How does exam monitoring software work?

By Megan Lozicki

Finding the right online exam monitoring tool for your school can be challenging. With so many options available it can be difficult to decide which features are necessary, the pros and cons of different online proctoring methods are, and how effective each is at preventing cheating. We are here to provide guidance on what online proctoring solutions are out there and discuss the effectiveness of each so you can find the one that fits your needs. 

What is online exam monitoring? 

Online exam monitoring is what it sounds like – it’s a way of proctoring students taking an exam to prevent them from cheating but in a digital environment. Online exam monitoring uses digital tools like computer audio, screen recording, video recording, and more to create an environment that prevents cheating as much as possible. 

Exam monitoring software should provide GDPR-compliant ways of dealing with student data and should be just as focused on providing a good student experience as they are focused on preventing cheating. 

How does online exam monitoring work? 

As mentioned, online exam monitoring software uses the tools available in a digital environment (video, audio, screen recording, etc.) to hinder cheating. They use these tools to flag activities and alert the teacher or proctor of a potential violation. 

There are three main online exam monitoring methods that we will cover! 

Live online exam proctoring 

Live online exam proctoring uses the students’ web camera and streams the video feed to the teacher or the proctor in real-time. The teacher or proctor can monitor for any behavior they believe means the student is cheating and interact with them via a chat function or another method.  

This method requires the proctor to be monitoring each student’s stream closely. It is, however, a simple way of getting started with online proctoring and gives the proctor the ability to make the judgment call on whether or not they believe the student has done anything to cheat.

Recorded online exam proctoring 

Recorded exam proctoring is different from live online proctoring in that it is not a live stream, and teachers cannot interact with students in real-time. Recorded online proctoring records the students while taking the test through their web camera and can include audio recording. The teacher can view the video later if anything suggests cheating. 

This proctoring option allows students to take their exams when and where they would like and does not require the teacher or proctor to be present during the exam. This option is flexible for both teachers and students, but there is a chance that cheating gets missed. 

When choosing an online proctoring software that works with this type of proctoring, ensure they have all the necessary processes for data protection and are GDPR compliant. 

AI online exam proctoring 

AI (Artificial Intelligence) exam proctoring is the option that varies the most in which features are offered or included. How this online proctoring method works depends heavily on the software you choose. We will cover the basics of how AI proctoring tends to work overall.

The software records (either with video or both video and audio) the student as they are taking the exam and automatically flags behaviors it believes indicate the student is cheating. There is not always human intervention involved with this method which can put students at a disadvantage. It also does not allow teachers to be the final judge on whether or not they believe the student did cheat. The benefit is that it puts less work on the teacher to monitor students themselves. 

A combination of several online proctoring methods 

There is the option to combine these types of proctoring, which is what Digiexam does so you can get the best and most fair result. Digiexam allows you to use different proctoring methods or combine them so teachers can do what works best for each classroom and each testing situation. 

The AI features in Digiexam allow human intervention, which can make the student experience much less stressful. Students do not have to worry that they might have their behavior flagged as cheating without the option to have it contested. 

All three online proctoring methods have great benefits, so why not combine them? 

To sum it up 

The traditional way of proctoring is resource-heavy and does not offer the same level of flexibility or accessibility for students. Online exam monitoring software allows schools to proctor their exams more efficiently and effectively and offers more accessibility features to students. 

If you are interested in learning more about how Digiexam does online exam monitoring, we would love to hear from you!


How does the software handle the privacy of students, especially with concerns around data storage and potential misuse of personal information?

Exam monitoring software is designed with privacy considerations at the forefront, utilizing encryption and secure data practices to protect student information. These systems usually operate within the legal frameworks of data protection laws, ensuring that any data collected is used solely for the purpose of integrity in the examination process.

How do these monitoring solutions accommodate students with disabilities to ensure they have equal access and opportunities during exams?

These platforms often include accessibility features to ensure that all students, regardless of disabilities, can use the software effectively. Accommodations might include adjustable time limits, screen readers, or alternative question formats, tailored to meet individual needs while maintaining the exam's integrity.

How effective these systems are against more sophisticated cheating techniques, such as using other devices not captured by the camera or collusion with others outside the camera's view? 

To counteract sophisticated cheating methods, exam monitoring software employs advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence to analyze patterns of behavior and flag suspicious activities. These technologies are continuously updated to adapt to new cheating strategies, aiming to maintain a high level of academic integrity.