In lieu of traditional, classroom-based final exams, post-secondary academic institutions are conducting final exams online. By using electronic proctoring services to monitor students as they take the tests, institutions intend to prevent cheating. But are institutions infringing on privacy rights?
Online exam proctoring solutions need access to students’ webcams, microphones, screens, browsers and occasionally, biometric data. “Some services require the student to show the proctor their entire room,” to prove that there aren’t any open books, or other means of cheating, writes Forbes.
In addition, students may also be forced to permit proctoring services to collect their browsing and search histories, to monitor their keystrokes, and to track their mouse clicks.
While some universities support the use of electronic proctoring services, others condemn them.
Regarding the security of the services, administrators, faculty and students alike have voiced concerns. A student from Rose State College, in Oklahoma noted that “Some people have been hacked [through proctor monitoring services] and it’s messed up their computers.”
Other concerns surround institutions’ haste in onboarding these proctoring companies, as the minimal legal excavation could result in corporate profiteering from student data. “…because we are doing this with such urgency, we don’t really have time to ingest all the implications of what these companies will do,” says Guy McHendry, professor at Creighton University.
For more information on the contentious issue of instituting exam proctoring services, visit Forbes.