Stop the proctoring exams at Tilburg University and give us alternative examinations!

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Stop the proctoring examinations at Tilburg University and give us better-suited alternatives!

Yesterday, April 17th 2020, Tilburg University announced to implement proctoring exams with Proctorio, which is ''an integrative online learning platform'' that will monitor and analyse our entire screen, searches, eye movements, sound and microphone. Furthermore, we have to provide a thorough room scan, by uploading a video/webcam recording of our bedroom/studyroom/whatever room we will be taking the exam in. 

Many students, including myself, are against this method of examination, and we want to try everything in our power to stop it from happening. Tilburg University has mentioned that using Proctorio is a choice that '' minimizes the invasion of privacy while maintaining the value of the diploma and preventing study delay. ''  My question is, however: How does using this program minimize invasion of privacy in any way? Especially compared to other examination methods provided by other universities in the Netherlands, including, but not limited to:

  • Open-book exams
  • Alternative assignments, such as essay-writing, answering questions and elaborating on arguments that allow us to critically think about the content
  • Time-limited exams, in which students need to download an exam, take it, and upload it before a certain time. This is followed up by professors taking a random sample of students and asking them about the content to make sure they knew what they filled out at the exam 

As can be seen, these are great alternative methods that do not require:

  • High-quality computers/laptops that can handle downloading software/extensions like Proctorio 
  • Perfect internet connection that is perfectly reliable all the time 
  • Room scans (which is an invasion of privacy itself by providing recordings of your own personal space) 
  • Monitoring of our screen, eye-movements, microphone and sound

As can be seen, proctoring exams come with a lot of points of concern that these alternative methods do not have. In addition, the quality of examinations remains high and there will be no study delay. 

With this petition we want to emphasize on our concerns about taking the proctoring exams, highlight upon the alternative options possible, and hopefully urge Tilburg University to critically think about this decision once more.