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The Study Hall

Promoting Learning, Protecting Integrity, and Supporting Students with Online Proctoring

A common misconception is that online proctoring is just to catch cheating. While that’s one result of it, many are realizing how it can improve learning outcomes by promoting academic rigor, reducing student test anxiety, and helping instructors understand the different ways that students approach their exams. 

Creating a level playing field 

Prospective students, accrediting bodies, and candidate employers want to know that your programs are academically sound and that no students will have an unfair advantage.

Preventing common reasons students cheat

In addition to pressure and competitiveness, two common reasons that students cheat are opportunity and assuming that others are doing it. Online proctoring, such as Honorlock, has powerful features that reduce the opportunity to cheat. Another benefit is that when proctoring software is in place, students have peace of mind that their peers aren’t able to cheat as well.

Helping reduce test anxiety

Test anxiety has increased as more students take online exams due to concerns about the technology, the process, and the presence of live proctors. But proctoring doesn’t need to add to the stress of test-taking.

In a study conducted by Honorlock and the University of North Alabama, students were surveyed before and after their online exams. The study found that students who interacted with proctors during their exams had a decrease in anxiety for future exams. 

In fact, all of the students interviewed experienced a reduction in anxiety after they experienced a chat with a proctor. 

Just by being able to interact with a proctor, students felt more confident. The conversation allowed them to identify different triggers for live support and experience a positive, supportive interaction.

“The proctor popping in was different than I expected - in a positive way. I imagined them being more strict. I felt that the proctor was helpful and a lot less intimidating than I thought.” - Student quote in a post-exam interview 

Effective proctors are designed to help students understand best practices for remote assessments, provide technical support, provide tips and advice, and reassure students that they are set up properly and can focus on the assessment .

With this in mind, Honorlock’s full-time proctoring team was trained by a nationally certified counselor and educator to learn new skills and strategies for increasing positive student interactions.

The proctors learned strategies to better:

  • Recognize signs and symptoms of stress
  • Deescalate problematic behavior and encourage appropriate behavior
  • Help students self-regulate their behavior
  • Relate and reason with students 

Understanding how students approach exams 

University of Florida Lecturer, Ryan Mears Ph.D, used powerful reporting from Honorlock’s proctoring software to understand how students approach the exams.

I felt that I couldn’t trust my test scores at all before Honorlock,” Mears said, “the analytics that come with the flags and real-time recording helped me to understand how students were approaching the course and what strategies they were using to pass the test.

From the reporting, Mears was able to: 

  • Determine which test questions needed more complexity and reformat them to prevent the ability to look up the answers 
  • Identify students who were sharing test answers to questions and gather proof to report instances of academic dishonesty 

Honorlock helped me make sense of what was going on in my online course and it gave me the confidence that academic integrity was upheld.

Support Students with Flexibility 

Students have busy lives and scheduling an online exam can be a challenge. Tyler Junior College’s Director of Distance Education, Ken Carver, explained that one key benefit of using Honorlock's proctoring software is the 24/7 scheduling flexibility it provides for students. “They don’t have to make a reservation like they used to do. They just log in and take the test anytime within the time window provided by the faculty member. It just works!” said Craver.
Online proctoring helps support your students so that they can focus on showing what they’ve learned in a flexible and easy-to-use test environment that levels the playing field and helps improve the exam experience. 

Join Our Session 

See how Tyler Junior College has created an ecosystem of academic rigor with all institutional stakeholders: administrators, faculty, and students by partnering with Honorlock as their online proctoring solution for multi-modal instructional delivery, creating a community that values learning over GPA’s. Join the session.