COVID 19 has caught educators by surprise. Schools and universities are scrambling to scale online education and prevent derailment of the ongoing semester. Inability to predict when the time is right to get students back to campuses and no persuasive precedence to handle this situation has left educators at an impasse. Three key issues that need to be addressed include: 1. Online lectures – over the last three months, more and more educators are adopting technology and getting attuned to giving lectures online, 2. Access – thanks to smart phones and net access lectures are being accessed by a large section of students. Age-old problems of disparities between the Indian urban population and rural population continue to plague our systems, and students in villages continue to bear the brunt, 3. Assessment – conducting proctored examinations is the biggest challenge the system faces. And it is here that AI comes to the rescue. We now have AI auto proctored tests.
Auto proctoring uses ‘Image Recognition’ technology to create a cheating proof environment. How does AI help with authenticity checks? Facial recognition features now compare the photograph on the ID submitted against that of the exam taker. Algorithms like DeepFace which is based on convolution neural networks and FaceNet developed by Google offer pre-trained models in this domain. Auto proctors scan the room for presence of other people or machines, they track eyeball movement ( iris recognition is also used in some cases), change in voice etc, all the while recording these for the university to take a decision on the integrity of the candidate. AI solutions are cost effective in the long run and scalable. While all this is wonderful, the machine is able to spy on one at their own home violating their privacy. Hence, next time you take a proctored exam online, remember – “You are being watched’.
About the author
Dr. Suchitra Veeravalli is the Chief Executive Officer at GITAA Pvt. Ltd. She holds a PhD from IIT Madras in the area of knowledge management. She received a Masters degree in Information Technology from Clarkson University, USA. Her previous positions include: GM and VP Administration at GDPL, Chennai, India and, Senior Analyst at the Office of Research Services, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA. She was a co-founder of Syseng LLC, a startup in Lubbock, Texas.