Questioning the whole exam procedure on proctored exams

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Dear Concordia University, with the pandemic, we, university students, are required to follow the courses online which brings a lot of responsibility. As much as we did not choose to do classes online, we did not choose to take our exams online either, especially not in a situation in which we are being recorded. On what criteria some classes at Concordia require their students to take their exam on the platform Proctorio while others do not?

On October 11, 2020 at 10 am, we had a midterm exam in commerce 217 to which most of us found the wording of some of the questions not clear enough. Also, many of us think that there was a lack of information and communication between teachers and students on how to access the exam because some of our emails were ignored.

When asked the students:

-       Many answered not having time to complete the exam (time problem)

-       Some were unable to log in to the exam during the first few minutes (technical problem)

-       Some got kicked out, or the page was taken down in the middle of the exam (technical problem)

-       Some were unable to have access to necessary resources in order to access the exam (microphone, camera, good connection, proper environment)

In addition, Proctorio asked us to test our camera, microphone, connection as well as scanning our student ID card and scanning the room during the examination period. Many students said that only having to do this cost them 10 minutes of their exam time.

Staying calm under these circumstances is not possible when we know that we are being flagged for every movement we make such as trying to grab scratch paper, a pen, a calculator or even looking away for a few seconds to reduce the fatigue in our eyes from looking  at a screen for two hours, since these could be seen as suspicious movements.

If students are not trusted enough to take an exam without being proctored or recorded, the academic institutions should come up with new alternatives. Taking an exam should not be stressful to students as most already have stress due to the pandemic, online learning, due dates for many assignments and quizzes outside regular class hours etc.

If other classes at Concordia University and other universities are able to do an exam without being recorded we consider that all classes should be able to do the same.



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