Online classes are becoming more popular. Not only are there colleges and universities where a student can earn their complete degree online, but many traditional brick and mortar schools also offer individual courses online. Other courses will sometimes include an online exam as a component of the class. With the rise of online classes more sophisticated software is being developed to stop cheating.
Some programs require students to take an online exam in a proctored room or a testing center. Many times, these rooms are not only proctored by individuals, but cameras are also recording what is happening.
If a student is required to take an online exam in their home, cameras are given to the student which they then plug into their computer. The cameras have a wide-angle and are recording the student’s movements, watching who comes and goes into the room, and watching if the student appears to be consulting unauthorized notes or other aids.
More recently, schools have been utilizing sophisticated software that not only watches a student, but also records sounds and monitors facial and eye movements. One of the most popular is a software called Proctorio, which makes use of the student’s camera in their computer. The software records the entire time a student is taking an exam and locks down other functions of the computer to stop a student from cheating by accessing notes, other websites, etc.
While these programs are more sophisticated, they are not absolute. Many times, a student can be flagged for things when they have not cheated. For example, if there were noises being picked up like outside noises or the student was tapping, this could be interpreted as another person in the room typing. If the student was a nervous test taker and the system flagged too many eye movements, this could also be flagged.
If you are accused of cheating on an online exam, ask to see the video and the report. Make sure you are allowed to view the entire video, not just an edited version. If you have test anxiety or other conditions that may have caused you to appear nervous, make sure you have those conditions documented.
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