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July 22, 2020
Washington Post online has reported that exam proctoring companies have a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to procure new clients as thousands of American, Canadian and indeed schools, colleges, universities, and professional institutions around the world, look to solve their examination requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
This marketplace has been preparing to provide its services in a virtual, online world for some time with e-learning being the future of learning. It is projected that by 2025, the global e-learning market will reach $325 billion. With this rapid growth of the e-learning industry, this has created the need for various supporting technologies which include the virtual proctoring space.
However, before understanding this opportunity, we need to look at what is proctoring and what challenges have proctoring service providers faced during COVID-19.
What are proctoring services?
Proctoring services involve the use of different technology or human-based proctors which ensure test-takers abide by a strict set of rules. Through technology or a live human proctor, a student is monitored by watching, listening, or talking to them, or in some cases, companies use facial-recognition, eye-tracking, and other software that can detect cheating.
A proctor is an individual who is trained and qualified to invigilate examinations by completing student authentication and prevent them from doing any form of cheating.
There exist two types of proctoring services – in-person or online exam proctoring services.
As can be expected, in-person proctored services have faced some obvious challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic these include:
Online proctoring services require costs in regards to investments into various technologies that ensure the security of data in regards to student privacy, training of proctors in this new way of working and how they invigilate exam students and in processing and storage of test results and data collected during the process.
As we can see, there is a critical and growing need for proctoring services to support education, e-learning, professional qualifications, and many other sectors across industries, states, and countries. This growing need, however, doesn’t come without its challenges be that in the context of COVID-19 or the growing challenges this sector faces around data security, student privacy and providing the most cost-effective, appropriate administration of proctored services to clients and students either in person or online that best meets their needs.