What is Remote Proctoring?

When you take a test, the person who is there to make sure you aren't cheating is called a proctor.

Remote proctoring takes place when you and the proctor are in separate locations. Most likely you will be in your home and the proctor will be watching you via your webcam from his location, which could be thousands of miles away.

When online education first started tests were taken at a real location, usually a nearby community college for which the students paid a nominal fee.

Now, distance education is moving into the new frontier of remote proctoring and your proctor is a real person but in a virtual environment.

Students complain about privacy invasion, not being able to look out the window, talk to themselves or respond to any problem taking place in their home.

One student said her cat brought a snake into the house and she was unable to tell her children to take care of it. Instead, she coughed loudly hoping they would hear her and notice the snake! She finished and passed the test.  Luckily, her daughter heard her coughing and took care of the snake.

Professors are still not sure if remote proctoring is reliable. How can a proctor detect if a student is being coached, or has written the answers somewhere the proctor can't see?

One remote proctoring company uses a mirror test before the student begins the test.  The student is required to hold a mirror up to the camera so the proctor can make sure the student does not have sticky notes on the frame of their monitor.

Students are not allowed to wear headsets or to have pictures or written materials near their desk. If they glance one to many times off the screen the proctor will stop the test.

Remote proctoring is still in the baby stages and there are many features that need refining.

Have you ever taken an online test and used a remote proctor? What was it like? Did you feel like your privacy was being invaded? Did you feel your movements were restricted?  Were you uncomfortable?