Is it possible to cheat with SMOWL? Here is the answer

Both educational institutions and their students often ponder the possibility of cheating with SMOWL, such as copying exam content. This...
28 June 2022

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Is it possible to cheat with SMOWL? Here is the answer

Both educational institutions and their students often ponder the possibility of cheating with SMOWL, such as copying exam content.

This doubt is natural, as online education faces the challenge of deterring cheating due to the absence of physical presence, which was customary in traditional learning settings.

Universities and training centers ask this question to achieve two primary objectives:

  1. Quality Control and Academic Prestige: They aim to maintain stringent control to uphold their academic reputation.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: They seek to adhere to regulations governing official tests and certifications, ensuring fairness among all students.

Likewise, examinees wonder about the reliability of the proctoring tool during their exams.

It’s reasonable to assume that if there’s a chance of cheating with SMOWL in an online exam, students who refrain from cheating might be at a disadvantage compared to those willing to cheat for official credentials.

Is it possible to cheat with SMOWL?

Furthermore, some students intend to find the easiest way to tackle online exams and might resort to external assistance, driving them to ask this question.

Irrespective of the questioner, the answer is unequivocal: No, cheating is not possible with SMOWL.

This is because the system combines artificial intelligence and human oversight, ensuring its effectiveness. It can even maintain a human presence throughout the process if requested by the client.

The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence prevents cheating with SMOWL

Artificial intelligence is pivotal in SMOWL’s software, simulating human thought processes through computerized systems. This enables automated and reliable monitoring on a large scale, allowing educational entities to scale without physical space constraints.

During the virtual exam, artificial intelligence pursues two main objectives:

1 – Authentication: It verifies that the student participating is indeed the authorized individual.
2 – Behavior Recognition: It observes the student’s behavior throughout the test to identify any suspicious activity.

Let’s delve into the security measures that ensure these objectives during online exams. The entire process comprises three stages:

1. Student Registration:

Students initially identify themselves on the educational platform using a numerical code tied to their identity.

SMOWL security

They undergo facial recognition through a webcam, mimicking in-person verification.

2- SMOWL monitoring

Throughout the exam, the system automatically records the user’s behavior using artificial intelligence algorithms to ensure adherence to ethical standards set by examiners.

Notably, the system doesn’t determine the exam grade; it solely ensures proper conduct.

3- Review of Reports:

Once monitoring concludes, the user is disconnected, and SMOWL ceases capturing evidence.

A detailed report is generated for offline review by examiners, confirming the absence of cheating.

These three steps substantiate the assertion that cheating is impossible with SMOWL.

It not only prevents impersonation and unauthorized assistance but also offers varying levels of evidence.


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Layers of Security in SMOWL Proctoring

The software’s versatility allows customization of security levels based on requirements. Here are the five security layers explained:

1- Webcam Images and Biometric Data:

This initial layer authenticates the person’s identity, behavior, and authorized access through webcam images and facial biometric recognition. A second camera angle can enhance room visibility.

How to cheat with SMOWL

2- IP, operating system and browser

This layer detects access points and any alterations indicating external consultation during the exam.  

3- Desktop monitoring

This layer records user actions and open applications. Authorized tools are recognized, while unauthorized ones are flagged.

4- Audio

It confirms user silence during the exam and absence of external consultations, requiring microphone access.

5- Human supervision

The system can include human presence for enhanced security as in a traditional call.

These layers collaborate to ensure that SMOWL prevents cheating in online activities, regardless of the user’s location.. 

Proctoring security

How to cheat SMOWL? Disadvantages of trying

Engaging in cheating with SMOWL, while strongly discouraged and unethical, comes with several significant disadvantages.

  1. Ethical Breach: Cheating with SMOWL contradicts the principles of honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior, which are fundamental to personal and academic growth.
  2. Severe Consequences: If caught, the repercussions can be severe, leading to academic penalties, loss of credibility, and potential damage to future opportunities.
  3. Superficial Learning: Cheating deprives individuals of the opportunity to genuinely understand and engage with the subject matter, hindering their overall educational experience.
  4. Advancing Detection Technology: SMOWL and similar proctoring tools are continuously evolving, making cheating detection more sophisticated and increasing the likelihood of getting caught.
  5. Tarnished Reputation: Being caught cheating in an era of advanced technology can lead to a tarnished reputation among peers, educators, and potential employers.
  6. Loss of Trust: Cheating erodes trust within academic and professional circles, potentially impacting relationships and opportunities.
  7. Diminished Personal Growth: Cheating prevents personal growth and development, as overcoming academic challenges is crucial for building resilience and critical thinking skills.
  8. Institutional Integrity: Cheating undermines the integrity of the educational institution and the certifications it provides, potentially devaluing the achievements of honest students.
  9. Devaluation of Accomplishments: Legitimate students’ accomplishments are devalued when cheating compromises the authenticity of certifications and degrees.
  10. Missed Learning Opportunities: Cheating robs individuals of the chance to acquire knowledge and skills that could prove valuable in real-world scenarios.
  11. Long-Term Impact: The negative consequences of cheating can extend beyond the immediate academic context, affecting future educational pursuits and professional endeavors.
  12. Personal Dissonance: Cheating often leads to inner conflict and guilt, negatively impacting mental well-being and self-esteem.

In summary, attempting to cheat with SMOWL comes with a host of disadvantages that extend beyond the immediate academic setting. It’s essential to prioritize honesty, genuine learning, and personal integrity for a meaningful educational experience and long-term success.

User Responsibility in Preventing Cheating

Like traditional exams, on-site and online, students hold control over the exam process and must adhere to guidelines from the outset. When students agree to take the exam, they grant permission for webcam access and the actions discussed here.

In essence, the student transparently activates the system, much like they choose to participate in supervised offline exams. SMOWL serves as a witness, presenting evidence of the exam’s conduct. Based on this data, the institution’s authority then determines the student’s eligibility.

In instances of cheating with SMOWL, the fault lies with users seeking to evade rules, which is punishable in both online and in-person exams.

Consequently, the mechanisms enforced by educational institutions rely on collaboration, integrity, and self-control from every student.


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