Education Technology Services

Improving online exams: What does AI bring to the table?

Examinations create a stressful time for students and instructors alike. Until recently, examinees had to travel to predetermined exam centres. Invigilators prevented malpractices like cheating and enforced the rules of the examination hall. When educational institutions and examination centres shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw various universities conducting tests and examinations online. This helped students stuck at home continue their education and progress academically. This widespread adoption of online education has created a need for a secure and fair method for conducting online examinations.

What is AI proctoring?

AI proctoring implements AI-enabled systems with facial and voice recognition technology to evaluate an examinee’s environment, movement, and behaviour and flag suspicious activity just like a human invigilator would.

Educational institutions that incorporate AI proctoring software to administer examinations benefit in several ways. These intelligent systems accurately detect cheating or other malpractices by monitoring students through video and audio feeds. They can also improve teaching and learning outcomes, mark complex, open-ended questions, and ensure prompt results. Let’s explore how AI-enabled systems could transform online examinations.

Eliminate cheating and other fraudulent activities

Students' academic and career prospects depend on their performance in university examinations. These high stakes, combined with the lack of in-person supervision, can encourage certain students to consider dishonest means to tip the scales in their favour.

Common methods to get external support during an exam include the usage of hidden cameras, electronic devices, and impersonators. Modern AI proctoring software is equipped with voice and facial recognition technology that can verify the identity of the examinee to prevent impersonation, as well as recognise suspicious movements or actions that may indicate cheating. It can commandeer the on-system hardware like webcams and microphones to assess the examinee’s environment.
These systems also scour the web to detect plagiarism. The incorporated algorithms can monitor keyboard pressure and typing speed to verify keystroke signatures and flag any suspicious activity. It is also possible to use AI to modify question papers in real time or randomly change numerical values in maths or finance questions, thus eliminating the effects of paper leakage or circulation.

AI proctoring has greatly simplified the administration of large-scale online examinations with efficient processes that eliminate human error, boost accuracy, ensure faster turnaround times, and enable scalability. This has helped streamline the often-tedious examination and assessment process for examinees as well as educational institutions.

Some features of such AI-based systems have been helping universities re-assess the opportunities with AI. On the path to becoming a truly free and fair AI model for examinations, AI-proctoring systems are sure to invite some critical perspectives.

Addressing the concerns

It seems most logical for students and other stakeholders in academic circles to feel sceptical of such a radical change. The discomfort is justified because human invigilators are absent and there is dependence on AI. Some university students reported false flagging during the initial deployment of AI-proctoring software in 2021. However, the primary benefit of AI systems is trainability. Since the early days of AI-proctoring, such systems have evolved to understand more nuanced movements, sounds, and patterns. With this knowledge, AI can take into account individuality of the examinees.

From another point of view, these systems demand some infrastructural and technological support like high-performance computers, functioning webcams, high-speed internet, and voice detection and browser locking. In certain parts of the world, these requirements may not be easily accessible. Even as edutech services create a robust model of equity and inclusivity, the anxiety around AI proctoring is being addressed rapidly. With the extensive and growing capabilities of AI models, these requirements would soon come down to a bare minimum.

A more inclusive and foolproof hybrid approach to AI-proctored exams involves human supervision of the AI model’s decisions as exam-proctoring software monitor thousands of candidates at a time, implying that the functions of human supervisors could scale up to accommodate high volumes and precision.

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How can Infosys BPM help?

To provide future-ready solutions to evolving education needs, Infosys BPM has developed a comprehensive suite of edutech platform solutions to transform the education sector. Reach out to explore the latest educational technology innovations and learn more.

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