IPU Buzz

WHO PROCTORS THE PROCTOR?

Analyst

GGSIP University is all set to conduct end semester exams for intermediate semesters in an online mode. Just like a lot of other universities, GGSIP will follow the proctored form of examination where students will be overlooked by a software/examiner also known as a proctor and any movement of the eye, any happening on the screens/software would raise an alarm and after 30 alarms, the student will be reported to the university for practising unfair means.

According to the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), proctoring technology uses Artificial Intelligence-powered algorithms to keep a check on candidates during online exams. It uses facial recognition, surveys and records surrounding audio of the student’s room and monitors changes in their line of sight by capturing photographs at 15-20 second intervals to catch unfair practices during exams. It also monitors a student’s screen.

What Is Proctored Exams?

A “proctor” is a supervisor or a person who monitors students during an examination. It can also refer to an officer who has disciplinary functions in certain universities. So, a proctored exam is an exam given when someone is watching you.

What Is Not A Proctored Exams?

Non-proctored exams are basically unsupervised exams or exams that can be taken without someone watching you, which was basically how we gave our internal exams. It was very easy to cheat in a non proctored exams because even if the cameras were on, it was for just a few moments or just to have a record that students were invigilated in their exams. But with the proctored form of examination, the camera will be on for complete 3 hours and students will be marked for any movement of eye, neck or anything suspicious.

Now there has been a lot of fuss around the proctored form of examination, for instance

Media
Photo Credits: Media Library

Incidences with Proctors

Scripture Union, a Christian organisation that preaches the Bible across missionary-run schools and churches in Tamil Nadu, has suspended one of their employees named Samuel Jaisundar. The action was taken after allegations of inappropriate conduct surfaced against him online on October 4.

Students of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) have alleged harassment by a proctor, an official hired by the institute to invigilate exams online. The proctor, named Amit, allegedly started cyberstalking some of the students and contacted them on WhatsApp.

You may want to read: 10 Struggles of Online Exams

Amit allegedly reached out to two students who sat for an examination at the institute. Proctors have access to the student’s webcam and can even ask students to change the view of their webcam. “Two of my batchmates were harassed by a proctor named Amit. He repeatedly contacted the students during the exam and even on WhatsApp after the exam ended. When officials were informed about this, they insisted that students continue with their examinations and not let this situation affect her studies,” a student at the institute told TNM.

The issue first came to light when Twitter user Joel Giftson shared a thread elaborating on the “pedophilic” activities occurring within the SU organisation, with Sam Jaisundar, the then Director, allegedly at the fore of it. He went on to outline how Jaisundar sent “inappropriate messages to girls in schools around the country asking them to video call him, meet him alone…” and attached anonymous social media chats and statements from survivors who had opened up. It was mentioned that “All the girls that have been a victim are between 12 and 17 years.”

Reading through for the cases of harassment one realises that there might be multiple incidences reported around the country but not all of them made it to the mainstream. 

The Point Of The Entire Proctor System Is?

Now the question is in all of this proctoring if proctor proctors the students then who proctors the proctor? When questioned the universities, that in case there is any incidence of malpractices, or students are stalked and harassed post-exams what should be the next case? There was no comment from the university. Rather universities like NMIMS were more in a panic that the student should remove the tweet as it maligns the image of the institution, rather than being keen on tracking the person down and looking for a way out.

Wherein we understand that proctored examination instil that fear in the students of invigilation its also wrong on multiple levels for a host of reasons that- light kabhi bhi jaa sakti hai, invertor bhi hai to time lagta hai on hone mei. Apart from the fact that not everyone can afford systems, have a plain background and a clean internet connection the point here is no more about the pre-exam requisites its more about the post-exam happenings. Whether or not I’ll be looked upon by the examiner, is the examiner stalking my profiles, is he ogling me and so on?

For a system like proctored examination where examiners/software have peering access through a student’s system and have access beyond just the exam, all of it put in place to instil a sense of order and strictness, then okay let’s look at like a flying squad. Offline examination in pre-pandemic, like the exam, is being conducted and suddenly a group of teacher walks in and teachers straighten up and start walking and that’s like teachers being checked upon. Why not a flying squad for online examination?

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