On the Efficacy of Online Proctoring using Proctorio

Laura Bergmans, Nacir Bouali, Marloes Luttikhuis, Arend Rensink

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In this paper we report on the outcome of a controlled experiment using one of the widely available and used online proctoring systems, Proctorio. The system uses an AI-based algorithm to automatically flag suspicious behaviour, which can then be checked by a human agent. The experiment involved 30 students, 6 of which were asked to cheat in various ways, while 5 others were asked to behave nervously but make the test honestly. This took place in the context of a Computer Science programme, so the technical competence of the students in using and abusing the system can be considered far above average. The most important findings were that none of the cheating students were flagged by Proctorio, whereas only one (out of 6) was caught out by an independent check by a human agent. The sensitivity of Proctorio, based on this experience, should therefore be put at very close to zero. On the positive side, the students found (on the whole) the system easy to set up and work with, and belie ved (in the majority) that the use of online proctoring per se would act as a deterrent to cheating. The use of online proctoring is therefore best compared to taking a placebo: it has some positive influence, not because it works but because people believe that it works, or that it might work. In practice however, before adopting this solution, policy makers would do well to balance the cost of deploying it (which can be considerable) against the marginal benefits of this placebo effect.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2021)
EditorsBeno Csapó, James Uhomoibhi
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-758-502-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event13th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, CSEDU 2021 - Virtual
Duration: 23 Apr 202125 Apr 2021
Conference number: 13


Conference13th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, CSEDU 2021
Abbreviated titleCSEDU
Internet address


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