Does testing online mean a lower level of academic integrity?
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Does testing online mean a lower level of academic integrity?

Does testing online mean a lower level of academic integrity?
March 8, 2021
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The basis of this question is a comparison between online and in-person testing. 

Your organization's standards and protocols relating to testing will be unique to your needs and resources. Unethical activities related to in-person testing are found in every environment and the likelihood of their occurrence is related to the structure of the testing process, the importance and value of the event to the learner, and the ramifications of a rule violation. 

Before we discuss the likelihood of unethical behavior in an online event, we should first agree that violations still occur during in-person testing. In fact, technology has increased the variety of ways a learner could seek an unfair advantage.

A quick Amazon search turns up a variety of gadgets that anyone can purchase for less than $85.00: 

Hidden spy earphone

Wireless hidden camera

Using these two gadgets, a learner taking your in-person test could have anyone feed them the exam answers from a distance, without the instructor ever knowing. 

(Did you notice the wireless hidden earpiece is being sold as an exam gadget?)

In your in-person testing environment, are the individuals writing the test asked to submit to a metal detector, pat down, or cavity search to find gadgets like the earphone and camera above? Of course not. It would be considered overly invasive and inappropriate. 

When it comes to online learning, organizations still need to protect the integrity of their training. However, the goal should also be to act reasonably and to ensure that the level of oversight applied is not invasive in either its technology or in its incursion into personal privacy.

If we can do that for in-person learning events, there is no reason we can’t do the same for online proctored exams.

The great news is that online proctoring technology now exists that: 

  • Allows proctoring without the necessity of installing third-party surveillance software/plugins that the user must ’trust’ as safe
  • Verifies identity without the storage and sharing of ID credentials
  • Allows monitoring of screen activity and program use without seeing the learner’s screen
  • Allows monitoring of external resource use without 360 degree recording
  • Shares no more than the learner’s image if they are fully compliant
  • Validates the sole participation of learners

When determining the level of oversight required for online exams, look at what you have done in the past and emulate that standard. Don't allow your organization to ignore the privacy rights of learners just because you have the power to make them submit.

Contact us today to learn more about our security and privacy-first remote proctoring software.