It's Raining Online Proctors!

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Proctor-this, Exam-that, Virtual-something. They're everywhere! Do you know what the differences really are? Are you sure you are picking the right solution for your institution? I'll share some lessons we have learned over 9 years while delivering more than 1 Million Online Proctored exams. 


Over my 10+ years with Western Governors University I have had the pleasure to initiate, work on, and execute some of the university's larger projects. These include the architecting, engineering, and rolling out of WGU's assessment delivery products, allowing for the delivery of more than 3 Million assessments annually. Currently serving as Sr. Principal Product Manager, my responsibilities include all WGU and vendor technology that is included in our portfolio of the Verification of Competency and Transcripts. In a previous life I ran an online magazine, tried my hand in real estate, and at one point almost signed up for culinary school.

Extended Abstract

Delivery of high quality educational resources through the use of technology is growing at a rapid pace. Learning resources can now be accessed by students independent of where they live, when they’re available to study, nor their preferred learning methods. This has given institutions a very powerful new tool to reach and recruit new students.

Staying true to students’ ability to learn, independent of time and place, institutions are enlisting the services of online proctoring companies in order to monitor and deliver assessments on their behalf while allowing students to take said assessments from any location that has sufficient connection to the internet. As a result, online proctoring companies are popping up everywhere.   

Choosing the right online proctoring service provider, or providers, is one of the most important steps for institutions when setting up a high quality distance education option. However with the numbers of providers growing rapidly it is sometimes difficult to know what the big differences between them are.

Western Governors University students have taken a total of more than 1 Million Online Proctored assessments since March of 2009. Currently our students take more than 30,000 online proctored assessments every month. This makes us the largest consumer of online proctoring services in the world. It also makes us an organization that has experimented with many forms of online proctoring over the years and have learned many painful, and in some cases expensive lessons. We would now like to share the lessons we have learned with other institutions to ensure they do not repeat them.

At the end of this presentation participants will know:

  • The difference between live proctoring, recorded proctoring, automated proctoring, and record-and-review proctoring.
  • Importance and best practices of verifying test takers’ identity
  • Test taker to proctor ratios
  • Use of external webcams vs internal webcams
  • How to best communicate online proctoring requirements with students and faculty
  • Troubleshooting to prepare for
  • Importance of an integrated online proctoring service offering

Attendees will walk away from this presentation with the knowledge and confidence to ask the appropriate questions of online proctoring service providers and allow themselves to make better decisions when selecting the one which meets their needs.

The presentation will go into the details of offerings available by the major online proctoring service providers, without the presenter revealing his preferences. Purpose of this presentation is to help institutions see through the fog and identify the online proctoring services available that will best fit their needs.