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Proctoring

Learn about adding identity verification, screen and candidate recording using proctoring services alongside Synap
Proctoring is all about preventing and catching cheating in online exams. There are different levels to proctoring from Light to Heavy. In general the heavier the proctoring is the more secure it is, and also the more requirements it has on your users to set up.
🚨 Whenever a candidate needs to install anything on a device they must have admin access to their computer. This not a problem for personal computers but can cause problems on work / school devices. Keep this in mind when scheduling proctored exams as additional time may be needed to contact IT departments.

🐥 Light proctoring: Lock-down only modes with no review or replay

Suitable for low to medium-stakes exams, or for high-stakes with candidates on Zoom/Teams or exams conducted in an assessment centre with in person invigilators. (Rosalyn Lock-down & Synoptic)
🐓 Medium proctoring: Lock-down exams with session replay
Suitable for low to medium-stakes stakes exams where a team of reviewers will review candidate sessions and approve or reject sessions they identify as cheating. (Rosalyn modes & Synoptic)
🦅 Heavy proctoring: Lock-down exams, live proctor, review and user recording
Suitable for high-stakes exams where candidates need to be recorded throughout along with their screen. Candidate IDs are checked and a live proctor monitors the exam and flags suspicious behaviour to the candidate and for the exam administrator to review.
🧠 Don't forget you can implement a range of anti-cheat features on Synap that have no or very low additional set up for your candidates!

👀 Proctoring options on Synap

On Synap we offer 2 different tools for Proctoring: Rosalyn and Synoptic (Synap's in house proctoring tool). Each of these tools has a lower cost option where replay isn't included.
Proctoring option
Description
Candidate requirements
Post exam requirements
Rosalyn: Lock-down browser More info
Exam taken in the Rosalyn application with has lock-down features enforcing full screen, ensuring other applications are not open throughout
  • Desktop or laptop
  • No additional monitors / devices
  • Download Rosalyn software
  • Modern Browser
  • Strong internet connection
  • No video or session replay
  • Candidate is not recorded through webcam
  • No review process
Rosalyn: Live Proctoring More info
Exam taken in the Rosalyn application with all the lock-down features. Candidate screen, audio and webcam is recorded and photo ID checked An AI will flag suspicious behaviour to a human proctor to review.
  • Desktop or laptop
  • No additional monitors / devices
  • Download Rosalyn software
  • Modern Browser
  • Strong internet connection
  • Working webcam / microphone
  • Photo ID
  • Review flagged sessions which will have time stamps for incidents considered cheating
  • Approve or reject sessions
Synoptic: Replay + Webcam & Screen interval capture (optional) More info
Exam is taken on Google Chrome, candidates browser screen will be recorded in a way that works on lower internet capabilities. Breaches detected automatically. Interval captures can be enabled to take intermittent snapshots of the desktop and the candidate through their webcam
  • Desktop or laptop
  • Google Chrome
  • Download Chrome plugin
  • Reasonable internet connection (works on lower connections)
  • Captures (Working webcam, screensharing permissions)
  • Breaches of the exam rules are flagged by the system
  • Replay the session and view breaches
  • Approve or Reject sessions
Synoptic: Lock-down Only More info
Exam is taken on Google Chrome, candidates browser screen will be recorded in a way that works on lower internet capabilities, Breaches detected automatically
  • Desktop or laptop
  • Google Chrome
  • Download Chrome plugin
  • Reasonable internet connection (works on lower connections)
  • Breaches of the exam rules are flagged by the system
  • No replay
  • Approve or Reject sessions

🌈 Other proctoring options

As an exam generation and management platform Synap will work with any proctoring tool that requires you to upload a list of candidates and exam links, ProctorExam is a great example.

🎥 Monitoring and review

Exams can be live proctored or recorded. When an exam or candidate has been recorded, there needs to be some sort of a review process to go through that footage and identify suspicious activity, there are a few different methods for reviewing footage.
Method
How it works
More info
Live Proctoring (Rosalyn)
Designed for high-stakes assessments, real-time proctoring enables Rosalyn’s human proctors to react to critical proctoring events during each exam. Candidates screen is recorded as well as their audio and themselves via webcam. Candidates must install a desktop application
Rosalyn uses an AI to flag suspicious behaviour to a live proctor who ultimately makes the final call on whether they are cheating. All footage and breaches are provided to the exam administrator to review after. Candidates device is restricted and they must do the exam in full screen with no other monitors or tabs open.
Lock-down browser (Rosalyn)
Designed for high-stakes assessments and in person online exams. Candidates aren't recorded or monitored by their device and browser is locked down to prevent cheating. Candidates must install a desktop application
AI isn't used to flag behaviour and no footage or breaches are passed back to the administrator
Synap Lock-down, Replay + Interval captures
Software that monitors student activity during an exam, flags breaches that are against the exams configuration (eg opened another tab). Candidates must install a chrome plugin
A recording like replay is provided to admins to review. The method of recording used means this solution works on lower internet quality than traditional proctoring options. With captures enabled webcam shots of the user and desktop screenshots are taken every 5-8 seconds through out the exam.
Synap Lock-down Only
Software that limits the things candidates can open in an exam such as additional tabs, monitors, enforcing the exam must be in full screen.
No footage or breaches are passed back to the administrator
🤖 A very important note on AI Proctoring
Using AI can be a really helpful tool to highlighting potential cheating behaviours in an exam, in an automated way. Some providers of AI proctoring use this method to highlight and decide if a candidate is cheating. However we think that a human should make the final decision on whether someone is cheating. At Synap we will only ever use AI to flag the exam session for a human review

👨‍💻 Candidate requirements

Any level of proctoring requires some input from your users and adds complexity to what they need to do on exam day. Selecting the right level comes down to what your clients are able to install on their devices and what you need in order to trust in the exam integrity. From our experience we've found intermediate to be the most common level required.
Whatever the level, there will be some candidates that struggle with the set up, and this increases the support overheads for your exam.

💡 Recommendations for proctored exams

Our recommendations when planning proctored exams:
  • System check - Candidates should be taken through a system check process a few weeks before their exams. This may be a simple quiz or an old practice paper, depending on the requirements you may want to run them through a lock-down only version of the proctoring.
  • Support - First line support should be provided by proctoring services for your candidates to get them through a system set up. They need to be providing responses within minutes not hours and days because of the nature of exams. Rosalyn proctored exams on Synap come with support through the set up and exam.
  • Easy to use - There will be last minute additions and changes, you need Synap's interface lets you disable proctoring on specific candidates if needed, extend open times and other actions during exams.
  • Onboarding - Ongoing onboarding and support needs to be provided for anyone on your team managing exams.
  • Documentation - Create good documentation and email copy for your candidates. Exams are high pressured and users often panic. Use Synap's pin note feature to pin a guide or FAQs to the users main menu
  • Automated emails - Set up so automated emails go to candidates and reminder emails without you having to send them.

Synoptic demo

Reviewing a Synoptic exam

Rosalyn (Live)

Reviewing a Rosalyn Live exam