Stop the use of online proctoring exams at the University of Minnesota

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The University of Minnesota never formally announced that students would be required to have proctored exams in some of their classes. The chrome extension that the U of M chose to use is Proctorio, which has had increased media attention as of late with concerns about it being spyware. As a Freshman, this makes me very uncomfortable. In order to use this program, students have to consent to their screen, webcam, audio, keystrokes, and some information about their computer system being recorded. Some teachers ask you to use a mirror to show the edges of your computer or your surroundings. Other requirements could be holding up a form of ID to the camera, which is a huge invasion of privacy. These examination practices go against our rights and should not be implemented or required in order to take our exams. 

Proctorio also goes against accessibility. Some restraints that could cause a student to not able to use Proctorio correctly are:

  1. Lack of a good computer, webcam, or microphone.
  2. Lack of a good internet connection.
  3. Having a stressful exam environment.
  4. Living with family, a roommate, or a partner that could potentially disrupt the test.

There are other forms of exams that encourage student learning and academic honesty without the use of proctoring software which include:

  1. Open-book exams.
  2. Open-question exams.
  3. Exams on Schoology.
  4. Multiple choice questions on Canvas.
  5. Alternative assignments (such as essays or projects).

This shows that there are alternatives that preserve the students’ privacy and security concerns, and are high quality for test taking. Forcing students to choose between their privacy or failing an exam is wrong. We are asking the University of Minnesota to listen to their students' concerns, and reconsider their required use of Proctorio.