As education goes virtual, there is an increased need for online courses, online instructors and…online proctors. While the first two items take a while to delve into and master, being an online proctor is relatively straightforward. And even better- you can earn extra money as an online proctor.
What is an online proctor?
In brief, an online proctor is a hired “test giver” who checks in and verifies the online students, delivers and collects the online exam, and assists is the event that there are technical difficulties during the exam.
The online proctor is also responsible for maintaining academic integrity during the exam; usually, the proctor connects to the student’s computer and observes the examination process via screen sharing. Online proctors also verify student identities using a webcam and by checking their school IDs. In most cases, students are also asked to answer some personal questions (e.g., age, major).
You might be wondering how an online proctor can really prevent cheating; students might have notes tucked away on their desk or cheat sheets taped to their monitor. Thorough online proctors, however, will ask for students to use their webcam to scan around the room and show their desk, chair, etc. Proctors can request that students use a mirror or smartphone to show the computer itself.
Finally, proctors are trained to watch student eye and other movements and to listen in for possible “helpers” during the exam. Key strokes and speed of typing may also be recorded and analyzed to determine if the student is who she says she really. Such biometric analysis also helps determine if the tough questions are being answered as quickly as the easy ones- if they are, there may be cheating involved. If any suspicions are raised, the online proctor can pause or stop the exam.
Because online proctors typically work from verified off-site testing centers, the good news is that no actual computer or webcam equipment is required. However, because of this fact, proctors do need to travel to their local testing location. Online testing centers require on-location work because of concerns over possible collusion between test takers and online proctors.
Online proctor websites
Launched in 1999, this Arizona-based online testing company periodically offers part-time gigs to individuals who are computer literate and can devote 15-25 hours/week to online proctoring. Much of the work is completed in the early mornings or evenings or during weekends. Proctors are required to learn and know Kryterion’s online test taking software system, Webassessor, and must also pass a background check.
Lots of schools and colleges use Kryterion for online testing, including Penn State, Western Governors University, etc. Corporations, trade associations and government agencies also use Kryterion for administering tests and conducting interviews. While this means that there are many different types of customers you can work with, it also means that the sheer number of different clients will require that you work with more than one test-taker at a time.
Luckily, your pay per hour is also better than that of most other online proctoring companies; online proctors with Kryterion report earning $15-$25/hour. There is also the opportunity to get promoted and advance within the company.
This Alabama-based company has been around since 2008 and is always looking for new online proctors- in fact, there’s an online application provided right on the ProctorU website. Pay starts at $9/hour after the initial 30 days of training are complete, and online proctors can make up to $9.75 after 90 days.
ProctorU proctors are expected to connect with the students, verify their identity, enter an exam password for the students and then monitor them during the exam. Because students can register to take exams at almost any time of the day, online proctors must have a flexible schedule and be able to work in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. Working one day each weekend is also required.
There are’t too many proctor complaints about ProctorU; however, because most exams occur during the day, online proctors who are only able to work in the evenings may not be able to schedule in too many work hours.
Other online proctor sites
There are many other online proctor companies popping up, including B Virtual, Loyalist, ProctorCam, ProctorFree and PSI. All of these companies offer online proctor gigs from time to time, although quite often these opportunities are listed through job sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn rather than on the company site itself. Starting pay is typically just above minimum wage at $9-$10/hour, but the rate easily increases if the proctor can also troubleshoot through technical support issues and/or handle multiple test takers at the same time.
Which online proctoring service is best for you? While this report by Caveon Test Security does not report on the pay rates of individual proctoring sites, it does list a wealth of information on the software and verification systems that many of these companies use. There is also ample information about how rigorous each company’s processes are and what actions the online proctor is allowed to take. Such information gives you a glimpse into which company is easier or more challenging to work with.