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Many administrators and faculty members say online exam proctoring works and is vital to expanding online programs. But some question, at what cost? As the of online courses and degree programs greatly expanded during the past decade, so did the of exams administered online. Tens of thousands of online exams now are taken each month by students enrolled in online courses -- 30, exams a month at Western Governors University alone -- as well as by a growing of learners in face-to-face classes.

At the same time, the of for-profit online exam proctoring services has ballooned as colleges and universities seek effective, cost-efficient ways of catching cheaters. Inside Digital Learning found at least 15 online proctoring companies, more than twice the that were around just five years ago, industry officials say.

Some institutions also have their own online exam proctoring teams to supplement the services they purchase. The products offered by for-profit proctoring services are sophisticated and wide ranging, and their costs have dropped amid increased competition and technology enhancements. Some believe that exams proctored using artificial intelligence and biometric authentication with iris scans are not too far off. Still, a of faculty members and administrators continue to voice concerns -- some about the services' capabilities, some about students' privacy and some about both.

But she added: "The respect for students' rights and privacy outweighs any need to make sure all these technologies are deployed. Diane Horton, online proctor coordinator and online services manager for the University of North Carolina system, said proctoring services have enabled the UNC system to expand its online course offerings. UNC's 17 campuses have 30, to 40, exams proctored online annually.

Like many institutions, UNC still proctors some online course exams face to face on campus or at testing centers. There are a couple of reasons why the of for-profit online proctoring exam services have greatly increased in recent years.

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Adel Lelo, senior manager of assessment solutions at Western Governors University, said colleges and universities are much more aware of the services, and in general, are more accepting that the companies can provide reliable, secure. There are several of proctor services, listed below from lowest to highest in price. Online exams are taken at a computer that has an internal or external camera.

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Auto authentication. Live authentication. After the student performs ID verifications, answers challenge questions and enters a keystroke ature, a live proctor does a facial comparison. Automatic proctoring. After the student is authenticated, the test taker and her environment are monitored for sounds, motions and systemic changes.

Record-and-review proctoring. After completing authentication, the person is videotaped from the start to finish of the exam. A proctor later reviews the video. Live proctoring. After completing authentication, the student and her surroundings are monitored by a live proctor, who can trouble shoot potential testing infractions as they occur.

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For exams viewed by proctors, students typically have to schedule exam times hours or days in advance. Colleges and universities that have tens of thousands of exams proctored annually typically pay lower fees. Officials at the institutions interviewed for this article would not reveal their actual costs. Proctoring services are testing mobile options, but mainly to authenticate the exam takers.

Mike Olsen, co-founder of Proctorio, said his company supports exam taking on tablets, but not phones because it is difficult to get a clear view of the test taker. Proctorio has about higher ed and K clients. Company officials and college administrators interviewed for this article said that online-proctored exams, especially those that are videotaped or monitored during the test, deter cheating because cheaters get caught. In addition to effectiveness, online exam proctoring offers convenience for students.

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NOVA, which boasts 23, students taking online courses, has about 12, exams proctored online each month. WGU contracts with 2, testing centers nationwide, but 90 percent of its 80, students take all tests online with a live proctor. WGU has spent years improving online exam monitoring. It provides each new student with an external webcam, which must be placed at a degree angle to the person when he takes an exam. For more information about WGU's efforts. Proctored exams online aren't without issues. Texas Tech has been reviewing online proctoring services for about three years, and recently completed pilots with two firms.

Some Texas Tech test takers were asked by live proctors to remove pictures from their surroundings and some minority students were told to shine more light on themselves. Nevertheless, the university stopped the pilot with that firm. Louder wondered how long the proctoring companies keep videos of students taking exams and where they are housed.

Proctoring services say exam videos and other data are securely stored. Video and audio recordings, as well as encrypted images of IDs, are stored in the Amazon S3 servers, and metadata about exams is separated and stored in a secure hosting facility, he added. And McGill, along with faculty and administrators interviewed, said there are no standards for online test proctoring -- and that institutions need to develop them.

There are other issues as well. Jill Leafstedt, executive director for teaching Free sex chat Stony Brook Massachusettes MA learning innovations at California State University, Channel Islands, said many online exams only show that the test takers could memorize facts. CSU Channel Islands has 6, full-time students. Going forward, company and colleges officials interviewed by Inside Digital Learning said the of exams proctored online will continue to swell because of the steady growth in online courses and learners. In the near term, competition and new technologies will continue to force exam prices down.

But over time, big proctoring companies will acquire smaller firms or will go out of business. Jarrod Moran, founder of ProctorU, which has about higher ed clients, said the industry still is young and "has a long way to go. We always have to have technologies that are better than the older technologies. We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor.

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Advertise About Contact Subscribe. Coronavirus Live Updates - 29 min 12 sec ago. By Jean Dimeo. May 10, Proctors observing online exam test takers. The Nuts and Bolts There are several of proctor services, listed below from lowest to highest in price.

Surprising Student Reaction Proctored exams online aren't without issues. More Students, More Exams Going forward, company and colleges officials interviewed by Inside Digital Learning said the of exams proctored online will continue to swell because of the steady growth in online courses and learners. by Jean Dimeo. Founding Director Alan Lightman is pictured on the center right.

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