Facebook PixelThe use of Mirrors and sound scramblers to Prevent Exam malpractice
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The use of Mirrors and sound scramblers to Prevent Exam malpractice

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Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello Aug 01, 2021
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Mirrors can be set up so that they reflect the lights from the sun or another bright source at people from other tables in an exam hall. That way when someone tries to see what another person is writing, the person's eyes get irritated.
An alternative method can use LED lights that are changing colors. the LEDs are covered by a small shade that protects the range that the person sitting on the table's face will see. When he looks away other people's LEDs irritate his eyes. The invigilators can wear protective glasses while going around the examination center or they can just monitor the whole place with a system of cameras and mirrors from afar.
The system of LEDs or mirrors can be used with a sound scrambler to make communication more difficult between the exam candidates. The sound scramblers can be made of a system of microphones and speakers. the microphones sense sound while the speakers try to cancel the sounds recorded in part or in full to prevent communication. Some of the "uncancelled" noise can be amplified so that anyone who talks will have the invigilator's attention. The noise cancellation can also be used to make the exam venue quieter when it is located in a noisy environment. The sound scramblers will be temporarily turned off whenever the invigilators want to turn make announcements.
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Can it be done cheaper, easier, and with less maintenance?

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 01, 2021
I'm a proponent of maximizing the simplicity to efficiency ratio when it comes to solutions. Here are two examples that seem simpler in solving the same problem:
  • Hanging multiple cameras and microphones to the ceiling above the exam room and having the exam takers see the person/setup that's monitoring them. Before the exam, someone could tell the students what the cameras are for.
  • Having a dedicated exam room where people from multiple unrelated groups take different tests at the same time. Mix the groups so that people taking the same test are not next to each other.
Here's an overengineering meme:)

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Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello10 months ago
Mirrors and LEDs are certainly cheaper and easier to maintain than cameras . The microphones and speakers used for the (partial) noise cancellation do not have to be of a high quality because they are only there to scramble the noise. Mixing groups that have different exams can work during SATs but taking the same test at different times and different venues might not be an efficient practice when the exam takers are classmates. They recognize each other and so they know where to look at if they get the chance. There are times when just looking at someone else's answer sheet for a second will tell you what you are doing wrong and such cases do not usually count as exam malpractice even if the student is seen looking at another person's answers for a short while. Using mirrors can make sure candidates do not get a clear view of anyone's answers at all. Instead of making the students more concisous of their surveillance(this makes some students nervous), cheating is made to be more difficult.
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