Addressing Concerns around Cheating in Online Proctoring: Tips for Prevention and Detection

The usage of online proctoring to assure exam integrity is expanding along with the popularity of online education. Utilising technology to keep an eye on test-takers throughout an exam in order to detect cheating is known as online proctoring. Online proctoring can be a useful tool for preventing cheating, but it also poses issues with accuracy, fairness, and privacy. We’ll go over some advice for stopping and catching cheating in online proctoring in this post.

Understanding the Various Online Proctoring Methods

It’s critical to comprehend the various forms of online proctoring before discussing strategies for avoiding and spotting cheating. Online proctoring comes in three primary flavours:

  1. Automated proctoring: In this form of online proctoring, software is used to keep an eye on test-takers while they take the exam. Algorithms in the programme are used to spot any odd behaviour that would be a sign of cheating, such as glancing away from the screen, speaking, or visiting other websites.
  1. Live proctoring: In this form of online proctoring, a human proctor uses a webcam to watch the test-taker in real time. If they suspect cheating, the proctor can speak with the test-taker and step in.
  1. Proctoring that records the test-taker’s performance is known as “record and review proctoring.” A human proctor reviews the tape after it has been recorded. The proctor can watch the tape to look for any unusual behaviour that might be a sign of cheating.

Guidelines for Online Proctoring Cheating Prevention and Detection

  1. Test-Taker Education on the Effects of Cheating : Teaching test-takers about the repercussions of cheating is one of the greatest approaches to avoid cheating in online proctoring. Inform test-takers that plagiarism is a serious offence that can lead to expulsion from the programme or the cancellation of a degree. Give specific instructions on what is considered cheating, such as utilising unapproved resources, exchanging knowledge with other test-takers, or duplicating answers from other sources.
  1. Make Use of a Range of Test Formats : Using a variety of exam formats is another technique to combat cheating in remote proctoring. Consider essay questions, short-answer questions, and other sorts of questions that call for critical thought and analysis in addition to multiple-choice questions. This makes it more challenging for test-takers to cheat through memorization-only methods.
  1. Make test questions arbitrary : Randomizing exam questions is another method for preventing cheating in online proctoring. As a result, it is impossible for test-takers to exchange answers or cheat by memorising a set of questions and answers because each test-taker receives a different set of questions in a random order.
  1. Use deadlines : In online proctoring, using time restrictions can help stop cheating. Establish a time restriction for each exam segment, and make it very obvious to test takers that they must finish the exam in that time. This makes it more challenging for test takers to consult others or search up answers to cheat.
  1. Watch Examinees in Real-Time : The best technique to stop cheating during online proctoring is through live proctoring. Through a camera, a human proctor may observe test takers in real-time and intervene if they appear to be cheating. Tests with a high stakes, like certification or licensing tests, benefit most from live proctoring.
  1. Utilise automated vigilance : Low-stakes tests are a suitable fit for automated proctoring. The use of other websites, chatting, or glancing away from the screen are examples of anomalous behaviour that automated proctoring software might identify as possible signs of cheating. A record of the test-taker’s behaviour throughout the exam can also be provided via automated proctoring, which a human proctor can evaluate later if necessary.
  1. Recording reviews : If you employ record and review proctoring, be sure to carefully go over the recordings to look for any unusual behaviour that would point to cheating. Observe any odd patterns of behaviour, such as prolonged amounts of time spent gazing away from the screen, the use of prohibited items, or access to other websites while the test is being taken.
  1. Utilise browser lockdown tools : Users with browser lockdown software won’t be able to access any other websites or programmes while taking the test. This makes it more challenging for test takers to consult others or search up answers to cheat.
  1. Observe the privacy of test-takers : While employing online proctoring, it’s crucial to preserve test-taker privacy. Before collecting any personal information from test takers, make sure to seek their consent and offer explicit instructions on how the data will be collected, handled, and utilised. Store test-taker data on secure servers, and make sure that only authorised staff have access to it.
  1. Using Online Proctoring Software: Finally Online proctoring software, such as Mercer | Mettl, may offer a dependable and secure method of keeping an eye on test takers while they are taking a test. The online proctoring software from Mercer Mettl employs cutting-edge technology to spot any unusual behaviour that may be a sign of cheating, such glancing away from the computer, chatting, or visiting other websites. The programme also keeps a record of what was done throughout the exam, which a human proctor can check later if required. 


A useful strategy for combating cheating in online education is online proctoring. But it’s crucial to address issues with confidentiality, equity, and accuracy in the testing procedure. You may contribute to making the online testing environment secure and dependable by putting the advice in this article into practice, such as employing many different proctoring techniques, giving test-takers clear instructions, and evaluating recordings. 

Additionally, it is very useful to pick a reliable online proctoring software supplier, such as Mercer | Mettl, that uses cutting-edge technology to identify suspicious behaviour and keeps a record of test-taker activities. Last but not least, it’s critical to protect test-taker privacy by gaining permission, storing data on secure servers, and limiting access to just authorised employees. Online proctoring may be a useful tool for preventing cheating and preserving the integrity of the testing process if used in accordance with these rules.

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