An exam invigilator, exam proctor or exam supervisor is someone appointed by an educational institution or an examination board to maintain proper conduct in a particular examination in accordance with exam regulations. Typically, the main duty of an exam invigilator is to watch examination candidates to prevent cheating.[1] The purpose of exam invigilating is to ensure each candidate sits the examination under equal conditions.

A proctor invigilating an exam in the US Navy
An invigilator proctoring an exam in Tanzania

Exam invigilators are appointed to a position of trust and are expected to possess integrity and vigilance to conduct examinations in exact accordance with the board’s instructions.

Purpose edit

The purpose of exam invigilation is to ensure that all candidates are under active surveillance for every moment of the duration of the examination. Invigilators should also try to provide a suitably pleasant and supportive atmosphere for candidates.[2] However, they must also prevent any kind of communication between candidates (by copying, whispering or any kind of signal, exchange of paper or objects) and any kind of access to unauthorized books, papers or electronic media of any kind for the exam duration.[3]

Invigilators also need to ensure the security of the examination room before, during and after the examination.[4] From the moment the question papers are given out until all answers are collected, exam invigilators should patrol vigilantly. Particular emphasis should be given to multiple-choice and short-answer questions. The main goal should be to prevent possible academic dishonesty and administrative failures.

The minimum number of invigilators required for different kinds of examinations depends on the type of examinations held. For general written examinations, there should be at least one invigilator present against every 30 students for patrolling and vigilance in the examination room.[5]

Duties edit

General duties edit

The main duty of an exam invigilator is to support the Chief Invigilator, the Deputy Chief Invigilator, the Examinations Officer and the other invigilators at the examination venue.

Some of the other general duties may include:[6]

  1. Setting up the examination venues by placing candidate numbers, booklets, examination papers, stationery and equipment at desks in accordance with strict procedures.
  2. Implementing the exam rules and regulations and remaining vigilant throughout the examination duration.
  3. Assisting the candidates before, during and after the examination by directing them to their seats, advising them about possessions permitted at examination venues and dealing with queries raised by candidates etc.
  4. Invigilating carefully, making sure that candidates do not talk inside examination venues and also responding to any examination irregularities immediately.
  5. Checking attendance during examinations, recording details of late arrivals and ensuring that proper seating plans are followed.
  6. Escorting candidates during water breaks or washroom breaks as required and detecting any unauthorized materials inside the examination hall.
  7. Delivering and collecting scripts carefully at the start and end of the examination in accordance with strict examination procedures.
  8. Assisting with the packing of examination scripts, stationery and other equipment from the examination venues.
  9. Supervising candidates in leaving the examination venues in a quiet and disciplined manner and ensuring that candidates do not remove equipment or stationery from the examination venue without the permission of the authority.

Before the exam edit

Before the start of the examination, exam invigilators must be fully briefed and trained before carrying out the task of invigilation in their respective venues. It is essential that exam invigilators familiarize themselves with the appropriate examination regulations and procedures before attending the examination hall.

Exam invigilators should arrive at the examination hall at least one hour before the start of the examination to report for their duty and remain for an additional hour after the exams to collect and wrap up the examination scripts.

Before the candidates arrive, exam invigilators must prepare the examination venue by placing the required answer booklets, reference booklets, candidate numbers and other supplementary materials on candidates' desks. They must make sure that the time of the clock at the examination venue is set correctly and necessary instructions are clearly displayed at the front of the examination hall for the candidates. They should also help direct students to their seats and prohibit the entrance of forbidden items such as mobile phones, smart watch, headphones, portable audio/video/gaming devices and textbooks at the examination hall.[7]

During the exam edit

During the examination, all exam invigilators must give their whole attention to the examination process. At this time, they must be vigilant, mobile and attentive and should not perform any other tasks throughout the examination’s duration.[8]

At this time, exam invigilators must respond to queries from candidates immediately and assist the candidates as per their needs. Within the first 30 minutes of the examination, the invigilators should take the attendance of the candidates in the attendance record sheet and sign it before submitting it to the Chief Invigilator. While checking the attendance, they must also check the candidate's name, candidate number, passport, admit card or examination entrance card etc.[9]

Exam invigilators must deal with students who arrive late at the examination venue and record their attendance and consult with the Chief Invigilator to determine whether extra time will be granted to such candidates or not.

Invigilators must not permit candidates to leave the examination hall room during the first 1-hour and the last 15 minutes of the examination. They should also take immediate actions in case of candidates caught cheating during the examination and report to the Chief Invigilator. If unauthorized materials are found inside the examination hall, they should remove them immediately. In the event of an emergency or fire alarm, invigilators should follow the emergency exit procedures and lead the candidates safely outside the examination hall.

Invigilators must be as quiet as possible during the examination duration but also remain vigilant to the candidates. They should not explain any questions asked by the candidates or allow any other person to ask questions of, or read answers to, the candidates.[10]

After the exam edit

After the examination is over, the exam invigilators should collect the scripts, question papers, stationery and other reference booklets from the candidates and check that all the required information (name, candidate number, venue, date etc.) have been filled out by the candidates on their scripts properly. When all the scripts are collected, invigilators should release candidates and direct them towards the exit of the examination hall in complete silence.

E-proctoring edit

E-proctoring, also known as remote proctoring,[11] is a form of exam proctoring which involves monitoring student behaviour during exams administered electronically, including those given as part of e-learning or remote learning.[12][13]

Concerns about the use of commercial e-proctoring services include the non-functionality of the software; it mostly fails to identify any actual fraud, while it can falsely flag innocent students for suspicious behavior. Some people claim it violates students' privacy,[14][15] security, and impact to students' mental health.[16] They also claim it is prone to technical issues that can negatively impact students' exam performance. In addition, there have been multiple reports of user data from commercial e-proctoring services being hacked, resulting in thousands of colleges' and hundreds of thousands of users' data being released.[17][18]

Ineffectiveness edit

There is clear evidence to that it is easily possible for candidates to circumvent e-proctoring software.[19] A scientific test of the Proctorio software at the Dutch University of Twente showed that the software was not able to detect any of the cases of examination fraud it was subjected to. It showed that classic, non-technical methods of exam fraud, such as the use of cheat sheets and notes, were nearly undetectable by Proctorio. Moreover, the software could also not identify any cases of committed digital/technical fraud, such as the use of a phone, chat apps and social media during the exam, looking up information on the internet while taking the test, and others. The conclusion was that the sensitivity of Proctorio should be considered at very close to zero.[20]

Controversy edit

Controversy over e-proctoring escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic,[21] when many universities,[14][16][22][23][24] K–12 schools,[25] and standardized testing organizations turned to commercial e-proctoring suppliers for services.[26][27][28][29][30][31] Students across the world protested the use of commercial e-proctoring services at their post-secondary institutions.[15][14][16][32][33][34] It has been noted that online proctoring technologies use algorithms that discriminate against students of darker skin tones, including Black students and other persons of colour.[35][36]

Proctorio lawsuits edit

In 2020, e-proctoring software company Proctorio sued a university employee at the University of British Columbia over alleged breach of copyright.[37] The employee was critical of Proctorio on social media and posted links to unlisted YouTube videos produced by the company.[38][39][40] A court ruling on the case was published on 15 June 2021 and another on 11 March 2022, dismissing the case.[41][42] As of late 2022, the employee is appealing the dismissal.[34]

In 2020 a computer engineering student at a different college publicly shared excerpts of code installed by Proctorio on their personal computer. The student sued Proctorio after they had the material removed. Proctorio countersued arguing copyright infringement and defamation.[34] The case was settled out of court.[43]

Class-action lawsuits were brought up against Proctorio and two other companies. The companies were accused of failing to provide legally required data retention and destruction policies and failing to obtain consent for gathering biometric information.[34] The lawsuit against Proctorio was dismissed by a judge in August 2022.

References edit

  1. ^ "invigilator" – via The Free Dictionary.
  2. ^ Anonymous (13 July 2012). "What I'm really thinking: the exam invigilator".
  3. ^ "British Council Invigilators Job requirements – Job description / Code of Practice". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  4. ^ "Exams administration: information for exam centres – Detailed guidance – GOV.UK".
  5. ^ "Invigilators FAQs". Cambridge International Examinations. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Ridgeway School Examination Invigilator Job Description" (PDF).
  7. ^ "What does an Invigilator do? (with pictures)".
  8. ^ "Express Invigilators". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "How to be a School Exam Invigilator". June 23, 2009. Archived from the original on June 28, 2014.
  10. ^ "Invigilator – English Language Tutorials". February 13, 2010.
  11. ^ McCorkle, Rory (2018-08-13). "Dispelling the concerns around utilizing remote proctoring systems". EdScoop. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  12. ^ Bacow, Lawrence; Bowen, William; Guthrie, Kevin; Lack, Kelly; Long, Matthew (2015). "Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education". Ithaka S+R. doi:10.18665/sr.22432. Retrieved 2020-09-06.
  13. ^ James, Rosalind (2016). "Tertiary student attitudes to invigilated, online summative examinations" (PDF). International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 13 (1): 19. doi:10.1186/s41239-016-0015-0. ISSN 2365-9440. S2CID 5640.
  14. ^ a b c Alden, Charlotte. "Facing student privacy concerns, UBC maintains relationship with Proctorio". The Ubyssey. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  15. ^ a b Chrysanthos, Natassia (2020-05-21). "'You're being watched and recorded, every breath': Students unsettled by exam software". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  16. ^ a b c Waitson, Byline: Emily (2020-05-27). "UPDATED: Students raise concerns over an increase in academic misconduct allegations". The Cord. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  17. ^ "Hacker leaks 386 million user records from 18 companies for free". BleepingComputer. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  18. ^ "ProctorU confirms data breach after database leaked online". BleepingComputer. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  19. ^ "How ProctorU and Examity make cheating on college exams easier than ever". 2018-01-18. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "E-Proctoring: Understanding the debate about invigilating remote exams". Learning, Teaching and Leadership. 2020-05-12. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  22. ^ Alden, Charlotte. "Facing student privacy concerns, UBC maintains relationship with Proctorio". The Ubyssey. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  23. ^ Waitson, Byline: Emily (2020-05-27). "UPDATED: Students raise concerns over an increase in academic misconduct allegations". The Cord. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  24. ^ Harris, Sherina (June 29, 2020). "Canadian Medical Students Demand Change After 'Inhumane' Exam Conditions". HuffPost. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  25. ^ "Mass school closures in the wake of the coronavirus are driving a new wave of student surveillance". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  26. ^ Strauss, V. (2020, April 16). College Board says it can give valid, secure online SATs at home. Washington Post.
  27. ^ "Perspective | An open letter to the College Board about online, at-home AP tests". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  28. ^ "Online proctoring is surging during COVID-19". Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  29. ^ Hubler, Shawn (2020-05-10). "Keeping Online Testing Honest? Or an Orwellian Overreach?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  30. ^ Lee, Shereen. "Proctorio CEO releases student's chat logs, sparking renewed privacy concerns". The Ubyssey. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  31. ^ Swauger, Shea (2020-06-07). "Taking Back the Narrative of Ed Tech". sheaswauger. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  32. ^ Waitson, Byline: Emily (2020-05-08). "Laurier math department faces backlash over mandatory external webcams needed for spring exams". The Cord. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  33. ^ Harwell, Drew. "Cheating-detection companies made millions during the pandemic. Now students are fighting back". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  34. ^ a b c d "'I'm afraid': critics of anti-cheating technology for students hit by lawsuits". the Guardian. 2022-08-26. Retrieved 2022-09-29.
  35. ^ Parnther, C., & Eaton, S. E. (2021, June 23). Academic integrity and anti-Black aspects of educational surveillance and e-proctoring. Teachers College Record.
  36. ^ McKenzie, L. (2021, April 6). Proctoring Tool Failed to Recognize Dark Skin, Students Say. Inside Higher Ed.
  37. ^ "Software company sues UBC employee over tweets involving confidential videos". vancouversun. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  38. ^ Chin, Monica (2020-10-22). "An ed-tech specialist spoke out about remote testing software — and now he's being sued". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  39. ^ "An Exam Surveillance Company Is Trying to Silence Critics With Lawsuits". Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  40. ^ "Ed-Tech Specialist Fights Proctorio Lawsuit | Inside Higher Ed". Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  41. ^ "2021 BCSC 1154 Proctorio, Incorporated v. Linkletter". Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  42. ^ "2022 BCSC 400 (CanLII) | Proctorio, Incorporated v Linkletter".
  43. ^ "LEGAL UPDATE". Proctorio. Retrieved 2022-09-29.

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