WISEflow's facial recognition and identity validation services were released in April 2020, having been developed in response to the first of several lockdowns due to the novel COVID-19 virus.
This inspirational guide will in the first part give you an introduction to what the Facial recognition feature in WISEflow is, and in the second part will share “best practice” on proctored online assessments and answer some frequently asked questions.
Facial Recognition/Automated proctoring in WISEflow
On their first visit to a WISEflow assessment where the facial recognition feature is enabled, students are prompted to capture an image of themselves using their webcam. This image is then stored in WISEflow and is used as a reference for all future interactions with remotely-invigilated assessments in the platform.
When students open any subsequent assessments, they are prompted to take another image using their webcam. Once this has been successfully captured, the student can proceed to the assessment and continue uninterrupted.
The entrance picture is matched to the reference picture captured during the student’s first visit to the platform and provided a matching score by the AI algorithm. Institutions are able to manually review the images before, during or after the remote assessment to validate that the student is identified correctly and matched to their university login.
During the assessment, the service continues taking snapshots using the webcam at random time intervals scalable down to every minute and not triggered by anything else than time. Students will notice that their camera is active during the assessment but will not know when the service takes a snapshot.
Every picture taken by the service is matched automatically to the reference picture using a machine learning algorithm powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). This matching process scores the pictures' likeness to the reference on a 0 to 100 percentage scale, where 100 % is a total likeness to the reference picture. Scoring is only to likeness and will be higher when they face the screen and are fully visible on their picture taken than if they are not in the picture or looking away, their face not fully visible. The service does not take any action automatically but preserves the pictures and scores for invigilators to review either when the assessment is on-going or after the assessment has ended.
Invigilators can follow along with the on-going assessment and see the matches in near real-time or review all the students after the assessment and take appropriate measures using the monitoring tool available in WISEflow.
The example below shows the graphical user interface that invigilators and managers can use to review individual students. The facial recognition match on each student is presented in the monitor (first screenshot below). By clicking on the facial recognition match percentage, the invigilator/manager can review all the students' images during the assessment (second screenshot below). If another student that the candidate is in the picture, or the candidate has moved away from the camera, the recognition match will be low in the monitor, and it is easy for the invigilator and manager to open the facial recognition match to review.
This guide shows how a Manager in WISEflow can set up a flow with facial recognition.
Our remote proctoring solution will be expanded to include voice detection from March 21.
How long should a proctored remote online assessment? How many hours is reasonable?
There is no definitive answer on how long an online assessment should be. There are several things to consider like the intended learning outcomes, academic integrity, increased cognitive load involved in doing an online assessment, need for breaks etc. Giving just enough time helps up the integrity of the assessment.
- How do you manage toilet breaks?
It is important to have clear instructions to the students on what to do in case of a toilet break. When they move away from the camera, this will impact the facial recognition match result in the monitor. Toilet breaks can be managed in several ways:
- Candidates must communicate with the invigilator when they need to visit the toilet.
- Predefine time slots which the candidates can visit the toilet.
- If the assessment duration is too long, consider splitting up the test into parts to allow students to go to the toilet.
- How does the student identify themselves with a student ID at the beginning of an online assessment?
The student can be instructed to show an identification card with picture or passport when taking the entrance photo at the start of the test. This entrance photo is available on the monitor. The AI matching algorithm will look for the largest face in the image, so is not compromised by the inclusion of an identity document in the initial reference image.
- How does the student communicate with the invigilators during an online assessment?
If the testis in the lockdown browser, the institution can give the students access to a chat service (third-party service) in the lockdown browser which they can use to contact the invigilators. The online chat service can be added to the flow by whitelisting the URL.
- What happens if the student loses internet connection for short/long period?
With the lockdown browser, the student can continue the test in case of a loss of internet connection. If reconnected to the internet before the end of the test, the responses will sync with the server and the student doesn't need to do more than submitting as usual. In case of lack of internet at the time of submission, the student can save a local copy of the paper that can be uploaded later. The saved copy is an encrypted file which the student cannot tamper with.
The institution must have clear guidelines on what the student should do and who should upload the local copy in case of internet loss.
- What's the best way to filter/sort the recognition match list during an online assessment?
It is easy for the invigilators and managers to sort by highest and lowest recognition match by clicking on the relevant column in the monitor.
- How do the students check for compliance with the requirements before an online assessment?
It is always recommended that the students log in to WISEflow to get familiar with the system and to test the lockdown browser (if a lockdown assessment) before the real assessments. WISEflow provides demo flows that the students can test to get familiar with the tools and test that the lockdown browser works properly on the computer. If the institutions will run assessments with Facial recognition and/or Voice detection, it is advised that the institution creates mock flows so the students can log in and test these security features and take a reference photo used by the Facial recognition tool during the real assessment.
Below are some examples of rules and instructions that can be shared with the students before proctored assessments
Before the test:
- Always try the mock/demo at least a couple of days in advance to test your device and get familiar with the system.
During the test:
- Sit in a room with light so the webcam easily can detect your face.
- Sit in a quiet room with no radio/tv/other noise in the background (or limit as much as possible)
- Prepare food and drink if desired, so you don't need to leave the computer during the test.
- In case of the need for a bathroom break, follow the instructions and contact the invigilator if required.
- Sit down on your chair in front of the camera the whole time of the assessment (unless you must visit the bathroom)
- Ensure that your face is fully visible to the webcam (i.e. the webcam is not set too high or too low)
- Sit in a dark room
- Have the light source behind you (creating a silhouette)
- Sit in a loud room with radio/tv on (if an assessment with voice detection)
- Have conversations through the door with other people in the house (not even if it's about something else than the test (particularly relevant on tests with voice detection)
- Sit with earphones or headphone on
- Block the camera or audio during the test (this will obstruct the invigilation tools, and invigilators will contact you)
- Leave the room without telling invigilators.
- Leave the chair to go walking around in the room.
- Sit with a big hat, scarf, sunglasses, or something else that might cover your face during the whole assessment.
Reduce anxiety by clearly communicating the rules and instructions before the online assessment, so there are no surprises.