Speeding, Cheating, and an Effective Deterrent to Both

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When you are driving down the road and you see a police car on the side of the road what do you do?  Slow down!!! Do you think that is a strong deterrent?

What if every morning on your drive to work you see a police car on the side of the road and you notice that it is empty, no one is in it?  Do you still slow down?  Once you see a pattern that the police car is empty, over time it becomes less of a deterrent to speeding.

What if the police department, in an effort to cut costs, some days had someone in the police car monitoring for speeders and some days did not.  You are likely to start looking closely at the police car to determine whether it is empty and then adjust your speed accordingly.

What if there was one town that you drive through every morning which really takes public safety seriously and controls for speeding by daily having police officers monitoring for speeding and you regularly observe them writing speeding tickets?  You are likely to call it a “speed trap” rather than a “community that fosters a culture of public safety,” but one thing is for sure, you will slow down.

Exam proctoring as a deterrent to cheating is parallel to officers monitoring traffic for speeders.

Just as towns desire to promote public safety by monitoring for speeding, schools want to promote academic integrity through monitoring students during exams.  However, some towns simply do not have the budget to employ officers for consistent monitoring.  In those cases, they may use other deterrent strategies such as randomly positioning empty police cars.

Many schools also have institutional budget concerns regarding monitoring of students during exams and they also desire to control costs to students regarding proctoring fees. In these cases, we recommend a strategy that is similar to what towns do in utilizing empty police cars.  This strategy is known as multi-modal proctoring.

There are seven different modalities or types of proctoring that schools can utilize:

  1. Instructor as Proctor – The instructor proctors the exam in-person or online.
  2. Collegiate Testing Centers – The student takes the exam at the testing center at their school or at another school.
  3. Proctoring Professionals – A professional such as an HR Director at a corporation or an Education Services Officer in the military is approved as a proctor.
  4. Professional Testing Centers – The exam is taken at a business whose purpose it is to securely proctor exams.
  5. Live, Virtual Proctoring – A human monitors the test taker in real time via the Internet.
  6. Record & Review Virtual Proctoring – A human monitors the exam session after it is completed.
  7. Automated Virtual Proctoring – An online solution utilizing artificial intelligence monitors the exam session and identifies testing anomalies.

Multi-modal proctoring

The cost to the institution and student varies, but the modalities occur along an expense spectrum.  In most cases the options exist on the spectrum in an order of least to most expensive like this: Instructor as proctor < Collegiate testing centers < Proctoring professionals < Automated virtual proctoring < Record & review virtual proctoring < Live, virtual proctoring < Professional testing centers.proctor survey data

These proctoring modalities also exist along a spectrum of least to greatest deterrent to proctoring.  A recent survey of 365 students, faculty and proctors revealed that students considered a proctoring professional the strongest deterrent to cheating and automated virtual proctoring as the weakest deterrent to cheating.

So, what should a school do which is genuinely interested in fostering a culture of academic integrity while at the same time controlling proctoring expenses for both the institution and student?

Our recommendation is to utilize multi-modal proctoring as a dynamic deterrent to cheating.  A strong strategy is to use a variety of proctoring types per student.  Just as if you see the speed detection strategy every day on the way to work then you will figure out where and when you can get by with speeding.  Students who consistently use the same proctoring modality for every exam will exploit the weaknesses of that particular modality.  A strategy that varies the cost of proctoring as well as fosters academic integrity by keeping the deterrent level high is to use SmarterProctoring to manage proctoring across the full range of proctoring modalities.

SmarterProctoring is the only platform available that manages all modalities of proctoring for students, faculty, and proctors.  From within the LMS the student sees that they must take a proctored exam. Next, they see a list of the proctoring modalities which their school has approved for this exam.  They are presented with information such as the cost of the proctoring session so that they may be a well-informed consumer. Then the student is able to register for and manage all aspects of the proctoring event including re-registration, questions to the proctor or faculty member, etc.  Faculty members value SmarterProctoring as it provides a single place within the LMS to provide and manage all details about the exam such as passwords, allowable materials (calculators, blank paper, etc.).  Students appreciate using SmarterProctoring as it provides a single point of truth for all details about the exam session.  Proctors enjoy using the system because all communication between the faculty, student, and proctor occur and are archived within SmarterProctoring.

By varying the proctoring modalities, the level of deterrent is kept high while at the same time the cost is regulated for the students and their institutions.

To see what SmarterProctoring can do for your institution and its students reach out at sales@smarterproctoring.com or visit SmarterProctoring.com.

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