When many schools halted in-person teaching during the pandemic, they also stopped providing another function that has been perhaps less missed: giving tests under the watchful eyes of proctors.
Millions of college students facing final exams, professionals pursuing new qualifications and others were asked to take important tests at home using programs such as ProctorExam, Proctorio and ProctorU—software designed to fight cheating by getting a human or machine to remotely watch for suspicious behavior in test takers’ faces, rooms and audio levels.
It was a windfall for online proctoring companies, but thrust the pitfalls of the practice into the spotlight.
Being watched by a faceless stranger or artificial intelligence provokes anxiety or worse, according to some students and teachers. Educators and privacy advocates raised concerns about the software’s efficacy, invasiveness and potential to discriminate against some disabled candidates.
Online proctoring companies are now updating their user experiences, partly to