Test anxiety: how to remote test invigilation the students from creeping in,
The stranger on the Zoom-the call appeared to be sitting in a tent. He wore a black headset, and a blue lanyard around his neck. Behind him, the white plastic was the castle-peppered with images of a padlock.
“Hi,” the ned stranger into. “My name is Sharath and I am going to your proctor. Please confirm your name is Jackson, and that you are going to take you to your 11:30 PM audit.”
“Right,” said Jackson Hayes, from his ash-block student Dorm at the University of Arizona.
If he registered for an online class in Russian cinema history, he had no idea that it is meant to be monitored via video-chat with people on the other side of the world. Hayes got him released through an object to the class syllabus, just before the semester started, read that “Examity directions.” The curriculum showed Hayes and his classmates sign up for Examity, an online test invigilation service.
create account Hayes was required to upload a photo from his photo-ID to Examity website and his full name, E-Mail and the phone number — it’s pretty banal stuff. But it was always strange. In the end, he typed in his name again; Examity storing a biometric template of the keyboard input.
“together, It feels so jury-rigged,” Hayes says. “The site looked like it was built in the year 2008.”
A month later, it was Hayes for the preparation for his first practice exam with Examity proctor watched him through the Zoom. Hayes didn’t want to Zoom download he had heard about his Laundry list of security concerns — but it was necessary in his intermediate examination.
Sharath said Hayes his share of the screen, and then click display both sides of his driver’s license in the webcam view. “I must see that you said your Desk and work area,” the proctor. “Please turn your webcam to 360 degrees, so I can see the area around you.” Hayes is complied with. “Please take back a step and show me the whole Desk,” instructed the proctor. Again, Hayes obeyed.
Then he had to answer some security questions. Chrome thought, one of the fields was for a credit card and car filled.
“Why the hell did they?” Hayes asked.
“first name and last name without spaces,” said Sharath, unimpressed.
Hayes deactivated quickly in the field, but his card last four digits and expiration date are already displayed.
Finally, Hayes was instructed to grant the proctor remote access to his computer. “Please open your system preferences and click on the lock icon,” the proctor monotonously said. “Please enter your computer password. Perfect. Thank you.”
The proctor will enter a password, with Hayes’ computer, and the test is taken online started using Examity portal. Sharath saw Hayes ‘ work, through his webcam, all the time.
“I was like, Holy shit, that’s good,” Hayes says.
The pandemic increases, our dependence on video chat, but remote invigilation was on the rise long before the first instance COVID-19. The University of Arizona is one of about 500 schools that have use or use Examity in any form. It is not the only webcam invigilation service, there are other schools with similar live programs such as ProctorU, automated services, such as Proctor track, or plagiarism-detection algorithms (such as Turnitin. But while the novel coronavirus didn’t start the trend, it makes it worse. Online invigilation an explosion of business has seen schools around the world are forced to move their classes online; the CEO of a similar service called Proctorio predicted that his service would increase its value four to five times this year.
Examity the proctors told me you’ve been flooded with new tests that confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak, and the company’s CEO, Jim Holm, that some employees have taken on additional hours. “We are grateful for our employees and their flexibility in the support of our partners in this time,” he adds.
Examity is one of the fastest growing online invigilation services. Employees appreciate that the company had around 10 proctors in the year 2014, but had several hundred by the end of 2015, and it now employs over a thousand. (The Verge spoke with three Examity proctors and a former proctor for this story, and gives you all the anonymity retaliatory measures from their employer.) The company doubled in size between 2018 and 2019, and it was considered the fastest growing ed tech companies in North America by Deloitte Fast 500. At the beginning of 2019, the company estimated that it proctor about 2 million tests for higher education alone.
But the students are all on Board with the widespread adoption of these services, and you do not have for more than a decade. In 2006, a group of students at McLean High School in Virginia 1,190 collected signatures for a petition against the school required use of Turnitin. “It is as if you tested searched every car in the Parking lot or drugs to any student,” McLean, senior Ben Donovan told The Washington Post time.
And in the year 2015, according to the Rutgers job, the use of Proctor track in some online courses, a group of students revolted, circulates raised a petition against him, more than 900 signatures. Shortly after the petition, the University began to be known, that it provides students with the opportunity to have their exams in person.
The University of Arizona administrators believe that the students do not sense the software. “You know that this is an expectation, because their professors do,” says Kristin Ziska Oddly, UA’s assistant director for technology and innovation. “Some people fear. We have some students that are, like, ‘I don’t hate this, this is cool.’ But most of our students understand that this is want to be a part of what the teachers of them.”
, the Hayes’ experience. “Every student I know says this place is the creepiest thing ever” Hayes. On his campus, he finds, “the predominant feeling towards Examity screws’.'”
Takashi K., which requires that I holding myself back to avoid his last name, for the consequences of his school, a student at St. Charles Community College in Missouri, the Examity for several classes. None of his friends like it either. “Everyone I have spoken to about it agrees-at least, it is suspicious, or annoying, what you have to do,” he says.
On paper, there is not much difference between taking a test in front of a professor or TA, and a test in front of your webcam. “Whether it is face-to-face, or whether it is online, a test in General is stressful,” says Melody Buckner, associate vice provost for digital learning and online initiatives at the University of Arizona. “Whether it is watch-drop a professor or a TAs walk around the class, the test, or whether it’s someone on a computer, it is stressful. We realize that this is… and we work with faculty to try to determine what is the best way to proctor your students, and give them as little fear as possible.”
But the students say Examity that it feels much weirder than invigilation with a professor or TA. They are to be observed closer to the top, by a stranger, and in a place more private than a classroom. In conversation with me, the students, their experiences described as everything from “uncomfortable” to “Intrusive” to “incomplete.” “It’s basically like having someone over your shoulder, staring at your screen all the time,” says Takashi.
That is not far from what the proctors actually do. Tushar, a former Examity proctor, who worked for the company in the years 2014 and 2015, says: “we are the face of the schoolgirl watching to see if there is something suspicious, like a suspicious eye movements, or to mutter if the student tries something, to someone outside the room.” (You can monitor one student at a time.)
Proctors to continue during students ‘ environment. “If we see that kind of book, if I see someone else, it, there is a chance to copy the students to say,” Tushar. Each time that a Supervisory person, a suspicious movement, you can raise a “flag” in Examity system. After enough flags, Examity the video directs to the student teacher.
Examity understand the proctors, of course, that students your product might find non-invasive. “I feel kind of guilty,” a Supervisory person, Dhruv says to me — and he believes most of his colleagues are of the same opinion. Drhuv has seen, personal information and messages on students ‘ screens before. But he still enjoys the work and says that he can never share what he saw. “We’ll be careful,” he says. “No problem.”
Holm says the creepiness is a necessary compromise for an effective service. “Certainly, all invigilation environments, either in person or online, requires monitoring, the complaints of the students, but it is crucial to ensure that the integrity of the exam,” he says. He noted the similarity of the Examity experience that an in-person Test-center, the monitor may be, its kiosks with cameras. “We also understand that trust is given, but must be earned. This principle in everything we do, Examity drives, from our hiring and training practices with the technology which enables our platform to the integrity of any invigilation experience.”
Holm told The Verge that data breaches should not be relevant. “Examity has a wide range of security controls — administrative, technical and physical,” he says. “For obvious reasons we do not disclose details of these additional controls. However, we know to invest heavily in the continuous development and testing of the security architecture of the Examity platform precisely in order to prevent such a compromise.”
Harold Li, a security expert working as a consultant for a number of large tech companies and is currently a Vice President at ExpressVPN, believes Examity the dangers go beyond the technical inconvenience. “It is not to be a huge safety issue for the students is required to install third-party software that you have the ability to sense the veterinarian themselves, and you give a stranger full remote access to your computer,” Li says. “At least it sets a bad precedent and presents dangerous safety habits.”
Li says Examity process is riddled with potential privacy nightmares. “The invigilation could the software have a vulnerability that results in a hacker taking advantage of the possibilities of remote control, the proctor may allow their position of power, malicious social engineer, a student, to them, a malware install, or the invigilation platform could be thieves for the leak data, including student ID cards, and other personal information, the identity.”
It is easy to see the argument for services such as Examity at a time when over 6 million U.S. students are enrolled in online college courses. I spoke to several students, appreciate, the ability to test at home due to its distance from the campus, familial responsibilities, or other circumstances, the online courses attractive in the first place.
And this seems to be a matter of fact, Examity the primary mission: to open online courses for students who could not otherwise. “Online education has the potential to access, to dramatically expand and respond to the needs of the digitally connected generation of students,” Holm’s tell it. “Our work has always ensure about the validation of the learning experience, the quality of the degrees, certifications, and credentials of our partners.”
To use Examity, students are required to have a computer with a webcam and a stable Internet connection and a private room, where your tests alone. This doesn’t sound unreasonable to ask, especially for people already enrolled in an online class. Buckner at the University of Arizona says that most UA students have no difficulty with the software. “The students know that their studies are going to be online,” she says The Verge. “you recognize, you have to do to be certain of the devices in the position to, a fully online program.” Buckner, says UA students can check laptops and webcams from the University library, and that the school provides a physical testing center for students who need the space. “We try to make the students as much as we can in this crisis,” she says. “We are trying all our bases.”
Still believe some of the students that the service it may prevent more accessibility problems than.
Sandra L., requested that I hold back on me, your family name, used Examity for the intermediate examination in your astronomy class at Ocean County College in New Jersey. You’ve never had a Zoom before use and could not have the program to work on your two-year-old iMac. She had no way to another computer and the college Computer had no webcams. Her first assigned proctor was so frustrated that she hung the call; Sandra called back and got another supervisor who still cannot figure out was the problem. Finally, Sandra gave up and took a zero on the test.
“Only a bad experience,” she says. “I would not recommend Examity anyone.”
she was not the only one. So many of their class-mates with similar technical problems, Sandra is a professor decided not to use the program for the final examination.
A Yale student, the Examity for a summer class, says she spent hours Troubleshooting technical issues before they could begin their intermediate examination. A number of your class problems at the start had comrades at their assigned time. For students she knew who were the test pressing in the lunch break or juggle other commitments to the delays, there was a problem.
Takashi, says the portal has crashed twice in the middle of his examination. After one of the crashes, his proctor, his cell phone called to ask why he made the call.
University of Wisconsin-student, says that Examity makes testing particularly difficult for the parents. Examity requires students to be in an empty, silent room, while you are testing. For the students, lives with her two small children, this was a big order. “It is difficult for a non-traditional student, to be alone and quiet,” the student says. “I have a family in a tiny house.” The student did not protest, but others did; the professor stopped, Examity, a month after the introduction.
The madness and the technical inconvenience value of the trade could be off, if Examity reliably caught cheater. While all of the students I asked said they would never admit cheated with Examity (or at least not), they all thought that it could be done.
Tricksters on the internet have developed workarounds. A Reddit user was successfully able to keep a cheat sheet pressed against your computer screen, from the webcam view. They were also able to use their cell phone during the test. When the supervisor asked to see her phone, the students showed you a case with the Apple logo and a camera moved in, then it fell in a backpack. “I passed the test and that was that,” the student wrote. “It’s weird to think that these companies can prevent fraud.”
Other commentators have a number of techniques. “You can print your notes on a plastic transparency, the things you need for overhead projectors,” noted one user. “Static cling will keep you on the screen.” “49-inch ultrawide with an iPad duct-taped to the right side,” suggested another. “Name your symbols with formulas,” floated the other.
In 2015, software engineer Jake Golden wrote a comprehensive series of workarounds, including virtual webcam software, project planning, testing Conspirators in another room, and put the answers on the inside of the sunglasses. But his list, which he mentioned, contains only a fraction of the tricks that students could try. To study “if the professors think the students will go to these lengths to skip, — you are the fool.”
Examity website says that its proctors are required to “years of technical support services” and go through eight weeks of intensive training; in theory you should catch every trick in the books. This seems to be the reality differ, however. The proctors I spoke to said they had experience no invigilation, before he Examity, their training lasted about a month, and it was not particularly intense.
The company, based in Massachusetts, but the proctors are in Hyderabad, one of India’s largest cities. There are a number of Examity job postings in the Facebook groups for recent college graduates in the Region. In a group with the name “Fresher jobs in Hyderabad,” lists “good communication skills” as the sole condition. (Holm stands by the information on the website. “In almost every case, we provide our proctors with an eight-week course.”)
As for cheaters, Holm says that Examity is constantly adapting to new strategies; he notes that the company retains proctors informed the novel’s tricks and keeps you updated policies and procedures as they develop further. The share of scammers, the Examity deters (or catches), but is a less important question. It is clear that the universities find new ways to curb cheating, students find new ways to cheat. And to also stretch as the cycle develops, the use of invasive procedures and the technical requirements of what many students are comfortable with.
“It is equip as a digital wagering,” Hayes says. “If people cheat on new ways to find, you have to find new ways to stop them. But Examity is the nuclear option.”
Gabi Martorell, a psychology professor at Virginia Wesleyan University, believes that arms race, is worth the trade-offs. Instead, she says, it shows the limitations of the tests, assessment tools.
“In my experience, students almost always find a way, if you really want to,” says Martorell. “I would rather set up a situation where the students are cheating less likely.” She has moved her classes to find away from multiple-choice tests and focus even more on the open-book evaluations, projects, and papers where answers are not easy to find on Google.
But as some of the professors leave Examity, others jump on Board, especially as travel bans and campus closures related to COVID-19 force-universities around the world, in order to scale-up their online lessons. Southern Cross University, Australia controlled the platform for their health, courses, despite concerns that some students could not on the bandwidth or hardware required. Only 20 of the 24 students in China were able to make your scheduled exams, as a result of the University as successfully.
As classes move online and demand for invigilation grows, Examity is continuing to expand. The company hired 150 US-based proctors since the end of March, and 150 additional support of professionals. Meanwhile, the pandemic, the company has been forced to close its office in Hyderabad. Live invigilation was blocked for a couple of weeks, but the proctors are now back online and work from home. “The scope and scale of this challenge for higher education is something that nobody could have foreseen,” says Holm. “As we move into this uncharted territory, we work very closely with existing and new partners to meet the increased demand.”
The company rolled out a new interface in February, a better experience for the test-Taker. Hayes, who has an intermediate examination on the new platform in March, there are says the same problems. And in spite of the frustrations he and his classmates of Examity’t go out anywhere. “If you are a student, you have no choice,” he says. “This is the school in the year 2020.”
Released on Wed, 29 Apr 2020 12:00:00 +0000