As schools go remote, ingenious Israeli app keeps tabs on cheaters

Group of Israeli university students and lecturers develop ingenious app to supervise students taking final exams remotely.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

As high schools and colleges around the globe transition to remote final exams due to the coronavirus pandemic, a group of Israeli university students and lecturers recently received a patent for an app that prevents cheating, specifically for online tests.

The app was developed by a group from the ORT Braude College of Engineering in the northern Israeli city of Karmiel. The group won first place out of 250 teams from the high-tech industry and academia who competed in a recent Hackathon.

The Hackathon, hosted by the Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Center, challenged competitors to create a secure solution for virtual final exams. The solution was required to confirm the test taker’s identity, prevent the test taker from using unauthorized sites, using their mobile phone during the test, and copying the test.

The ORT Braude group proposed an app called “Anansee,’ which utilizes several existing technologies and synchronize them, so that the test takers can be identified, tracked and photographed in real time. One of the biggest benefits of the solution is that it uses devices students already have at home – a computer and a mobile phone.

Test takers will be required to run the app on both their computer and their cell, which will be placed behind their back. The positioning of the two cameras on both the laptop and mobile phone gives a remote exam supervisor a wide enough field of vision to ensure a student is not cheating.

For added security, the supervisor will watch the student through a split window, with live images being broadcast from both cameras, making sure that the student hasn’t manipulated the camera by freezing the image.

Using two cameras also creates a record of issues that may arise during the test, such as internet disconnections and technical failures. During the exam, the test taker will be asked to periodically perform verification moves, such as raising a hand and presenting the exam form to the camera.

The student will hand write the answers to the test on paper, so there’s no risk of directly copying and pasting from the Internet. The app will record the entire duration of the exam as an additional security measure.

Professor Aryeh Mahrashek, President of ORT Braude College of Engineering, praised the group, saying to Israel Hayom, “This is a creative response to an urgent need in the academic system in Israel and around the world.”