiced in some countries, now Indian education plus employment assessment institutes are inclined in the direction of it due to the coronavirus pandemic. The particular Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kashipur is among the first Indian institutes to have held take-home exams. GMAC is ready to conduct GMAT, a global competitive exam for entrance to management courses, in a comparable format. OP Jindal Global College has announced its entrance examinations through AI-proctoring, besides Delhi Specialized University which will hold its inner semester exams through this setting.

With the University Grants Commission (UGC) enabling higher education institutes to conduct examinations online and in innovative ways, the particular take-home exams can be a huge alleviation for academicians but the major issue remains one of ensuring integrity. Can i ensure a candidate is not cheating? The following is an attempt to understand these exams:

How are online exams carried out?

These exams can be carried out digitally on any device obtainable with the student, including the phone plus laptop. One has to open the link on the assigned time. Just like physical examinations, candidates have to open a link in a given time and after verification, the particular exam will start and end on the given time. The verification range from a scan of the face as well as biometrics and digital signatures based upon the need of the institute.

How to ensure anti-cheating?

An AI-assisted proctor is a software that is usually powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which keeps an eye on a candidate. It may note a change in voice, implying a whisper on a phone or maybe detect a person sitting next to the particular examinee. In many cases, proctors will also request the student for a 360-degree strategy of the room before beginning the examination, depending on the sophistication of the software being utilized.

The innovation also has the opportunity to freeze the examinee’s computer or even phone screen, which stops all of them from opening any other tab around the device. The high-end proctors are able to read the candidate’s eye movement, meaning reading from another device or perhaps a book. Any gestures, movement from the body can be captured as well. In some instances, audio and video of the examinees are documented. In case of any issue, a message will be sent to the authorities.

Why is it not popular?

The core issue is of mindset plus beliefs, says Sidharth Gupta, TOP DOG, Mercer Mettl, an online talent evaluation firm which has conducted online evaluation and exams for the government associated with India’s digital literacy and ability training test besides for several respected educational institutes.

“In academia, the adoption of innovation is slow. Online education and exams were not given due respect before the pandemic. While public institutes are comfortable with taking an exam on a computer, conducting them without human involvement is not accepted. We have been conducting computer-based tests or CBTs in India, but fully online exams are still looked at skeptically,” this individual commented during a conversation with indianexpress.com.

“When we pitch online examinations to institutes, they send their most senior faculty who try to cheat using different innovative methods – from use of chits to a Bluetooth device – during an online exam. The deal for many is that if you catch us cheating, we will consider you. It is still hard for academicians to believe that technology can catch cheating,” he remarked.

He added, “Cheating is a big problem even at test centres with the physical presence of invigilators, while it is hard for academicians to fathom what would happen without their presence. They overlook the power of focused AI-based surveillance.”

What regarding privacy?

Privacy and online connectivity are among the key concerns intended for opting for completely digital exams, thinks Srikant Ganesan, founder, and TOP DOG of Littlemore Innovation Labs – a Singapore-based Ed-tech platform which usually also provides several digital evaluation solutions. “Of the nearly 400 million students in India, only a handful have the luxury of having an entire room to themselves for 2-3 hours to take an examination. For others, having a webcam and a recorder monitoring you and a third person remotely surveilling every move with your family being around you is a concern. Educational institutes are also very sensitive to this issue and have not opted for these exams at a very high scale.”

What about the facilities?

Another myth, pointed out Gupta, is the need for high-end infrastructure in order to conduct completely online exams. “There is a technology present in India which can run an online exam on any device from a phone to a tablet or a computer. It consumes very little bandwidth. The assessment can be done using software or it can even provide the answer scripts with end-to-end encryption to teachers as soon as the exam ends and they can evaluate digitally, as and when they want without being constantly connected to the internet,” he said.

Ganeshan statements that the new launch by their firm – ‘PEXA Lite’ can allow taking such exams in really low connectivity areas too. “Even in developed countries having continuous connectivity for a 2-3 hour period is a challenge. For such cases, there are many options available including digital open book exams where access to books is provided. One can download the software a couple of hours before the exam. In such cases, no other windows can be accessed during exam time. Further, the facility of capturing constant images and audios on a device constantly, which is monitored by the algorithm in case of discrepancy, are some options. Other options include post-exam analysis of candidates in case there is a change in behaviour or irregularity in marks obtained, etc.”

Online exams only for MCQ-type papers?

Gupta claims that there can be countless formats in which these exams could be conducted, including descriptive papers. Their firm claims to identify and provide more than 26 different formats of queries digitally.

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