Manage academic exams securely in the era of social distancing

The entire world is facing challenges related to Covid-19 outbreak. There has been shutdown declared across most part of the world. Education institutes and universities are also affected due to shutdown. 


The examination process is one of the key milestones of the academic cycle. Without examinations, students may not be motivated enough for the study and acquiring knowledge related to their study. 


Conducting exams is a measure which assures that the knowledge delivered have been perceived accurately by the students. This clearly depicts the importance of exam conduction. 


The recent shutdown has resulted in a challenging situation for education institutes. All the students and institute staff is under lockdown. Technology like online conferencing and video-based learning can be useful to continue the education of the students.


However, managing the examination process is a challenging aspect considering the lockdown situation. Without academic exams, it is quite impossible to conclude the academic cycles. Education institutes are trying to identify ways and means to conduct exams for the students with the help of technology.


As per current trends, more number of education institutes started exploring options to continue their examination process with the help of technology. Google search is being flooded with search terms related to secure exams, secure online exams, proctored online exams etc.


Online examination process can be an effective means to move traditional exam conduction to online mode. However, institutes are sceptical about the security aspect of the online exam. Technologies like remote proctoring, secure browser, AI-based proctoring are some of the techniques which can help you to move your traditional assessment process in online mode. 


In the current era of lockdowns and social distancing, students would have to be at their homes. Here are some of the tips which can help you to conduct exams in a secure way.

1. Timer for Each Question

While conducting online exam opt for the platform which offers the facility to conduct online exam where there would be a timer for each question say 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 60 seconds etc. If a student is unable to attempt the question in specified time then the system moves to the next question.


Even if a student tries to do malpractice or copying from other resources, the timer would ensure that it moves to the next question as soon as designated time for the particular question gets elapsed.

2. Secure Browser

It is a technique which would prevent the user from opening any other window during online examination activity. The secure browser would log the incident if the user tries to open any other window during the online examination process. 


If a student is attempting online exam sitting at home with the internet-enabled computer then conducting exams with secure browser environment becomes quite easy.

Tips to manage academic exams securely in social distancing era of corona virus outbreak

3. Online Theory Exam

While shifting pen and paper-based exams to online mode, it is important to change question style or frame questions in the right manner. Some of the online exam platforms also offer online subjective tests where the user can type the answers online.


The system saves those answers automatically as user types in.  There is a facility to draw tables, add mathematical symbols in the answer text.


Exam evaluator can log in to the system to evaluate those answers digitally. Many institutes are finding such an approach quite effective for theory exams management. 


Conducting exams online can resolve a lot of problems and on top of everything, you are automating the whole examination process, efficiently.

4. AI-based Proctoring

It is the latest technology trend which helps to identify remote examination user using advance algorithms of facial recognition and AI. The system identifies the remote user and keeps track of all the activities performed by the user. 


The system also provides alerts to the admin in case of malpractices like more than one face is detected in front of the exam screen, different face detected during the online exam, the user is not present in front of exam screen etc.


All such AI-driven incident monitoring helps to conduct exams in a secure manner. Candidates are able to appear for the exam with continuous monitoring by the technology eye. It acts as a virtual invigilator for the students.


Conducting exams with AI-powered Remote Proctoring doesn’t only eases out the hassle of traditional exam conduction, but also ensures end-to-end security for the examination process. 


Many education institutes have started conducting AI-based proctored online exams in order to manage their entrance exams, academic exams, exams for remote candidates who have opted for eLearning or distance education mode.


Secure online exams can be conducted in this era of social distancing due to COVID-19 outbreak. Technology for conducting secure online exams can be explored to check feasibility and adaptability of it for your education institute.


It also offers huge cost saving as it would help you to eliminate the entire logistical aspect of managing exams at specific exam centre with manual exam invigilation, asking students to visit the exam centre etc. In the current era of Artificial intelligence virtual proctoring of examination process can help education institutes and universities to adopt technology and become tech oriented organization in this changing world.

About the author

Swapnil Dharmadhikari

Swapnil Dharmadhikari

Swapnil has experience of more than 15 years in the Information Technology sector. He has been working on digital platforms in the education sector. Swapnil is an avid reader and writes articles on technology and leading developments in the education and IT sectors. 

Swapnil is the founder of Splashgain, an Education Technology company from India working on various innovative EdTech platforms for examinations, proctoring solutions, digital admission process and more. Splashgain has been working with many educational institutes and universities for AI-powered innovations and solutions to transform the education sector.

Splashgain has also filed a patent for an innovative product based on AI.