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?