Frequently Asked Questions

All of your questions about online proctoring are answered here, including questions about security, how it works, how to set it up, and more. 

General Proctoring FAQs

What is proctoring?

When an exam is “proctored,” it means that it is supervised by a neutral party (a proctor) who confirms the identity of the student and the surroundings of the environment in which the student is taking the exam. SmarterServices’ online proctoring service is called “SmarterProctoring.”

What are the common misconceptions when it comes to proctoring?

There are several misconceptions when it comes to proctoring. To review the top misconceptions, click on the following links to learn more:

What is the difference between taking an exam in person and taking an online proctored exam?

Unlike face-to-face proctoring where students schedule an exam to be monitored by a proctor in-person, an online proctored exam allows students the flexibility to take their exam whenever and wherever it suits them best. 

There are three types of online proctoring: Live Virtual Proctoring, Hybrid Virtual Proctoring, and Automated Online Proctoring. The sections below on this FAQ page will explain more about each type. 

What is Live Virtual Proctoring?

With Live Virtual Proctoring, a human proctor will watch students via their webcam during the exam. Proctors can see both the students and their screens during the exam. The proctor is given the ability to stop the exam and make spot checks if they feel that any academic dishonesty has taken place. The session will typically be recorded for review by the instructor.

Hybrid Virtual Proctoring FAQs

What is Hybrid Virtual Proctoring?

Hybrid Virtual Proctoring is a new modality that is part of SmarterProctoring. Through the modality, institutions can easily control who acts as the remote online proctor while lowering the overall servicing costs. The platform can be configured to allow instructors, testing center staff, or partners to deliver a seamless live online proctoring experience.

Overall, it provides institutions greater control and flexibility over how their online proctoring services function and is the only proctoring platform that gives institutions the ability to deliver live online proctoring solutions using a set of shared resources.

How does Hybrid Virtual Proctoring work?

Historically, the large majority of proctoring has been handled through either an institution’s testing center or online proctoring vendors. Institutions have been forced to operate with these two distinct channels to service their students.

COVID-19 began to push institution testing center managers to think about other ways to remotely proctor during shutdowns. To accommodate this requirement, they turned to tools such as Zoom to remotely proctor their students. While these tools work, they do not have the proper feature set to effectively proctor on a large scale.

However, Hybrid Virtual Proctoring works through combining face-to-face proctoring modalities powered by the technology of Automated Virtual Proctoring. With this, the artificial intelligence (AI) of SmarterServices’ Automated Virtual Proctoring monitors the test taker and their environment for anomalies such as a second face appearing, voices being heard, attempts to open other browser windows, attempts to cut and paste, and others. While the AI is running in the background, a live person from the institution like a professor or trusted testing center proctor can also watch and review the AI-detected anomalies in real-time to ensure academic integrity

Why was Hybrid Virtual Proctoring created?

Since the start of COVID-19, more students are learning and testing online than ever before. However, both students and institutions had brought up multiple concerns about virtual proctoring including the lack of trust students had when not knowing who’s remotely proctoring them, the cost burden of virtual proctoring for both institutions and students, and/or the lack of cheating deterrent when being proctored online.

At SmarterServices, we heard those concerns loud and clear, which is why we created a solution to help eliminate these concerns with our Hybrid Virtual Proctoring Platform.

The concept of proctoring is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Hybrid Virtual Proctoring takes the inherent flexibility of the SmarterProctoring system and applies this to how online proctoring services are delivered. Through Hybrid Virtual Proctoring, institutions can easily control every aspect of online proctoring, including those who act as the remote online proctor while lowering the overall servicing costs.

What are the Benefits of Hybrid Virtual Proctoring?

Hybrid Virtual Proctoring is a new modality that is part of SmarterProctoring. Through the modality, institutions can easily control who acts as the remote online proctor while lowering the overall servicing costs. The platform can be configured to allow instructors, testing center staff, or partners to deliver a seamless live online proctoring experience.

  • Choices: Instructors can choose which proctoring levels students can be proctored at for each exam throughout the semester. Students can choose a time to schedule and take their exam when it works best for them.
  • Cost: Institutions and students save money by reducing the need for high-priced third party virtual proctors.
  • Convenience: Proctors can also monitor and assist multiple students in real-time at one time instead of reviewing recordings.
  • Reduced Concerns: Safety and security are provided to students as SmarterProctoring never monitors their devices beyond an exam session, and never shares or sells the students’ information with third parties. Trust is established as students know who their virtual proctor is.

Check out all of the benefits of Hybrid Virtual Proctoring by visiting our website.

What are some of the features of Hybrid Virtual Proctoring?

Hybrid Virtual Proctoring provides institutions with multiple features including:

  • LMS integrations with Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace D2L, Sakai, and others
  • Live incident tagging assistance through the use of Automated Proctoring technology
  • Customizable room capacity where proctors can monitor up to 10 concurrent sessions
  • Multiple proctors can be in a single room
  • Ability to focus and communicate with a single student at a time, while still being able to monitor the other students in the proctoring room
  • Built-in documentation features
  • Integrated text and audio communication between the proctor and the students
  • Loss of connection prevention if a proctor loses connection – The session will automatically be recorded and the student will be switched to Automated Proctoring without interruption

To learn more about all of Hybrid Virtual Proctoring’s features, click here to schedule a demo with us.

Within a Hybrid Virtual Proctoring session, do all students have to be working on the same exam from the same course?

No. Regardless if the testing center is serving as the proctor or an instructor, multiple exams can be proctored in the same virtual room, as rooms are not exam dependent.

Who in my organization could serve as a proctor within Hybrid Virtual Proctoring?

Both testing center administrators and institution instructors can serve as proctors within Hybrid Virtual Proctoring.

What happens when Hybrid Virtual proctors are not available when students want to take their exams?

If Hybrid Virtual proctors are not available when students want to take their exams, there are two things that can happen:

  1. The student would not be able to continue until they are connected to a live proctor.
  2. The student would fall back to Automated Proctoring in the event that a live proctor is not online or loses Internet connection during a proctoring session.
Can the Hybrid Virtual proctor stop the exam if they suspect cheating?

At this time, the Hybrid Virtual proctor does not have access to stop the exam if they suspect cheating. However, the proctor will have the ability to communicate with the student either through voice or text chat to better determine if cheating is occurring. All proctoring sessions are recorded for further evaluation by the institution as well, if needed.

Can Hybrid Virtual proctors give additional instructions at the end of the exam?

Yes. Proctors are allowed to give additional instructions at the end of the exam if the exam notes indicate such steps should be taken.

Example: If instructions are given in the exam notes that indicate students need to photograph their scratch paper and upload it onto Canvas for their instructor, the proctors inside Hybrid Virtual Proctoring can pass on those additional instructions to the students.

These additional actions and exam instructions can also be monitored by the Hybrid Virtual proctors to ensure academic integrity

Is RegisterBlast required for Hybrid Virtual Proctoring?

Yes. At this time, RegisterBlast is required for Testing Centers to use the Hybrid Virtual Proctoring system. Through this integration, testing centers can conveniently and confidently manage their physical and remote proctoring schedules from one place.

If you do not have RegisterBlast but are still interested in learning, please contact us for more information.

Automated Virtual Proctoring FAQs

What is Automated Online Proctoring?

Automated proctoring is a remote exam monitoring system that uses advanced, secure, and reliable artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and review students’ remotely proctored exams. 

Upon students starting a remote exam, the automated proctoring system’s AI will record the students’ screen, webcam, and microphone to ensure the integrity of the exam. Throughout the exam, the AI will detect and determine whether portions of the exam should be flagged for further review by the instructor.

How does SmarterProctoring Automated Online Proctoring work?

Automated proctoring is an easy-to-use online proctoring platform for students to use. Check out our short video demo to learn how automated proctoring works for students. 

Don’t want to watch the video? Click here to read our blog summary with information on:

  • How to Set Up Your SmarterProctoring Exam
  • How to Perform a System and Settings Check
  • How to Start Your SmarterProctoring Exam
  • How to Navigate During the Exam
  • How to End Your Automated Proctoring Exam
What types of actions can get flagged during an automated proctoring session?
  • Students failing to maintain eye contact with the screen.
  • Students talking during the session.
  • People walking in and out of the webcam view.
  • Students leaving the view of the webcam for a period of time.
  • Students visiting another webpage other than the page the exam is on.

For more information or to schedule a demo, click here to check out our SmarterProctoring Automated Proctoring page.

What are the benefits of SmarterProctoring Automated Proctoring?
  • Easy access and secure location for students to schedule their exams
  • Documentation of all communication between proctors and students
  • Ability to customize security levels on a per-exam basis
  • 24/7 student and faculty support 
  • Automatic recording of the exam session
  • Post-hoc exam session review capabilities for instructors
  • Robust reporting capabilities
  • Easy integration with LTI compliant Learning Management Systems including Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace D2L, Sakai, and others
  • Mac, Windows, and Chromebook supported

    SmarterProctoring Data and Privacy FAQs

    How is privacy protected during online proctoring?

    Enabling automated proctoring can help achieve the privacy and security that your students need and want. All data that is transmitted from a student’s device through SmarterProctoring is fully encrypted and secure. As soon as data arrives in our network, it remains encrypted as it is stored on the file system. Only authorized users at your institution can access your data. 

    To fully ensure the students’ privacy, SmarterProctoring never:

    • Monitors anything outside of an active exam session.
    • Monitors network traffic or devices other than where the exam session is being taken
    • Shares any student information outside of SmarterProctoring and the Learning Management System (LMS)
    • Shares the recorded exam session to any entity other than the student’s institution. 
    • Sells or shares the student’s information, including exam session recordings with any other entity. 
    • Review browsing history or currently installed programs on personal devices.
    How are students’ identities verified during an online proctored exam?

    Students’ identities can be verified through SmarterProctoring. Verification method would be by webcam and a government-issued ID.

    If the online SmarterProctoring exam is set up to verify students’ identities, the students will be prompted through a series of steps on how to complete the verification.

    For typing biometrics verification:

    With verification via typing biometrics, no webcam is necessary to authenticate a user. Everyone types differently. By using typing biometrics, students will be identified by their unique typing patterns. 

    Not only does this keep the students’ surroundings confidential, but it also provides students with another option to authenticate themselves. This plays an important part in online learning accessibility due to the potential lack of access to a webcam, are unavailable to access a webcam due to a disability, or if the students experience performance anxiety while appearing on a webcam.

    To learn more about this method of verification, check out our blog

    For webcam and government-issued ID verification:

    With verification via webcam and government-issued ID, students will be required to have a working webcam to verify their identity. First, they would be prompted to take a picture of themselves via their webcam. Next, they would be prompted to hold up their government-issued ID in order for the software to confirm the person on the webcam is the same as the person in the ID. 

    All students’ data is kept confidential and is never sold or shared with outside third-party vendors. Typically, videos, IDs, and other personal information are stored within the SmarterProctoring System for 6 months. However, it is up to the individual school to decide and configure their historical records.

    What personal data is stored in SmarterProctoring?
    • First and last name
    • The email address provided on account setup
    • The ID verification images provided during exams
    • The selfie photo taken during exams
    • Video/audio of the student’s screen and webcam during exams (if enabled by the instructor)
    How long does SmarterProctoring store personal data for?

    On average, information is retained for 6 months. However, it is up to individual schools to decide and configure their historical records. 

    Does SmarterProctoring monitor browser or screen activity?

    This will depend on the settings used when the exam was created. If the instructor has turned off the disable new tabs or force full-screen settings under the lockdown options, then students can open new tabs in their browsers or applications on their machines. If not, the students will not be able to access any webpages or applications outside of their exam. 

    The instructor has the option to use both the record screen setting and only one monitor setting when creating the exam. When used together, it will allow for SmarterProctoring to monitor the students’ screens, be it in a new tab or a new application. The system will then report this back to the instructor after the session is completed.

    Once the session is completed, SmarterProctoring no longer records and monitors the students’ screens.

    How do I know when the exam session is being recorded?

    The following icons are present within the Google Chrome extension ensure the user when their remote proctoring session is being recorded:

    Extension is installed, not engaged in an exam session.

    Extension is actively in an exam session, nothing is being recorded.

    Extension is actively in an exam session and recording is enabled.

    Can students view their own recorded exam videos?

    Currently, there is no functionality for students to view a copy of their own virtually proctored exam recording.

    Who should I contact if I have a SmarterProctoring privacy concern?

    Please email and we will be happy to assist you with any of your privacy concerns.

    SmarterProctorting Technology Requirements FAQs

    What is the required computer configuration requirements for SmarterProctoring?

    It is suggested your computer meets the following requirements in order to have a successful experience using the SmarterProctoring system:

    • Desktop or laptop computer (Mac or Windows-based PC). Chromebooks are also acceptable.
    • Windows PCs require a minimum of Windows 7.
    • Macs require a minimum of macOS 10.10. 

    Please note that iPads, tablets, phones, and other mobile devices are not compatible with SmarterProctoring.

    Does SmarterProctoring work with a Chromebook?

    Yes! Chromebooks can be used with SmarterProctoring. 

    Take a look at this 3-minute video/blog summary to learn more about the compatibility of Chromebooks and SmarterProctoring. 

    What is the required Internet/Bandwidth for SmarterProctoring?

    The SmarterProctoring automated system requires a stable Internet connection in order to successfully complete your exam. A connection that is not stable and able to push all the video to the server could result in issues during an exam. Use this tool to test your internet speed

    Minimum Recommended Speeds:

    • 1 Mbps – Download
    • 1 Mbps – Upload
    What if the internet connection is fast but not stable enough?

    While it is not advised to use an unstable WiFi connection or tethering to a phone for your proctoring session, but it can be done. SmarterProctoring will properly throttle the video uploads based on your connection speeds. 

    What can be done to improve internet connection speeds when using SmarterProctoring?

    Use some of the following tips to ensure that your connection speed is as fast as possible:

    • Ensure that no one else is on your network streaming videos like Netflix or Youtube. This can cause a slow down in your internet connection.
    • Restart your computer. It is always good to restart your computer to ensure that nothing is running in the background that you are unaware of. Additionally, it is good to free up any extra system resources that are being consumed.
    • Connect to the Internet via a hard-wired ethernet connection. Ethernet connections are always more reliable and faster than WiFi connections.
    • Ensure that no software is running on your computer that is eating up your bandwidth. For example, backup software.
    What Internet browser is required for SmarterProctoring

    SmarterProctoring runs best on Google Chrome web browser, version 74 or higher. It is highly suggested that all other programs are closed before starting your exam to ensure that you do not experience computer slowdown. 

    How do I download the Google Chrome SmarterProctoring browser extension?

    The SmarterProctoring automated system does require a Chrome extension to be installed. If you attempt to start your session without the extension, you will be prompted through a series of detailed instructions on how to download the extension.

    Having trouble? Click here to read our detailed guide. 

    How do I remove the SmarterProctoring Google Chrome browser extension?

    After your online proctored exam session is complete, right-click the extension icon in your browser and select “Remove from Chrome.” This process will ensure the extension is fully removed from your computer.

    Having trouble? Click here to check out our guide on how to uninstall the Chrome extension.

    What are the required computer accessories needed to run SmarterProctoring?

    A working webcam (internal or external) and microphone (internal or external) are required with SmarterProctoring Automated Proctoring to successfully take your exam. The use of a phone as a webcam for your computer through the software is not compatible with Automated Proctoring. 

    Overall SmarterProctoring FAQs

    Do I need to train faculty members or students on how to use SmarterProctoring?

    SmarterProctoring offers and often suggests training for all faculty that will be using the system. As for students, we provide a wealth of knowledge in our resource center as well as 24/7 online support.

    For training and resources, please reach out to your representative or click here to contact us.

    How much does SmarterProctoring cost?

    Please click here to contact the SmarterServices sales team member and they’d be happy to assist you.

    Are students allowed to use scratch paper during an online proctored exam?

    Students are only allowed to use scratch paper during an online proctored exam if it is permitted by the instructor for that exam. 

    Are students allowed to use a calculator during an online proctored exam?

    Students are only allowed to use a calculator during an online proctored exam if it is permitted by the instructor for that exam. 

    How do I become a proctor for SmarterProctoring?

    To become a proctor for SmarterProctoring, please click here and follow these 3 steps.

    SmarterProctoring FAQ + Fact Sheet

    Download this free resource that covers these frequently asked questions and includes more features, benefits, and facts about SmarterProctoring.

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