A Fault Line in the Proctoring Landscape?

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As on-line training grows, so grows the need for effective proctoring solutions, but like two political parties preparing to wage an electoral war, opponents congregate on two sides of an emergent question, “which is better, human proctors or fully-automated solutions.” Many of the arguments on the human proctor advocacy side center on not being able to replace human eyes and ears with technological functionality such as webcams, screen recorders, and biometrics.  But one aspect to the contrary that needs closer attention has to do with the simple frailty of human nature.  That is to say, when human proctors are involved, they too have weaknesses that can be exploited by test-takers. In New York about 5 years ago, three Department of Motor Vehicle security guards and eight of their associates were arrested for allegedly used substitute test-takers to assist potential cheaters in obtaining commercial driver’s licenses.  Apparently the test-takers paid anywhere from $2000 to $2500 for the special treatment. “The guards are accused of taking bribes to arrange for customers to leave the testing room with their exams, which they gave to a surrogate test-taker outside who looked up the answers on a laptop computer.”   DMV Guards, Proxy Test-Takers Arrested […]

Has Facial Recognition Finally Been Legitimized?

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Recently I noticed a commercial for a new cell phone by one of the major mobile phone players that used facial recognition for both authentication and bill payment.  This reminded me  of a time three years ago when Biomids, Inc., company founder, Frank Mann, and I were visiting a major wholesale outlet, and he was convinced even then that facial recognition could be used on cell phones and at the cashier station to speed along the checkout process.  We even went into the store to watch how time consuming it was for some customers to fish through their wallets to find their membership cards. He would say, “If you can speed along the checkout process, you can eliminate some of the cashier stations, make more room for product, reduce staff, and increase customer satisfaction.  His thinking was ahead of its time and spot on. Yet Frank’s creative foresight didn’t stop there.  He viewed the actual applications of biometric technology as seemingly endless.  For example, recognizing the staggering increase in on-line class enrollments for things like professional certification courses and degree programs, Frank visualized the use of facial recognition as a means to monitor students during test-taking in order to deter […]