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ProctorU Gets Rid of AI-Only Proctoring

ProctorU, the academic division of Meazure Learning, has announced it is discontinuing services that rely solely on artificial intelligence for exam proctoring. Instead, it will use human proctors for every test session.   

"We believe that only a human can best determine whether test-taker behavior is suspicious or violates test rules," explained Scott McFarland, CEO of ProctorU, in a statement. "Depending exclusively on AI and outside review can lead to mistakes or incorrect conclusions as well as create other problems."

Previously, ProctorU's AI-based services would record each test session, use AI or similar analytics tools to automatically identify potential misconduct, and send that information to the school or test provider for review. After reviewing its own data and consulting with its customers, the company said, it has determined that "using technology alone, without trained human proctors, has three main deficiencies and side effects that significantly undercut its effectiveness: a failure to consistently review test sessions, increased opportunity to unfairly implicate test-takers in misconduct, and increased workload for instructors."

AI can detect "anomalies" that turn out to be meaningless, the company pointed out. A dog barking could be deemed an "unusual background noise," causing a test session to be flagged for review. "While this should not result in a finding of misconduct," the company added, "human proctors are trained to discern and dismiss innocuous actions or sounds."

"The critical point here is that people can tell when someone is trying to be dishonest, but computers aren't so good at that," said McFarland.

ProctorU plans to migrate its education and test partners to human proctoring by the 2021-2022 academic year.  

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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