Online Exam Centre and Test Security – Ways To Protect Online Exams

In order to implement complete digitization of exams and tests for students and corporate candidates, one needs to first identify various  important technological, infrastructural, financial, and equity challenges that come in their way. Only after we have addressed how to overcome these hurdles we will be able to efficiently develop and implement online or onscreen educational testing for test takers. 

In many countries there is an absence of a proper system that is specifically intended for formative educational purposes for educational institutions and enterprises alike. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that many entities have begun investing in technologies that are beyond their comprehension or control. The core question is how to get an online exam center and how to manage it well enough so that the integrity of the online test can be maintained. Another critical concern is that of the future of the candidate being on the line here. In a time and age where everyone seeks to implement a new online testing system, clarity about its purpose and vital awareness about the current technology conditions are still missing from the equation. This gap is what attaches risks and uncertainty to the whole deal.

DBS or Diversified Business Solutions intends to fill this gap by bringing institutions and enterprises looking to digitize education and automate testing closer to solutions that are not only custom made to their needs but affordable as well. You don’t just get top of the line and well maintained physical centers for online examinations and the much needed infrastructure but also state of the art software solutions that will enable you to conduct computer-based exams at online exam centres without compromising on their integrity and security.

The major software solutions that any institution / enterprise will be needing include a basic proctoring software, exam software which will facilitate the actual online test, certification software (as per the needs of the entity), additional software packages such as a merit list maker, exam registration software, counselling software and the like.

Features You Should Be Looking For In Online Exam Software – A Brief Overview

  • Ability to create question banks
  • Designing marking schemes
  • Support for different types of question paper formats such as MCQ, subjective and the like
  • Upload file feature for whenever a student / candidate is required to draw a diagram on paper
  • Result generation feature
  • Student / candidate identity verification
  • Freedom to use this software with or without online proctoring software

However, in the absence of online proctoring software, anti-cheating mechanisms cannot be placed. 

Preventing Cheating – A Critical Responsibility Of The Entity Conducting The Online Test 

cheating in exam

Remember, reliable proctoring software is not just a way to monitor the exam but a mechanism to catch and prevent cheating.  For example, the entity conducting the exam has at its disposal tools such as the mic, high resolution webcam, and screen capture features. These can be used in conjunction with AI to monitor the activity of the test taker from a remote location.

  • The microphone is going to record audio 
  • Webcam is going to keep an eye on the movement of the student for any “unusual” behavior
  • A human proctor can be enrolled to watch over the students and their screen to detect and prevent any cheating 
  • Presence of a second person or an unknown / unidentified voice can be detected with AI enabled features
  • The webcam can record and monitor eye movement, neck movement, stepping out of webcam and the like 

For more information on how cheating on online exams can be prevented, check out our post here.

Now Coming To A Few Techniques On How To Make Online Exams More Secure 

  • Using A Secure Browser

Invest in a secure browser technology. This is going to prevent candidates / users from opening any other window during their online examination process. By limiting their access to only the examination window, you can also prevent incidents of cheating very easily. Similarly, access to keyboard shortcuts can also be disabled so that screen sharing to another device can be prevented.

  • Data Encryption

Won’t you feel more at ease when you know that your online examination system’s data has been encrypted effectively? This is going to prevent any kind of misuse of your exam data and question banks. This is further going to prevent unauthorized access to your already saved question banks. You can also prevent any incident of result manipulation without valid credentials. This will also ensure that the entire communication between the main server and test taker / client is encrypted to prevent any data leakage.

High-level encryption algorithms are going to ensure the confidentiality of the test papers exchanged between the server and the client

  • Audit Logging

You could do a lot better with a detailed audit logging facility. This will give you total freedom as to monitoring various activities like logins, logouts, and access to exams, both authorized and unauthorized, question navigation, answer responses, and the like.

  • Authentication & Authorization

IP based authorization and authentication implies that only a specific user group or a restricted number of users / IP addresses can access and operate your examination program. This can also be applied to the admin login which means that there will be no chance of any data or question bank leakage in your online exam.

Final Thoughts 

The most practical path to a more secure online exam process is paved right in the beginning. You need to invest in the right online proctoring platforms and the most suitable online exam software. In order to secure the future of our students and also to enable our budding managers and leaders from furthering their career, what we need is to employ the best practices of online exam infrastructure and data security.

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