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Online exam proctoring with Proctorio


Online exam proctoring with Proctorio can be part of an instructor’s approach to addressing academic integrity. Proctorio uses an extension in the Chrome browser to monitor a student’s desktop and webcam during an online quiz, and record data for later review.

For online quizzes administered in Canvas, Proctorio can:

  • Lock down the student’s computer during the quiz to prevent web browsing, copying and pasting, and so on
  • Record students’ webcam, web browsing, keyboard and mousing activity
  • Flag student submissions that indicate suspicious behavior, based on instructor settings

Instructors then review flagged recordings, and pursue any incidents through standard student conduct processes. Note: Proctorio flags do not unequivocally establish misconduct. Instructor review of recordings is required in order to rule out incorrectly flagged suspicious or abnormal results in a student recording.

What is required of instructors? An overview of the whole process

Before deciding to use Proctorio, instructors should familiarize themselves with the entire process from setting up the quiz to reviewing the recordings, and be aware of some constraints.

  • Proctorio works only with Canvas quizzes
  • The quiz must be set up as a timed quiz. Proctorio recommends showing all questions at once (on one page)
  • Consider extending the quiz availability window to give students a little time to complete the Proctorio verification process
  • Both the instructor and student must use the Chrome browser with extension to set up proctoring for the quiz
  • Inform students in advance about:
    • Which quizzes will be remotely proctored
    • What will be recorded
    • Technical requirements and that they should find a quiet, private place when taking quiz
  • Provide a practice quiz for students to confirm technical requirements of their system before high stakes quiz.
  • Use the Proctorio gradebook to review recordings
    • Adjust behavior settings and metrics to filter attempts and frames to review in more detail

Important: Automated recordings have a high false-positive rate. Instructor review of recordings is required in order to rule out incorrectly flagged suspicious or abnormal results in a student recording.

When and why should I use Proctorio?

Online exam proctoring helps to confirm the identity of the student taking the exam, lock down the student’s web browser, and discourage academic misconduct; it does not prevent cheating entirely. Remote proctoring is most effective when coupled with other assessment strategies, such as more frequent assessments (low-stakes quizzes, graded homework assignments, peer reviews), and instructor discussions about academic integrity with students. See the UW Center for Teaching and Learning’s suggestions for quizzes, exams, and alternatives for a discussion of other assessment strategies. If Proctorio is used, instructors need to review quiz recordings and pursue incidents through standard student conduct processes.

Online exam proctoring can be most useful when:

  • Other forms of assessment (such as open book or open note quizzes, team research or group projects, or other assignments) are not effective or valid
  • Other tools to uphold academic integrity, such as using question groups or question banks in Canvas are not sufficient or viable
  • Assessment strategies and instructor monitoring and review must scale efficiently, such as in large classes
  • Verifying student identity with a Husky Card photo ID is required

What are other ways to address academic integrity?

Another way to address concerns about academic misconduct is to reconsider the efficacy of existing assessments. Providing students with multiple chances to demonstrate what they have learned, in various kinds of assignments, can reduce anxiety and motivation to cheat. Do students only have a few, high-stakes chances to demonstrate mastery? Are there a variety of assignments or question types through which students can demonstrate understanding? Are grading criteria and expectations clear? Below are helpful resources if you’re looking for practical ideas for revising assessment in your class.

How can I address student privacy?

It is important for instructors to be mindful of student privacy while addressing exam integrity. Use of Proctorio should be consistent with the UW Values and Privacy Principles. Specifically, instructors must:

  • Use Proctorio as described above
  • Ensure that enabled features are warranted by the nature of an exam (for example, adjust recording settings for an open book exam, avoid audio recording in order to prevent capturing the voices of non-students who may unavoidably be near a student during a remote exam)
  • Only request students’ Husky Cards if enabling Proctorio’s ID verification feature; do not request other forms of identification such as drivers’ licenses, passports, or government ID.
  • Inform students early and often about Proctorio use as indicated below
  • Respect student concerns about privacy and explore alternate exam options if students express privacy-related discomfort with Proctorio
  • Do not share students’ personal data arising from Proctorio. Exception: Instructors may be called upon to share such data when participating in a student conduct process.

How should I inform my students about Proctorio?

Instructors that choose to use Proctorio must inform students early and often about such use. The UW Privacy Office recommends using the following opportunities throughout the quarter to create transparency and convey information about online exam proctoring to students:

Include the below information about Proctorio in your syllabus so students are aware of enabled features; the kinds of personal data that are collected; and academic misconduct processes.

Make verbal announcements during lectures or class meetings

Send written announcements through email or course announcements in Canvas

How do I support student success with Proctorio?

While Proctorio guides students through the steps to get started and successfully take the proctored quiz, we strongly recommend that instructors use a practice quiz in their course before the graded assessments. The practice quiz will walk students through installation and verification without the anxiety of a graded quiz. Here are some other suggestions to support student success during an online proctored exam:

  • Acknowledge that remote proctoring might be a new experience for the student, in order to reduce anxiety.
  • Use an ungraded practice quiz before a graded assessment to help students prepare and lower test anxiety.
  • Add extra time to the quiz availability window in Canvas for the Proctorio verification process.
  • Provide a way to respond to student questions and concerns about the remote proctoring process, to lower anxiety.
  • Provide students with a way to contact you during the quiz, should they encounter technical difficulties that require your attention. For example, you might need to add an additional attempt, or extend time for specific students.
  • Communicate clear expectations for how to complete the quiz and how it will be evaluated, in order to reduce student anxiety.
  • Consider the quality of student internet connections and other limitations they may face when taking exams remotely.

How do students get technical support?

Students can contact Proctorio support 24/7 directly from within the Canvas quiz, or using the information below:

Students can access the help center and live chat with support by selecting the badge icon in the upper right corner of the browser.

Suggested text for communicating with students about Proctorio

While classes are conducted remotely, this class will use an online exam proctoring service, Proctorio, to uphold academic integrity for exams and/or quizzes. In-class exams are typically observed (or proctored) by your professor and teaching assistants. In an online proctored exam, software monitors your computer’s desktop and webcam video. The data recorded by Proctorio during the exam can later be reviewed by your instructor (and only your instructor). During the exam, the enabled features may collect the following personal student data: image and movements captured on video, image of students’ Husky Cards, students’ computer desktop image, web browsing, keyboard and mouse activity. Learn more about privacy and Proctorio. If an academic integrity issue is identified, it may be referred to Community Standards and Student Conduct in accordance with the student conduct processes.

Proctorio works with quizzes in Canvas. To take a quiz with Proctorio, you need to use the Chrome browser, install the Proctorio browser extension, and have a stable internet connection. Depending on how Proctorio is used, a webcam may also be required. Learn how to get started with Proctorio.

If you have concerns about using Proctorio, please contact your instructor to explore alternate exam options.

Who determines whether cheating occurred?

Instructors can review the recording, and if academic dishonesty is suspected, pursue a complaint with student conduct through regular channels, just as they would for an in-person exam or other assignment.

What about accessibility for students?

Proctorio is known to present challenges for some users with disabilities. Students should be provided with a practice exam in order to test whether they’re able to use it successfully. Students requiring accommodations should contact Disability Resources for Students. Learn more about Proctorio’s accessibility

If DRS accommodations do not allow use of Proctorio, an instructor can use the Exam Flexibility feature to turn proctoring off for specific students.

How can I make accommodations for specific students?

Proctorio can be used with the “Moderate this quiz” feature in Canvas in order to turn proctoring off for specific students. View the how-to instructions for moderating the remotely proctored quiz for specific students.

Can I use Proctorio in conjunction with Zoom for synchronous online proctoring?

No. Zoom and Proctorio are incompatible. Using them together creates technical issues for students and does not provide any benefit over using Proctorio on its own. The recommended and supported method of online proctoring is to use Proctorio with a Canvas quiz.

Last reviewed April 14, 2020