Back to Basics – Proctors and Remotely Proctored Exams

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What is a proctor?

Back in the day, England and some English-speaking countries assigned various authoritative duties at a university to an “official.” This official or Proctor was in charge of keeping order, maintaining discipline, and also representing colleges at university proceedings. However, in the United States, a proctor is a teacher or faculty member that supervises tests or exams. 

Today, proctors are a popular pick for invigilating exams, be it for brick and mortar institutions or online courses. 

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How is an onsite proctor different from an online proctor?

The fundamental responsibility of a proctor is to monitor exams. While onsite/physical proctors do it in a classroom setting, online proctors do it over the webcam from a remote location. 

In a physical setting, a proctor is tasked with:

  • Explaining the test guidelines 
  • Distributing exam papers
  • Keeping track of time
  • Ensuring that the students don’t cheat in any way.

On the other hand, an online proctor monitors with the help of the student’s video/audio feed and is responsible for:

  • Authenticating the identity of online test-takers 
  • Making sure the candidates don’t use any restricted websites or apps
  • Flagging any attempts of cheating with gadgets, outside help, or impersonation.

Why do we need proctors?

The job of a proctor is relatively simple yet very important. Particularly for online education where academic integrity and accountability are the biggest concerns. Without proper online monitoring policies, test-takers can easily resort to unfair practices. 

Online courses have made learning more convenient and personalized, but instead, made exams more susceptible to cheating. You can think of online proctors and proctoring technologies as the first line of defense for remotely conducted online exams. Whether it is multiple-choice questions, essays, interview questions, or assignments; live proctors can effectively monitor the candidates in real-time.

Basically, in the absence of a proctor, online exams cannot be legitimized, and students cannot be accurately accredited for their course.

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How to become an online proctor?

Schools and universities are always on a lookout for proctors who can invigilate online test sessions. Firstly, you can look for listing from companies or educational bodies that administer remotely proctored online exams. Schools, colleges, and universities are suitable prospects.

You can also register yourself on various online proctoring services, join forums, and discussion groups to better your chances of getting hired.

Make sure you meet the criteria posted by the institute. Many exams require the proctors to be a counselor, librarians, or military officers. Consequently, if you qualify for the proctoring position, you will officially be a certified proctor.