Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post

Wired With William: Online proctoring softwares simply shouldn’t be used

With exam season approaching quickly, many professors and schools within universities worldwide are looking for methods to proctor online exams. Proctortrack is a proctoring software that's extremely popular at several universities. In recent years, the growing popularity of the software has caused some push-back because of its use of computers’ webcams to track movement, monitors system processes, restricts tabs and follows keystrokes to determine academic integrity on an exam. 

In addition, it requires an onboarding process, which requires users to scan a form of ID, such as a student ID or government-issued ID. Some argue Proctortrack invades students' privacy, according to a Gazette report.

Honestly, the last thing you want to worry about while taking an exam is having a level of security similar to that of TSA in the airport when someone watches you, but that's the feeling many students have while taking an exam with Proctortrack. 

On social media, several students at Western University in Canada have expressed their grievances with the software. Those students felt the intense surveillance of Proctortrack and similar online monitoring programs increased their anxiety while taking the exam. "It's basically like having someone standing over your shoulder at your screen the whole time," a student said in an interview with The Verge.

Just like several universities, Proctortrack is becoming the required software for academic honesty during exams, Ohio University being one of those. However, last year's security breach of Proctortrack home company Verificient led to several emails containing racial slurs, false statements and more. Afterward, certain universities, such as the City University of New York,  prohibited the use of Proctortrack as a method to proctor exams.

Proctortrack and other online proctor solutions are a breach of not only student privacy but also a breach of ethics. No university should require software that collects names, addresses, zip codes, identity documents, etc., and forcing those upon students to track one's academic honesty should not be something for the university to put upon students at the risk of one's privacy at any institution. It is more worth saving the privacy of students than it is worth keeping a student from peeking at their notes during a final.

William Troyer is a sophomore studying media and social change at Ohio University.  Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell William by tweeting him at @WilliamTroyer4.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2022 The Post, Athens OH