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The role of proctoring in the era of online admission
In October 2021, the Education Export Center became the executor of the state contract for the organization and realization of distance testing conducted as part of the Rossotrudnichestvo selection events for foreign citizens for admission to higher educational institutions of Russia in 2022. We managed to fully understand what PROCTORING is, who a modern PROCTOR is and what goals and purposes this activity is needed for.
To begin with, I would like to clarify the terms themselves:

  • Proctoring is an activity aimed at control and monitoring the progress of any distance exams or tests.
  • A proctor is a specialist who ensures that these exams are held without violations, and the examinees did not try to cheat.
  • The proctoring system is an IT solution with a user-friendly interface and functionality that allows test takers to pass qualifying tests, and proctors — to monitor the progress of tests. As a rule, it is implemented on web platforms with the aid of additional extensions; in rare cases it is represented by separate software.

The implementation of this project was carried out in December 2021 and assumed the provision of a procedure for monitoring and controlling online testing in the proctoring mode. It should be noted that over the past year, the demand for this service from educational organizations has increased many times as the use of online platforms for organizing certification events at all levels has expanded. In turn, the demand for specialists with experience in participating in the proctoring procedure has grown and continues to grow. In this regard, the Education Export Center has created a volunteer practice center for students on its site and teachers of Russian universities in order to acquire new competencies and skills in the field of proctoring.

The project participants had a unique opportunity to acquire theoretical and practical experience of participating in certification events, which they will be able to use in the future as part of their professional activities. At the end of the project, all participants received a certificate of completion of training (for their portfolios, which I will tell you about a little later), incentive diplomas on participation in the volunteer movement and monetary remuneration.
Requirements for candidates for proctors that we have established:
  • Current student of a Russian higher educational institution;
  • 18 y.o. or older;
  • High-speed Internet access from a desktop computer or laptop
  • Opportunity to participate in proctoring procedures in accordance with the approved personal schedule.

During the project implementation period, 76 proctors were selected, trained and included in the work of the Education Export Center, and the total number of candidates participating in the tests amounted to 21,650 persons.

There are 3 types of proctoring in total: synchronous, asynchronous, automatic proctoring. When implementing the project, we used a synchronous version, which is usually used in written exams. In conjunction with artificial intelligence in real-time mode, a specially trained proctor observes the user. He or she carries out identification, monitors compliance with all procedures and can comment on the actions of the participants of the selection test in a special chat. Before admitting a student to the exam, the proctor must also make sure that they do not have any prohibited materials or devices. As practice shows, this immediately weeds out most of the "cheaters" and makes it clear to students that observers are serious. Universities use synchronous proctoring when conducting important final exams or entrance tests for foreign applicants. For companies from other fields, as a rule, this method is used to test people applying for a high position. The proctor can interrupt the exam by marking it as irrelevant if a user violates the rules — for example, cheats and does not respond to the proctor's comments in the chat. One specialist can simultaneously accompany the exam for 9 students.

These are the advantages of this type of proctoring: high accuracy — thanks to the synchronization of the AI and proctor, it is possible to detect hidden violations in real time. This ensures that the exam will be held as transparently as possible.

I also want to note that proctoring, as well as proctor services, are actively used by companies from different business areas. Banks are engaged in recruiting personnel using such a system, in enterprises with production through proctoring, they conduct testing for responsible positions and almost all conduct important work certifications of a large number of employees online. When searching for vacancies by keywords, it is often possible to find various kinds of ads inviting specialists with full or part-time proctoring experience. An important criterion is the experience of performing such work, therefore, all proctors of the EEC who have received practice and supporting certificates can always count on additional earnings to their main profession.

We invite all educational organizations to cooperate in the field of proctoring, have a good admission campaign and monitor the progress of the entrance tests!
Nikita Strelchuk is the Director for Academic Relations of Education Export Center. Graduated from one of the leading Russian universities in the field of Management and is specialized in managing projects. His main professional interest is entrepreneurial approach to the work of academic institutions.