The Development of Online Proctoring

Since 2000, online course enrolments at higher education institutions (HEI) have increased by approximately 4,100%. During this period of intense growth, many complementary technologies were developed and introduced. One of these technologies was online proctoring, which was introduced around 2011 as a way to bring increased flexibility to the assessment process while still maintaining academic integrity. Now, the online proctoring market is expected to reach 10 billion dollars in the next five years. So where are things heading?

There are two main conflicting points of view prevailing in the market. One side sees online proctoring as a temporary measure, introduced as a necessity during the Corona pandemic to continue operations throughout various lockdowns and changing regulations. Their idea of a return to normalcy includes a return to traditional proctoring. The other side of the spectrum sees online proctoring as a new standard and necessary alternative to on-site testing and therefore an important piece of a better, more developed education system. They see the pandemic as a compelling event that encouraged further growth in an already important, growing market.

Either way, there is no doubt that the pandemic had a massive impact on online proctoring. Usage skyrocketed during the first few months of the pandemic and a high volume of online proctored exams was sustained throughout. But the expectation that the use of online proctoring will be eliminated when the pandemic ends discounts the history and development of online proctoring over the past twenty years. In 2000, there were approximately 165,370 students enrolled in online HEI courses, and in 2018 that number surpassed 6.9 million. Online proctoring has been offering these students a flexible way to take tests for at least half of the time. There may be a reduced number of online proctored exams compared to the height of the pandemic, but online education is here to stay, and online proctoring is a key component.

Agree or disagree? This article was submitted by Proctorio for OEB21. They invite you to visit them at stand C39 or take part in the exhibition seminar “The Twilight Zone of Online Proctoring – Where Are Things Heading?

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