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ERIC Number: EJ1001923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-15
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Behind the Webcam's Watchful Eye, Online Proctoring Takes Hold
Kolowich, Steve
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr 2013
Hailey Schnorr has spent years peering into the bedrooms, kitchens, and dorm rooms of students via Webcam. In her job proctoring online tests for universities, she has learned to focus mainly on students' eyes. Ms. Schnorr works for ProctorU, a company hired by universities to police the integrity of their online courses. ProctorU is part of a cottage industry of online proctoring providers that has grown in recent years as colleges and universities have set their sights on "nontraditional" students who want to earn degrees without leaving home. The old biases against online education have begun to erode, but companies that offer remote-proctoring services still face an uphill battle in persuading skeptics, many of whom believe that the duty of preserving academic integrity should not be entrusted to online watchers who are often thousands of miles from the test-takers. So ProctorU and other players have installed a battery of protocols aimed at making their systems as airtight as possible. Each online-proctoring company has developed its own approach. Some monitor live feeds; others record students via Webcam and watch the recordings. Some require students to share a view of their computer monitor, and empower a proctor to override their cursor if necessary; others simply make students install software that makes it impossible to use Web browsers or chat programs while the exam is in progress. The companies make bold claims about their effectiveness, arguing their services are not just equal to but "better" than in-person proctoring. Remote-proctoring services rely on the same technology that has made it possible for people to earn college degrees without having to report to a campus.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A