Test Center versus Online Proctoring security
In person testing often seems like the safer option when testing students. However, evidence from both a theoretical and practical level show the problems with this natural assumption. A stunning example of this comes from the UK government, who, after employing testing centers, were forced to invalidate 29.000 exams due to fraud (1). Whilst the use of online proctoring would not eliminate the possiblity of cheating, it would create an environment en par if not exceeding the security of off-site testing centers (2).
Placebo Effect of Online Proctoring
Regardless of the ability of any tool to catch an instance of cheating, actual cheating will decline in the short term due to students’ belief that they are being watched or that the technology will catch them if they try to cheat. This initial decline in cheating is known as the placebo effect. Similar to the placebo effect seen in medical science, if students taking online exams are informed that a sophisticated technology is watching their every action during an exam, the likelihood of those students to cheat drops precipitously.