Meet The Invigilator – a tool that makes remote testing easier

Working from home has presented all manner of pranks and feel-good internet moments. There was the Cnet journalist who automated their Zoom calls, and more recently there was the cat who was pretending to be a lawyer.

While these are both fun videos, they also highlight a problem with video conferencing – anybody could be anybody.

This is a concern for businesses, but when it comes to education and writing tests remotely, how does on insure that a student is who they say they are?

That was the problem a group of South African lecturers sought to tackle and they’ve come up with a rather clever idea.

That idea is a product called The Invigilator and it uses artificial intelligence to both verify a student’s identity and flag suspicious activity during a test.

According to a press release, the application is designed to work on entry-level smartphones and isn’t data intensive.

Students register via The Invigilator smartphone app before exams and then on the day a number of verifications will happen. When prompted students will have to take a selfie or say something into the microphone in order to verify they are who they say they are.

The AI being used will then parse the data and verify the student’s identity.

We should point out that The Invigilator is constantly listening while students are writing an exam which means that they are forced to observe exam conditions such as not playing with their smartphone and remaining silent.

This sounds like a really great solution but casting an eye at The Invigilator’s Google Play Store page, things aren’t looking good.

There are several complaints about the app forcing students to remain quiet long after they’ve finished their exams which is not ideal when you’re writing from home. There are reports of the app crashing, photos not being able to be uploaded and many more issues we can’t highlight here.

The good news is that the developers are actively responded to problems raised by users and what’s more it has partnered with Eiffel Corp. Eiffel Corp works with a number of partners to bring innovative solutions to schools.

We’re hopeful that this partnership helps to iron out the bugs users are experiencing.

The Invigilator is a rather clever solution to a problem that the lockdown formed but we hope that – once the bugs are addressed – this sort of solution makes remote testing far more convenient than funnelling hundreds of students into a hall with a handful of invigilators to oversee the test.

When we put it like that, The Invigilator seems like a far better solution than what we’ve been doing up until now.


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