How to Develop Online Exam Proctoring Software?

During the COVID pandemic, many institutions reimagined online exams and their proctoring. Almost every institution had to make major shifts, and the majority of those chose online exam proctoring software. When people saw the benefits and scalability of such software solutions, more and more people drew towards it, making online exam proctoring software a popular alternative to conventional offline examinations.

Given the boom in the eLearning industry, no wonder students too now want to opt for online examinations, and it does make sense to want to stay in the environment they learned. Whether you plan to create an online exam proctoring software for your own institution or for a mass audience, now could be the best time. Given the increasing popularity and demand, the software can attain massive reach and popularity amongst users.

  • Online examinations have become hugely popular for schools, the government, and all sorts of other institutions.

Benefits of Online Exam Proctoring Software

Scalability

Online proctoring software doesn’t have to be limited to 10 or 20 or 100 users, and you can scale it as per your requirements. With appropriate hardware, thousands of users can connect and give exams on online proctored software solutions with ease. Since most tasks except manual intervention are automated through various technologies, scalability remains no bar.

Eliminates Cheating

Cheating and malpractice have been a major reason in the past for people not to believe in online examinations. But with modern technologies, people are gaining faith in online proctored examinations, and as we stated above, many institutions, including some government agencies, are now adopting it.

Enhanced UX

Users, both students, and invigilators, love the experience an online exam proctoring software provides. They don’t have to sit and write 1000s of words using pen and paper anymore, and they can simply type in on their keyboards. The software could even save users from an unconventional classroom full of people and have them perform best in the comfort of their chosen environment.

24/7 Access

The test taker can enable certain tests for round-the-clock access, enabling students to complete those on their own time. While offline exams can only be conducted during specific hours, there is no such time limitation in the case of online exams.

Minimum Prerequisites

Modern exam proctoring solutions rely on minimal hard requirements to expand reach. A good webcam, microphone, decent hardware specs, and a well-lit environment are the common prerequisites for the software solution to work perfectly. There may be added requirements based on specific tests, but otherwise, most users are good to go with the minimum requirements.

Features of Online Exam Proctoring Software

Features are vast when it comes to development. Depending upon usage and type of business, the features can vary. Below are few of many features of an online exam proctoring software:

Authentication

Modern technologies and database integrations use different types of authentications, including machine, user, IP, and more. This feature ensures the user who is actually taking the exam is one whom it’s meant for, and nobody is around to help them. Based on the software’s requirements, multiple types of authentication protocols can be added, including biometrics.

AI-based Monitoring

Monitoring is the essential part of proctoring software, and AI is usually the solution to do it right. A good AI-based monitoring system would enable much more than just face tracking; and it can even track the duration of gaze and where the user is looking. When an anomaly is detected, this feature can raise alerts all on its own to notify a manual proctor or pause the exam till issues are resolved.

Browser Lockdown

This feature is implemented in an online proctoring software to ensure a user cannot open web browsers to cheat. It locks down the ability of a user to go outside the software window while in an exam, making it impossible even to open notes they have saved on the computer. There can be many variations to it, and the feature can be disabled in case the calculator can be enabled, and so on.

Video Recording

A dynamic video recording is done with the consent of the users to ensure no activity can be denied later on. Whenever a user cheats or tries to cheat, there will be a video log to back up the claims, and a manual proctor can review and take actions as per requirements. You can also opt for recording the entire session for which the exam goes on and review it later as per requirements.

Real-time Alerts

The system alerts the assigned manual proctor or exam admin as soon as it detects an anomaly with all the details in real-time. Voice recordings can accompany the proofs, and video recordings, with a summary of the anomaly or cheating.

Manual Intervention

At any point in time, an assigned manual proctor can intervene in between to take control of proctoring. The proctor can also directly communicate with the user if they feel something wrong is going on or troubleshoot system errors or other malfunctions. This ensures the exam goes on for the user and no time is wasted starting from the beginning.

Certificate Generation

Certificates are usually what an exam is taken for, and with well implemented proctoring software you can process those automatically. QR based certificates can be generated and verified through different types of implementations, and this feature can also sell as a USP.

Result Processing

Results are usually processed at a later date, but with AI acting in, for many examinations the results can be processed in real-time. If it serves your niche, you can include a result generation system where students or exam takers can see their results as soon as they finish.

How to Develop an Online Exam Proctoring Software?

Step 1: The Planning Part

Planning usually involves deciding on the main features you plan to offer with your online proctoring solution. Start by considering the USPs of your solution, and move on to choosing which implementations would be feasible. A lot of features including those implementable through next-gen technologies like AR/VR are available, but can be skipped if you are on a budget.

But again, the features are usually what makes the best online exam proctoring software; and you need to choose them based on your particular requirements. Your custom software would probably need a set of basic features, and the above list was to give you an overall idea, but if you have something else in mind, feel free to discuss it with your eLearning development company.

Step 2: The Development Part

Whether you outsource to a software development company for software development or hire a team of individual engineers, it is always good to have the knowledge of what needs to be done technologically. In your software development journey, you would have the choices between different technologies, different databases that fit with those, different CRMs, and so on.

The major decisions you would be making include:

The Platform for Software Development

Select the core development technologies based on features you want in your online exam proctoring software. Python, Java, and C++ are on top of the charts when it comes to popular software development technologies. To ease off the burden of making this choice, you can consult with one of our project managers, who will guide you to the best-suited technology based on your project requirements.

Choosing Team Members for Your Online Exam Proctoring Software Development

You will need a team of different engineers and designers for a successful online exam proctoring software development. Choosing individuals and building your own team is one way to do it, while the other way is to choose a software development company and let them pick the perfect team members to work on your project’s development. The key team members you would need are:

  • Project Manager

You can develop your exam proctoring software based on core languages like Python, Java, C, or other popular choices. Apart from this, you will need AI and ML for implementing particular features and more next-gen technologies if you have specific features you want to implement. The choice will vary greatly based on how you want your software to be implemented, on the machine or as a web app. There are tools for both, and then there are perfect ones to implement either to their full potential. You can also use DevOps consulting services to implement it for a smoother development experience. Below is a list of common technologies people use.

Software Development Tools

  • Linx

Data analytics tools

  • Python

DevOps

  • Chef

Databases

  • Aerospike

Step 3: Who to Hire?

Setting up Your Own Team

The best choice for some people is to set up their own team, but from our experience, software development is a one-time job. If you hire full-time employees for a few months, you could land in trouble, and it would take a maximum of months’ time to develop an online proctoring software. It is also much more expensive based on where you are based, and it is more difficult to build a team from scratch than to hire one.

Hire Freelance Developers

Freelancers have been popular for years now, but developing complex software is not something you would want to outsource to freelancers. Most freelancers work on individual components, so if you want to hire them, you will have to tell them exactly what needs to be done. In case you hire those, who know what needs to be done, might turn out to be more expensive than both the other options.

Hire a Bespoke Enterprise Software Development Company

A enterprise software development company will develop a custom software solutions according to needs. If you are planning something as complex as an online exam proctoring software, you should consider hiring professionals. When you choose a development company, you not only gain from their years of experience but get an all-in-one solution from consultation to maintenance. Depending upon your requirement you can choose turnkey hiring model for development or choose staff augmentation services and start development just like inhouse development works. When you compare the costs, you would easily find it to be at par or sometimes even cheaper than hiring inhouse teams or freelancers.

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Apoorv Gehlot

Founder & Board Member at Matellio — Technology enthusiast with enterprise solution design & development expertise