For some students, online classes can be a very comfortable way to learn.

However online classes can also pose a threat. With all of the comfort of students being able to work at their own pace, the opportunity to try and cheat can be overwhelming.

Now Proctorio, a web proctoring service founded in 2013, is setting its sights on online integrity.

The service takes integrity very seriously as users basically grant the platform access to their computers during testing time. In addition to being able to monitor students’ entire screen and access their computers and microphones, the software also monitors test takers through a webcam.

Along with monitoring students while in use, the software mirrors users’ screens to ensure they do not open another window on the computer.

Considering I am someone who was enrolled in an online class and have watched one too many episodes of the short-lived “CSI Cyber,” I am paranoid when it comes to protecting my information. I am that person who covers up his webcam and has his microphone turned off at all times. For these reasons, I was quite shaken when my first interaction with the software arose.

When enrolling in my online class I was advised of the use of Proctorio through the syllabus. I still wasn’t mentally prepared for what this software does.

Logging on to take my first quiz, I had to go through an initial webcam and micrpophone check before being allowed to start the quiz. The software displays a video of the user at the top of the screen and requires test takers to stand up and scan their surroundings.

The anti-cheating software feels somewhat Big Brotheresque. A Proctorio representative reassured me that the videos are sent straight to a professor although they couldn’t or wouldn’t let me know how long the recordings are accessible.

With a software observing your every move, how much is too much when protecting a student’s academic integrity?

(1) comment

Proctorio

Thank you for your article, Dade. We share your sentiment about student privacy and are keen to take the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. Student privacy is central to the design of our service. We, at Proctorio, take pride as the only proctoring solution to emphasize the student as a key stakeholder–and have implemented several measures to ensure student privacy & data security.

In response to your blog, we’d like to offer some important points of clarification.

“The service takes integrity very seriously as users basically grant the platform access to their computers during testing time.”

It’s important to note that Proctorio’s software functions exclusively as a browser extension. This means the software does not have access to a user’s local machine and operates solely using the browser’s native functionality.
Additionally, the extension is only needed when instructors have required Proctorio on an exam. The extension can be deleted at anytime via the extensions page (type the following into the URL bar: chrome://extensions/).


“The software displays a video of the user at the top of the screen and requires test takers to stand up and scan their surroundings.”

Students should be aware that Proctorio gives instructors the flexibility to choose which features they wish to utilize on their exams. Traditionally, more features are used on high-stakes exams. Proctorio is agnostic to the process of selecting which recording and lockdown functions are required.


“The anti-cheating software feels somewhat Big Brotheresque. A Proctorio representative reassured me that the videos are sent straight to a professor although they couldn’t or wouldn’t let me know how long the recordings are accessible.”

Proctorio uses a zero-knowledge encryption scheme to manage exam recordings–meaning student data is encrypted while stored and can only be accessed by authorized personnel at the partner institution directly via the Learning Management System. Proctorio, itself, cannot access recordings. Exam data is never sold to third parties and in the event of an unlikely breach, the data would be useless as it’s encrypted using 256 bit AES encryption.

For information on how long the recordings are accessible, please refer to our privacy policy: https://proctorio.com/privacy

Proctorio is proud to be recognized by the Internet Keep Safe Coalition for meeting stringent test-taker data and privacy standards, making Proctorio the only proctoring solution to earn iKeepSafe certification (https://ikeepsafe.org/products/).

Thanks again,

The Proctorio Team

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