Educators’ Perspectives of Using (or Not Using) Online Exam Proctoring


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the land- scape of education and led to increased usage of remote proc- toring tools that are designed to monitor students when they take assessments outside the classroom. While prior work has explored students’ privacy and security concerns regard- ing online proctoring tools, the perspective of educators is under explored. Notably, educators are the decision makers in the classrooms and choose which remote proctoring ser- vices and the level of observations they deem appropriate. To explore how educators balance the security and privacy of their students with the requirements of remote exams, we sent survey requests to over 3,400 instructors at a large private university that taught online classes during the 2020/21 aca- demic year. We had n = 125 responses: 21% of the educators surveyed used online exam proctoring services during the remote learning period, and of those, 35% plan to continue using the tools even when there is a full return to in-person learning. Educators who use exam proctoring services are of- ten comfortable with their monitoring capabilities. However, educators are concerned about students sharing certain types of information with exam proctoring companies, particularly when proctoring services collect identifiable information to validate students’ identities. Our results suggest that many ed- ucators developed alternative assessments that did not require online proctoring and that those who did use online proctoring services often considered the tradeoffs between the potential risks to student privacy and the utility or necessity of exam proctoring services.

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Conference Proceeding

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Open access to the Proceedings of the 32nd USENIX Security Symposium is sponsored by USENIX.