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About Online Proctoring

student in residence hall typing on laptop

Choosing to use online proctoring adds a layer of security to distance and hybrid courses while providing students the convenience of taking tests outside a classroom or designated testing center. Texas State University has partnered with Examity® to provide online proctoring services and the Office of Distance and Extended Learning makes online proctoring conveniently available in online and hybrid (INT and HYB) courses.


The following links will help you quickly find more information both on and off this page about online proctoring:

Examity® Levels of Services 
Even if you may have used online proctoring services elsewhere, please take a moment to review some information below about the five levels of service available from Examity®. 

Some Considerations
Before you choose to make online proctoring a mandatory part of your courses for all students or even for most of your exams, please review some information about the technology required, how students interact with the online proctoring service and your exam, and how Examity® might work with some third party systems like lockdown browsers or publisher-provided testing products.

Getting Started with Examity®
Find out how to request access to the Examity® tool in your online course site. Download an instructor guide and a student guide that you can share.

Troubleshooting Online Proctoring
Know who to call when you have a question or need help. Get answers to some commonly asked questions.


Examity® Levels of Service

Examity® has produced a short video that provides an overview of their service.

Examity® offers five levels of service and you may use any appropriate level of service on any particular exam. The first two levels (described below) focus primarily on verification of the student's identity–ensuring that the student who is supposed to take the test is the student enrolled in the class. These levels are called Authentication Levels by Examity®. 

Three additional levels provide varying levels of proctoring support in addition to student identity verification. From Proctoring Level 1 to Level 3, the presence of the proctor becomes more obvious to the student. 

 

Authentication Levels

Level AA: Auto-Authentication
Designed for lower stakes assessments and meeting accepted standards. Test-takers snap pictures of their ID and face, answer challenge questions and enter a biometric keystroke signature to verify identity.

Level LA: Live Authentication
Live Authentication is best suited for tests that matter more. Level LA ensures an agreed-to understanding of exam rules and "clean" test environment. Challenge questions, ID verifications, facial comparisons, keystroke analysis and full recordings help make this level our most reliable authentication. 

 

Proctoring Levels

Level 1: Auto-Proctoring
A fully automated approach. After auto-authentication is complete, Examity® captures audio, motion, and systemic changes to identify inappropriate behaviors.

Level 2: Record and Review Proctoring
After live-authentication, each test is recorded from start to finish and is later viewed by a human, in its entirety, to ensure that no rules have been violated.

Level 3: Live Proctoring
After completing the live-authentication process, Examity® monitors the test-taker's surroundings and the entire desktop throughout the exam. An advantage to this level is that Examity® may comment and troubleshoot in real-time during the test.


Some Considerations

Often the advantages and ease-of-use of online proctoring services are easy to see from a faculty perspective and more difficult to appreciate from the student point of view. A few points to consider before adopting online proctoring, making it mandatory for all students, or adopting online proctoring for every (or even the majority of the) assessments in your course:

  • To use online proctoring successfully, a student must have the following:
    • Access to a computer with a webcam and a microphone (they may not use a tablet or mobile phone)
    • Sufficient internet speed of at least 700 kbps upload and download
    • Ability (and willingness) to disable pop-up blockers–even on work or borrowed computers
  • A student must take an exam in a distraction-free environment meaning:
    • No one may enter the room (roommates, children, pets, etc.)
    • No extraneous sounds should be heard by the proctor
    • The student must be willing to provide the proctor with a 360° view around the testing location
  • "Latency" will add new factors to testing:
    • Students will wait for a period of time between when they request access to their proctor at their appointment time and when the proctor makes the initial contact. This first period of latency happens with every online proctoring service and with all vendors. The wait time with Examity® was typically small but not zero. When we first tested online proctoring, some students reported up to ten minutes of latency from when they checked in for their appointment and when a proctor became available.
    • Students will also experience a waiting period as the proctor verifies the identity of the student and prepares the test environment. Depending on the readiness of the testing environment and the student, this latency between the first interaction with the proctor and when the test actually begins can take several additional minutes.
    • Fifteen to twenty minutes of total latency between requesting a proctor and actually starting an exam has not been uncommon. 
  • Not all testing types are compatible with online proctoring:
    • Using lockdown browsers and other add-on technologies in addition to the online proctoring service may introduce technical difficulties. We are happy to test these scenarios with you before they are attempted in a live environment with students.
    • Some publisher-produced online testing platforms may also be incompatible with the Examity® service. 

None of these considerations is meant to discourage the use of online proctoring. Rather, you may choose to provide alternatives to students who cannot or are unwilling to use the service. Offering testing times in the classroom and providing students with an option to take exams at the San Marcos or Round Rock Testing Centers are a few strategies. 

We also encourage faculty to provide a low-stakes, short exam or quiz using the online proctoring service at the very beginning of the term to allow students to test their equipment, to find a good testing space, and to become accustomed to working with an online proctor.

Consideration of the impact on students and their experience with online proctoring may also encourage reflection on the overall number of exams you will want to run through the proctoring service or the level of service you will choose for each assessment type in your course.